Top 5 Worst Holiday Food Gifts

5. Thanks for nothing Have you ever gotten a $25 gift certificate to HoneyBaked Hams? Do you have any idea what $25 will get you there? I'm guessing half a pig's scrotum. Sorry for singling out this fine cured-meats establishment, but you get my drift. I can't stand receiving cheap gift certificates to expensive places. You end up going in the hole, and where's the holiday spirit in that?

4. Barking up the wrong tree This one might baffle you, but stay with me. Peppermint bark makes the list not for how bad it is, but rather, for its addictive nature. We've all been there--you get a box of peppermint bark in the mail from some friends you almost never see, you set the bark out, and the feeding frenzy begins. One piece of bark--good. Two pieces of bark--still good. Ten pieces of bark? Bubble guts.

3. Are you nuts? I love receiving a mixed bag of nuts for the holidays. The almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts are wonderful to nosh on during games or cooking. But I have to admit--sometimes I'll receive an entire bag of pecans. Ahhh, pecans! The ugly duckling of the nut family--great for baking, great for mixing with other nuts, but these are not stand-alone nuts. Now cashews, that's a different story.

2. Say cheese! Have you ever eaten a cheese straw? I have. It was Christmas 1986. These hardened straws are vile and disgusting. Warning! I have no idea if these are still made and shipped as gifts, but if they are, know that the person sending them hates your guts.

1. Better with age? I inevitably get screwed in those holiday gift exchanges. In the winter of 2008, I got this cool gift package of Smuckers jelly jars. I think it even came with little bowls. Score! Right? Finally, a gift that I can actually use AND consume. Upon further inspection, however, I noticed my jars of jelly had expired in 2006! Damn re-gift.

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Kevin Shalin
Contact: Kevin Shalin