Is It Unacceptable to be Upset After Receiving 18 Pieces of Coal for Christmas?

Not happy at your Christmas gift
Shutterstock | 248968616

This Christmas, a guest was expecting something different when they opened their gifts. Instead of the usual festive presents, they received 18 pieces of coal. This wasn't a joke or a sign of disapproval; it was a longstanding family tradition. But how did this unusual custom leave the guest feeling? Read on to find out the story behind the coal, and the reaction of the Redditors.

When Christmas didn't quite deliver as expected

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Is it fair to receive 18 pieces of coal for Christmas? 🤔

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Finding 18 pieces of coal instead of gifts was a shock to the recipient, raising questions of acceptability.

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An unexpected Christmas surprise! 18 pieces of coal in one festive package.

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Upset over 18 pieces of coal for Christmas? A longstanding tradition of gifting coal to newcomers has caused confusion and a heated moment.

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A relative suggests coal as a fun gift for a newcomer - but is it really a good idea?

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Is it wrong to be mad after receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas? 🤔

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Is it wrong to be upset when you get 18 pieces of coal for Christmas? 🤔

This year, a person was invited to spend Christmas with their fiancé's family for the first time. They were expecting more than just a pile of coal when they opened the gifts, but that's exactly what they got. All 18 gifts were pieces of coal. This was a longstanding tradition in their fiancé's family to gift coal to newcomers. On top of being upset, the person lashes out at their fiancé and leaves the gathering, causing their family to be upset with them. Are they in the wrong?

NTA 🤷‍♀️😡 Receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is unacceptable.

realstareyes | realstareyes

The comment states that receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is not the a**hole (NTA) and that it is an inconsiderate and mean-spirited act. The replies agree, saying it was thoughtless, a bad joke, and a cruel tradition intended to make fun of the recipient.

🤔 Is this a family or a frat?

0biterdicta | 0biterdicta

The original comment suggested that the long-standing tradition of hazing and humiliating new potential family members was more akin to a fraternity than a family. Replies to this comment included setting the family up with an offensive Christmas sweater family and the suggestion that the only Christmas tradition was assholishness.

🤔 Is 18 boxes of coal too much?

jupiter235 | jupiter235

Commenter suggests NTA (not the a**hole) - one box with coal in it would have been a fun gag, but not eighteen. Replies argue that even one box of coal from new in-laws would make the recipient feel insecure, and suggest an alternative - chocolate that looks like coal would have been a fun gag.

🤮 Toxic family hazing: NTA

FrozenLasagna1 | FrozenLasagna1

The comment expressed their opinion on how unacceptable it is to be humiliated 18 times in a row by one's family, characterizing it as "literal hazing". Replies agreed, reassuring that it is "NTA" (not the a-hole). One reply went a step further, emphasizing that they would have stopped after the 2nd piece of coal and left.

🤯 Family traditions gone wrong! 🤯

CuriousTsukihime | CuriousTsukihime

NTA - The commenter is tired of seeing posts like this, where people willingly choose not to inform their partners about family traditions. They don't get to be mean and then judge the reaction. The commenter is proud of the OP for having enough courage to walk away from the situation and people who treat them like crap. Several replies agree with the sentiment and suggest that the OP should show this thread to the boyfriend to make him realize how abnormal and rude the “prank” was.

Gifting 🎁 coal 🔥 isn't 🚫 funny 🤣

General_Relative2838 | General_Relative2838

The comment says NTA, and that Dan and his family should embrace and learn from the feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness they felt. Dan's family has shown themselves to be oafs, and the comment suggests that they may be redeemable oafs. The comment also mentions that the commenter had remarkable restraint for not trying out the coal by drawing a mural on the living room wall.

🤯Families with 😬wildly inappropriate 🎁Christmas traditions!

WHYohWhy___MEohMY | WHYohWhy___MEohMY

The comment asks what's wrong with some families and their wildly inappropriate Christmas traditions for new family members. Replies suggest that these families are in a bubble where they think it's completely appropriate and cite an example of a first Christmas with a husband's family where the commenter was looped into a secret Santa six weeks before the event and got a gift worth over $100 from someone they didn't meet until the day of.

Don't tolerate their 🤬! 💔

Far_Anteater_256 | Far_Anteater_256

The comment states that the tradition of giving coal for Christmas is hateful and the commenter's fiancé should have had the courtesy to explain it before the event. The replies add that even if the fiancé had forgotten about the tradition, he should have explained it after the first piece of coal to save the commenter from being disappointed and embarrassed multiple times.

