By Matt Henslee
We all know it’s better to give than receive, but sometimes, it might be good to not get anything at all—at least, if it’s some of these crazy gifts. From passive-aggressive to downright crazy, these are some head-scratchers for sure!
Behold, 10 of the wildest and craziest Christmas gifts church leaders have received.
1. When we started adding some more modern songs to our worship service (we still sing hymns) a church member wrapped up a hymnal as a gift for each member of the praise team. Now that’s creatively passive-aggressive!
2. A Steak and Shake gift card with $7.33 left on it. I’m not complaining, it was enough for lunch. Well, thanks for your leftovers!
3. Two bottles of cologne from an elderly church member who said, “You’re a youth pastor so this should be good for you.” I don’t know what she was really trying to say, but when I was a youth pastor, I considered giving our middle school boys any cologne but Axe body spray.
4. As a pastor appreciation gift from a church member, I once received a gift card to a local restaurant … and there was no money on the card! While this (I hope) was an oversight, money was tight, and we didn’t find out there was nothing on the card until after our meal. As a fellow pastor with a tight budget and a party six, this means I’ll be checking any gift cards I get before I go out from now on.
5. I’ve received some pretty ugly/tacky ties. I’m not sure who gave them all to me, whether they were just a joke, or what … but sakes alive, they were ugly. As an aficionado of ugly suits, may I request you send them to [address redacted to protect the Mayhill Baptist Church family]?
6. I was once given a belt. For a size 26 waist. I’m a 32. I don’t think I’ve had a 26-inch waist since middle school! Ouch.
7. An enrollment into the Jelly of the Month Club. Granted, there was also a bonus check, but I thought this was all I was gonna get. I love a church with a sense of humor. It’s needed, and it looks like I’ll be watching Christmas Vacation after I finish this article.
8. A bobblehead of myself. Nice, I might just have one made as a gift to my mother-in-law!
9. We received a heavy blanket and a pillow … from the local hospital. Nope. Nope. Nope.
10. A Jesus-head candle! The wick was in the top of his head! Look, I don’t know where all our readers land on the second commandment, but I think we can all agree this is a no-go.
None of these are mine, though I did receive a package of razors once as a not-so-subtle hint to shave. But I’ve also been on the receiving end of a similar gift as this pastor. It’s the greatest:
BONUS. Someone brought me some beef tenderloins just butchered from one of their cows. Most people don’t share that kind of stuff unless you’re really a part of the family. It’s true, and certainly a blessing. Enjoy!
Around the holidays, you may get an odd gift or two, or you may get nothing at all. Smile, for great is our reward in heaven as we faithfully shepherd the flock our gracious God gave us.
As you celebrate Christmas with your church family this year, take time to remember the greatest gift the world ever received: Jesus.
As you serve Him this holiday season, do so with joy—even if you have to force a smile when you receive an odd gift. Unless it’s fruitcake. You have my permission to use it as a projectile.
Not really, just read Josh Reavis’ Wrestling Pastor account to commiserate.
Share your wild and crazy gifts in the comments section below.
MATT HENSLEE (@mhenslee) is managing editor of LifeWay Pastors and coauthor of the book Replanting Rural Churches. He is the husband of Rebecca, father of four princesses, and pastor of Mayhill Baptist Church in Mayhill, New Mexico.