Reddit Deems One Dad the Grinch for Giving His Kids a Fake Gift on Christmas Eve

A dad of two admitted that he gave his sons a brick on Christmas Eve, and Redditors are calling him out for being a total jerk.

Relaxed family in socks with feet up near Christmas tree
Photo: Caiaimage/Robert Daly/Getty Images

From Scrooge to Mr. Potter to the Grinch, Christmas stories are replete with villains whose main goal seems to be sucking the joy out of the holiday season—especially for kids. Turns out, reality occasionally mirrors art more than we might imagine. For an example of this, look no further than a post shared in the "Am I the Assh***" subreddit by a dad under the handle stark2. The original poster (OP) wanted to know if he's an assh*** for wrapping a fake gift for his children.

Stark2 explained that he has two sons from a previous marriage who are 8 and 9 years old. He has had custody for the past three years; he and the boys' stepmom raise them, and their mother is no longer in the picture.

"They were so excited about Christmas last year," he shared. "There were many presents for them under the tree from the grand parents and us, and they were constantly checking them out trying to guess what was in them. They could hardly wait for Christmas Day and begged us to let them open some presents early. So, we allowed them to open one present that was gifted to both of them. It was the heaviest package under the tree and you could feel their excitement when I told them they could open it on Christmas eve. They tore into it like a couple savages. I'd wrapped it very well to make it take a little time to get at the goods."

The OP continued, "As the final paper was ripped off the present, the oldest was going like 'it's's a' and the final paper came off, 'brick.'"

The father of two said he thought the moment "was hilarious." "The looks on their faces was priceless," he wrote. "Unfortunately, they were somewhat upset, tears were shed etc. So, we let them open one more present to calm them down."

He then posited his main Q: "Am I the assh*** for wrapping a brick as a present?"

Redditors have left more than 4K comments for stark2, most of them concluding that yes, this dad is a total Grinch.

Abstractnerddreams wrote, "Why in your mind would you think it is amusing to torment a 7 and 8 year old with a fake present? That’s just sh***y." Suzi63 agreed, writing, "Because making your children cry is just hilarious! Hope his kids get him back next year."

A Redditor named MrSprinkles3 shared a similarly heartbreaking story: "My friend's parents did this. She had wanted a pair of Doc Martens for forever. On Christmas morning, while opening gifts she tore off the paper and saw a Doc Marten box, almost started crying because she finally got these shoes she had been wanted for years, only to open the box and see a pair of $15 boots from Walmart. Her parents burst out laughing and thought it was hilarious, she had a major panic attack and cried the rest of the day. It ruined her Christmas. Don’t f**k around with your kids like that, it’s just cruel."

MysticVeranda gave the OP the benefit of the doubt, guessing he just wanted to do something funny versus cruel, and suggested trying something like what her grandpa did for her mom on her 16th birthday: "All she wanted was this specific pair of diamond earrings. She had begged for them all year and didn’t ask for anything else. Her dad kept teasing that he was just going to get her a coconut for her birthday. Well, her birthday comes around, and when she goes to open her dad’s gift, it’s a coconut. Just before she starts to get really upset about it, her dad tells her to open it. He had turned the coconut into a makeshift jewelry box and hidden the earrings inside. She still tells this story all the time; it was one of her favorite presents ever."

While this father was using Christmas as an opportunity to upset his kids, far too many parents—primarily mothers—are carrying the mental load and stress of making the holiday season above-and-beyond magical for their children with Pinterest-perfect cookies or memorable excursions that are fit for Instagram. Knowing that makes what this dad did look even more disgraceful.

Here's hoping Reddit's outcry in response to this father's troubling move inspires him to think twice about confusing cruelty with humor.

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