🤦‍♀️18 Pieces of Coal as a Christmas Gift?! 🤦‍♀️

SilentCounter6750 | SilentCounter6750

The commenter expresses disbelief that the fiancé's family thinks embarrassing a prospective family member/stranger is endearing. They suggest that the commenter has every right to be offended and should take this experience into consideration before marrying the fiancé. A reply reveals that the fiancé also gave the commenter a lump of coal as a Christmas gift.

Gifts gone wrong 😕

Reasonable_Funny_622 | Reasonable_Funny_622

The comment lamented receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas and suggested that a bar of chocolate or an Amazon gift card would have been a better choice. Replies indicated agreement, with one suggesting they'd rather have nothing than coal.

🤯 Family gives 💩 for Xmas?!

bob3725 | bob3725

The commenter was shocked to receive only coal for Christmas from family. A reply suggested that it was actually a blessing in disguise, as it revealed the fiance's true colors before marriage and kids.

🤔 Don't ever & Dan!

Sad-Unit5046 | Sad-Unit5046

The commenter expresses their opinion that it is not acceptable to receive 18 pieces of coal for Christmas and implores you to think twice before becoming part of a family who thinks it is funny. They state that you should not spend Christmas with them again, including Dan. The reply agrees and questions what kind of family would haze their guests.

A fiancé receives 18 pieces of coal🤯

reneeclementine | reneeclementine

The comment points to the strange decision of giving 18 boxes of coal as a gift to a fiancé, suggesting it might be a mean act. One reply agrees, noting it would have been easier to simply get a couples' gift and write it to both parties.🤔

NTA - 🤬😤😬

Foggy_Radish | Foggy_Radish

The commenter is not the a**hole, judging from their response to the article's headline. They are appalled by the family's tradition of giving coal for Christmas and suggest to think seriously before entering into a relationship with them.

🤔 Is this acceptable behavior from an adult?

He_Who_Is_Right_ | He_Who_Is_Right_

The commenter expressed that they are NTA and questioned if the original poster wanted to marry this man, noting that hazing is something that sophomoric teens do to each other, not something expected from grown adults. They also added that one lump of coal *might* have been funny if followed up with a real gift, but 18 lumps of coal with the explanation of "this is just how it is" was too much.

NTA: Bride-to-be ☹️

Darcnys | Darcnys

The commenter believes that the bride-to-be's fiance should have informed her of his family's 'white elephant' gag tradition before she missed time with her own family and bought thoughtful gifts for them. The commenter suggests that she should reconsider if this is the type of family she wants to marry into.

NTA - He should've warned you!

Kirstemis | Kirstemis

The commenter believes that the recipient's reaction is understandable since the giver should have warned them beforehand and that the tradition is still a bad one.

NTA: 18 pieces of coal 🔥 😡

squigs | squigs

The comment states that 18 pieces of coal is cruel and suggests a gift voucher or asking what the newcomer wants instead. The replies agree that the family's thoughtlessness was rude and cruel and it was shameful to ruin someone else's holiday.

Gifting coal? 🤔

khurd18 | khurd18

The comment states that receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is a weird and rude tradition.

Breaking up is hard 😔

NewfromNY | NewfromNY

The commenter says they are 'NTA' (not the a**hole) and advises to thank god for learning about the person's true colors before getting married and to move on and look for someone else.

NTA: Fraternity-style initiation 🤔

geordiehippo | geordiehippo

Commenter deems the act of receiving 18 pieces of coal as an initiation ritual, better suited to a fraternity than a family. Belittling and humiliating, the joke only works if everyone is laughing.

Cruelty or funny prank?

ACatCalledVirtute | ACatCalledVirtute

The commenter says NTA (not the a**hole), as expecting gifts is not the point of gift giving. But they also express shock at receiving 18 pieces of coal--which could be a funny prank, but in front of strangers would be very uncomfortable and cruel.

Is Dan the a**hole?

Imaginary_Being1949 | Imaginary_Being1949

Dan's family has a tradition of giving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas, but Dan failed to prepare the recipient for the gag. Is Dan the a**hole?

NTA: 🤔 It's not 'good fun' if you're not laughing.

queencub | queencub

The comment states that it is Not The A**hole (NTA) to be upset after receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas. This is because the partner should have informed the person about the longstanding tradition so they could make an informed decision. Furthermore, it is not 'good fun' if the person is not laughing, and the person in question is clearly not having a good time.

🤔 Is 18 pieces of coal a joke or an act of meanness?

WanderingPine | WanderingPine

The commenter believes that it would have been fine if the family had done this as a gag, but still given the OP at least one nice gift. The reply agrees and suggests that there are plenty of generic gifts that can work for everyone, such as gift cards.

NTA: Don't accept weird hazing 🤔

jl9802 | jl9802

The commenter believes that receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is an unacceptable form of hazing and that the recipient should have been warned about it at a minimum.

