We asked for your stories about receiving horrible gifts for Christmas, and they turned out to be even worse (or is that better?) than we ever expected. Here are some of our favorites, and the well-deserved winner.

Yes, Christmas gift giving produces all sorts of anxiety, but we had no idea about the Pandora's box of passive aggressive mothers-in-law, wretched gift-giving fathers, and ungrateful bratty children we'd be opening when we started this contest. Here are the honorable mentions. All of the commenters were given a star (if they didn't have one already). The titles are ours, but the horror stories are all theirs. Click on the commenter's name to read their tale.

Before we get to the winner, a special thanks to commenter Spirit Fingers whose story inspired this whole contest. You can check it out here.

Even with all those horrible stories, there was one that was far worse than any of the others. Usually for the winner I like to pick something that is both devastating and has at least a little bit of humor in it. This time, well, this is just horrible. Congratulations, MyLadysHouse, you win for your story "The Dog Days of Christmas." Here it is in all of its horrible wonder:

Christmas eve, 1992, I'm eight years old and desperate for a puppy. I'd been pestering my parents since Thanksgiving, dropping hints at every opportunity. My parents had me go to bed VERY early that evening and I heard my dad rev up the car and head out towards one of the neighboring farms before a brewing snowstorm iced up all the roads.

I hear him return, I hear yaps, I hear my dad stuffing hay in a box and poking holes in the lid. I almost want to pee my pants I'm so excited.

The moment dawn breaks on Christmas morning I rush down the stairs and head for the tree. There are only tiny boxes under it, no puppy in sight. I notice through the window that there is a large, brightly colored box on the front porch, nearly sunken in the snow from last night's storm. I bound outside in my pajamas.

Heart pounding, hands shaking, I open the box.

Dead puppy. There is a dead, eight week old fox terrier puppy in the box. I later learned that my mother had not wanted to bring the dog into the house, for fear that it would mess up the living room. My dad stuffed the box with hay in an attempt at insulation, but failed to realize that 8-week old puppy vs Ohio snow storm is not a fair battle.

I wept every night until New Years.

And for that, she wins a $50 Visa Gift Card to buy herself something nice to get over the holiday trauma. Email us to redeem your prize.

[Image via Shutterstock]