In elementary school, my favorite time of year was December. I loved Christmas, and getting presents from Santa was great, but the reason I longed for Dec. 1 each year was because that was the day that my school opened their holiday shop.
For the entire month, the school magically transformed our science lab into a winter wonderland with gifts for us to purchase.
Each year, I would receive $20 from my parents to purchase gifts for my family and friends. The majority of the holiday shop was filled with “Best Mom/Dad/Friend” trinkets and was what my parents and friends expected, but I strayed from the said trinkets and was attracted to the more unusual gifts.
One year, my friends received Looney Tunes pens. I gave both my sisters Harley Davidson key chains; my dad received a miniature flashlight, and my mom got a coffee mug with Santa’s face on it. Needless to say, I eventually became known as an awful gift giver.
As I grew older, I eventually changed my ways and began to put more thought into my gifts, but it wasn’t until I was confronted with my terrible gift-giving habits.
And so, I present unto you, the top 10 worst holiday gift ideas.
10. DVDs, CDS
The problems with DVDs and CDs is there is an endless amount of different DVDs and CDs out there. Unless you know the person very well, it would be hard to tell if the person already has it. The world of multimedia is also rapidly evolving, and between DVDs, Netflix, internet music streaming and On Demand, purchasing DVDs and CDs is too complicated and too risky.
9. Gift cards
Now, don’t get me wrong, on the receiving side of the spectrum, gift cards are great. Honestly, I would much rather receive gift cards than money, but giving someone a gift card as a gift is a cop out. It shows that you put no effort into the thought of the gift, or that you just don’t want to take the time to find out what makes that person genuinely happy, which typically defeats the purpose of gift giving.
Chocolate is wonderful, but it doesn’t last forever. And if the person you’re giving chocolate to is normal, it probably won’t last for more than an hour. Regardless of the type of chocolate, whenever I receive this gift, I end up non-stop stuffing my face with the stuff until it’s gone, and then I feel bad about myself because not only is my chocolate gone, but I consumed a large amount of it in a short amount of time.
7. Used clothing
Hand-me-downs are bad enough, but to give someone used clothing and call it a gift violates all unsaid gift-giving policies. Not only does giving someone used clothing show that you’re incredibly cheap, but also that you’re lazy and careless; not the best qualities to show at Christmas time.
Socks are one of those stereotypical items that you’re taught never to give someone as a gift. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with socks, and some people actually do enjoy getting them, but the thing with socks is that they’re a staple item. Staple items, such as socks, are something that is continually bought throughout the year, and while it may be essential, most giftees are hoping for something that they don’t buy all year and have multiple pairs of.
5. Gag gifts
Personally, I love giving gag gifts simply because it fulfills my enjoyment. However, with gag gifts, you run the risk of the other person thinking likewise of the gesture. And while gag gifts may be incredibly funny and showcase your own wittiness, it is only funny for the person receiving the gift for a short amount of time and eventually becomes old.
4. Worthless gadgets
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you’re familiar with my feelings concerning worthless gadgets.
Sure, a balance bracelet or an electronic head massager may seem like a really cool gift in the store, because hey, who wouldn’t be ecstatic waking up on Christmas day to a brand new balance bracelet, but I guarantee you that feeling of excitement will pass when the holidays are over and they realize they are now the paltry owners of a battery-powered device designed to massage your head.
3. Subliminal messaging gifts
Naturally, we all want to be helpful, and sometimes it can be difficult to approach someone about improving their lifestyle. However, the holidays are not the time to give your overweight friend a dieting cookbook or your boyfriend/girlfriend a fresh bottle of ProActive. While it may undoubtedly be under good intentions, the holidays are a time made to feel good about yourself, and the opinions of the giftee’s self and yourself may change for the worst.
2. Holiday decorations
Part of the fun of the holiday season is putting up decorations. The aspect of decorating helps to make the upcoming holiday season a reality. However, no matter how cute a Santa Claus ornament or Rudolph stocking may be, the holidays are pretty much over the second the gift is received, and the giftee is forced to wait a whole year to use their said gift. There’s no fun in that.
1. Regifted items
Regifted items are the lowest of the low. Even if you received a foot tanner or an electric hair braider the Christmas prior, and eventually experienced the familiar emotional aftermath that comes along with receiving awful gifts, it is no reason to pass it along to someone else. Regifted items are like an awful disease, and no one wants a disease for Christmas.
By Jacqueline LeBlanc