🤦‍♀️ No funny business here! NTA

stfrances2968 | stfrances2968

The commenter advises the original poster to rethink their engagement after being pranked with 18 pieces of coal for Christmas, calling it unacceptable and saying the original poster should kick their “fiancé” to the curb - NTA (not the a**hole).

NTA! 🤔 18 boxes of coal?

Brief_Protection_452 | Brief_Protection_452

The comment says NTA (not the a**hole) and expresses shock at receiving 18 boxes of coal for Christmas. The commenter questions if their fiance even got them anything, implying they were treated as the laughing stock and encourages them to stand up for themselves.

NTA - Unacceptable prank 🤬

cinnamngrl | cinnamngrl

The comment states that this prank is not the a**hole's (NTA) and is unacceptable, as it was taken too far.

Family tradition gone wrong 😔

RandomGirl42 | RandomGirl42

The commenter believes that Dan's family went wrong with their 'fun' family tradition of giving coal for Christmas by at least one generation.

NTA 🤭 What was the finale?! 🤔

jwjnthrowawaykfeiofj | jwjnthrowawaykfeiofj

The comment said NTA (not the a**hole), suggesting that the group of strangers who gave the OP (original poster) 18 pieces of coal for Christmas were bizarre and cruel. The OP's reaction was normal, and the comment asked what was planned for the finale. A reply suggested that the OP could have stopped after the third piece of coal and ended the show.

🤔 NTA: Unacceptable!

SweetpeaDeepdelver | SweetpeaDeepdelver

The commenter believes that receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is rude and inconsiderate of the family.

NTA! 🤬

elizabethjanet | elizabethjanet

The commenter believes those who pulled the prank are in the wrong and should not be excused - they are not worth having a relationship with anymore.

NTA: 🤔🤷‍♀️

mmslly | mmslly

Not the a**hole: the commenter believes that their partner should have informed them about this family tradition, and reminded them that their reaction was due to their unkind behavior.

NTA: Fiance should have warned 💔

YasQueenies | YasQueenies

The commenter is not the a**hole for being upset over receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas; the commenter believes their fiance should have warned them about their family's juvenile antics so that they could have saved money.

🤔 NTA - not the a**hole?

RealTalkFastWalk | RealTalkFastWalk

The comment argues that the original poster is not the a**hole and that they should consider reconsidering their marriage if the fiancé doesn't prioritize their comfort and happiness over his family's "silly games."

No one deserves coal 🔥

Miss_minnie94 | Miss_minnie94

The commenter believes that no matter what age you are, it is unacceptable to be given 18 pieces of coal for Christmas. They believe it's not fun for the recipient, especially if they have paid and gifted other people nice things.

NTA: Humiliating🤬 and Unacceptable❌

quackcake | quackcake

The commenter is not the a**hole for being upset about receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas. Their fiance didn't even bother to warn them about this tradition, making it even more humiliating in front of their family.

Nobody thinks it's funny 🤷‍♂️

ReviewOk929 | ReviewOk929

NTA (not the a**hole): It's a sucky tradition that implies not enough care is given, and no one finds it funny. The fiance should have explained the situation better so the recipient could make an informed decision.

NTA - 🙅🏼‍♂️ 🎁 💔

Andr3aJones13 | Andr3aJones13

The comment acknowledges that the initial gift of 18 pieces of coal was unacceptable, as it implies the recipient has been a bad person. The comment further suggests that the recipient was justified in being upset, as the gift was mean.

NTA for not wanting real coal 😩

DustOfTheDesert | DustOfTheDesert

The commenter finds it cruel to receive 18 pieces of coal for Christmas and believes they are not the a**hole for not wanting real coal. One reply agrees that giving black licorice is even crueler than just the coal. 🤮

👀🤔 Is this family ok?

DaleCoopersWife | DaleCoopersWife

The comment raises questions about the family's behavior, suggesting that Dan enjoys humiliating the original poster and that this is not ok.

It's not okay to 🤬🤬!

Curious-One4595 | Curious-One4595

The commentator believes it is not acceptable to be upset after receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas, as it is rude and done without warning. They cite an example of a family giving a riding crop as a gift and how it is okay as long as it is disclosed in advance and is in addition to the usual gifts.

Not the a-hole 🤔

Qaws888 | Qaws888

Commenter is NTA and believes that the recipient was right to be upset after receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas. They suggest discussing the unfairness of the tradition with their SO later on to avoid making a scene at the time.

New addition to the family 🤔🤔

Slyvester121 | Slyvester121

The commenter believes that it's not the fault of the original poster (NTA), but their future in-laws suck for having such a 'shitty tradition'.

Family tradition gone wrong!

SourSkittlezx | SourSkittlezx

The comment argues that 'coal as a little gag gift would have been funny', but receiving 18 pieces of coal was an unacceptable snub to those new to the family. It was a garbage tradition.

NTA: Not a generic gift!

OdieOdieOh | OdieOdieOh

The commenter argues that the gift of 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is not only mean-spirited but also lazy and not a generic gift that would work for anyone.

🤬 NTA: Unwelcoming tradition

Madame-Defarge | Madame-Defarge

The commenter labeled the gift of 18 pieces of coal for Christmas as an "incredibly rude and unwelcoming tradition" for "newcomers."

🤔 Is coal a mean "tradition"?

Professional_Grab513 | Professional_Grab513

The comment suggests that receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas is an unacceptable and mean "tradition." It also rebuffs the idea that the recipient should be embarrassed when their poor behavior is called out.

NTA: He didn't 👂 you out!

itsaucesome | itsaucesome

The commenter thinks the person receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas did not deserve it and that the family has no class. It is suggested that this could be a warning sign due to their other traditions.

NTA - You deserve better!

Powerful_Ad_7006 | Powerful_Ad_7006

The comment says 'NTA' (not the a**hole) - the commenter believes the family should return the gifts that were bought for them, and give the commenter coal in return as they received 18 pieces of coal for Christmas.

🤔 NTA - Returning gifts

jimmap | jimmap

Commenter suggests NTA (Not the A**hole) and recommends returning gifts and getting money back.

🤔 An upsetting experience

Dramaismyfirstname | Dramaismyfirstname

The commenter declared that the newcomer's experience was unacceptable and that the lack of warning from the fiancé was a "big red flag".

NTA: 18 pieces of coal🤔

lizfour | lizfour

The commenter found it shocking that someone would give 18 pieces of coal as a gift and then blame the recipient for making the situation awkward.

Gifting 18 pieces of coal 🤔 🤔 🤔

Negative-Swordfish-9 | Negative-Swordfish-9

Gifting 18 pieces of coal as a Christmas present is not acceptable, according to the comment. The comment suggests that if the gifter does not know what to give, it's better to not give anything at all or even a card or box of chocolates, and concludes that the gifter is Not The A-hole (NTA).

🤷‍♀️💔No appreciation for standing up for yourself!

dehydratedrain | dehydratedrain

The comment says NTA (not the a**hole) in response to the article's headline. The comment suggests finding someone who appreciates the recipient and a family that does not treat them poorly for standing up for themselves.

No one is 🤬 with coal 🎅

trebory6 | trebory6

The comment discussed the absurdity of taking a literal children's adage of coal as an adult and how it's silly on both sides of that coin. The comment concluded that no one is trying to demean or humiliate another adult with a gift of coal as it's a children's story about Santa.

Fiancé's surprise 🤯

IDKmybffjellyandPB | IDKmybffjellyandPB

Commenter says NTA, as the fiancé should have warned the commenter about the 18 pieces of coal they were receiving for Christmas.

Fiancee warned you 🤔

chrisnevinson | chrisnevinson

Commenter said NTA (not the a**hole) for being upset after receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas as their fiancee had warned them about it.

👎 NTA: 18 pieces of coal? That's unacceptable!

anglerfishtacos | anglerfishtacos

The comment says NTA (not the a**hole). The comment states that it's not funny to find 18 individually wrapped presents filled with coal on Christmas. It's a cruel expectation set by the family that jokes should be made at the expense of the person who's an outsider. It's not about being materialistic, it's about wanting to be accepted by the soon-to-be in-laws.

NTA: 🤔 🤬 💰

BreakfastFine5278 | BreakfastFine5278

The commenter is not the a**hole because their SO didn't inform them about the strange tradition of receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas and they spent money on gifts. The lack of warning about this tradition seems malicious and unacceptable.

🤔 Christmas coal surprise!

alk_adio_ost | alk_adio_ost

The comment suggests that the original poster (OP) was lucky to not receive an ugly Christmas sweater instead of 18 pieces of coal for Christmas.

👎 Don't let them gaslight you!

quirkyndifferentname | quirkyndifferentname

The commenter argued that NTA (not the a**hole) since the gift-giver could have at least informed the recipient about the tradition, and made it a fun experience for them.

🤔 Is it wrong to be mad at 18 pieces of coal?

eightmarshmallows | eightmarshmallows

The comment suggests that it's NTA (not the a**hole) to be upset at receiving 18 pieces of coal for Christmas and that it's easier to perpetuate a toxic tradition than to get a meaningful gift.

NTA: His family 🙅‍♀️ should have made an effort 💪 for you 🎁

Available_Beat82727 | Available_Beat82727

The commenter is 'Not The A**hole' and believes that the family should have made an effort and given the engaged person a gift, as well as a collective coal for the ones who do not know her. The commenter also feels that the family's lack of apology is not acceptable.