At sometime in your life you must have been given a gift that was the last thing on earth you wanted to receive, and yet you still had to try and sound pleased with it to avoid hurting feelings. I have been doing a little bit of research into this, and have compiled a list of the worst gifts to give or receive, and hope that by reading this you will be able avoid inadvertently making the mistake of buying one of these as a present for one of your loved ones.
Worst Gifts List
Grow Your Own Loofah Kit. Now for those of you who don’t know what a loofah is, well, it is a bit like a long sponge that you can use in the bath or for washing dishes etc. Most people assume a loofah comes from the sea, but they are incorrect, as this is actually a plant that can be grown to maturity, peeled, bleached and dried before being used.
A Ouija Board. Yes, my loving sister did actually give me a Ouija Board one year as part of my Christmas present, although this one came with the name an ‘Angel Board’, so had nice artistic pictures of angels all over it. In every other respect it was the same as a Ouija Board though, so I never used it, and ultimately gave it back to her as I was too scared to chance trying it.
Any Household Appliance. My Dad made this mistake one year when he had been going on and on about how he wanted a coffee maker, even though my Mum didn’t really feel we needed one. At Christmas he bought her not only a coffee maker, but also a new vacuum cleaner. She was not impressed.
‘Old Spice’ Aftershave. This stuff is so cacky smelling, and was last used back in the 1980′s (with any real following). It is still for sale today, but I guarantee that if you buy it for anyone they will dump it during their next home clearout.
Home Knitted Jumpers. If Granny thoughtfully decides to knit you jumper after jumper, every year throughout your life, you should grit your teeth and look grateful. Okay, they won’t fit, will be completely out of fashion, and in horrendous colours, and yes, you will have to wear them whenever Granny comes to visit, but you wouldn’t want to hurt Granny’s feelings now, would you?
A Cravat. Those scarf type things men wear around their necks if they are ‘posh’ and tend to wear blazers or waistcoats a lot. They make you look as if you have a sore throat!
A Foot Spa. These sound like such a good idea when you buy them, but in reality end up shoved under the bed or in the wardrobe after being used just once.
Nasal Hair Trimmers. Not the message you want to send to your man, and even less your girlfriend or wife, (unless you want a black eye!), ‘Your nasal hair is out of control so here’s the solution’.
A Penis Extension. Nothing is guaranteed to go down worse than this gift, and I mean that pretty literally. Don’t buy it, no matter how tempted you are, (or desperate!).
A Piles (Hemorrhoids) Ring. Not romantic no matter how considerate you think you are being to your loved one. Yes it will make them more comfortable, but they should buy this kind of thing for themselves.
A Pet. Any pet is a bad idea as a gift, as if the person doesn’t really want it they will no doubt not look after it properly, or get rid of it in haste, possibly to an unsuitable home. At the very least establish if that person really does want a pet of the kind you are thinking of giving them before you turn up with it, as many pets are a 15 year plus commitment.
Cosmetic Surgery. Well, at least not as a surprise gift, especially for a woman. You may as well say ‘I don’t like your body so I am going to do something about it’. A quick way to make her either dump you, or make the next five years or more of your life unbearable!!
- Perfume. This one will probably come as a bit of a surprise to most people, but unless you know what perfume the lady wears you should not buy any for her. The reason behind this is that perfume smells different on different people, (all to do with skin, sweat, skin type etc). It may smell great on you, or on the shop assistant, but that doesn’t mean it will smell great on the person you are buying it for, so avoid this unless they specifically wear one brand of perfume.
Colonic Irrigation/Hydrotherapy Treatment Voucher. Can you begin to imagine the thoughts that would go through your head if you received this gift? ‘What is he/she trying to say, I am leaving stains in my underwear or something!’
Ornaments. Again, as your idea of a beautiful ornament may not be theirs unless you know their tastes, and space available, really well.
Cuddly Toys. Well, not for over 16 year olds unless you know they avidly collect them. These soon become clutte r otherwise, no matter how cute they are on the day, and mine have usually ended up being given away to children .
- Clothes. Another tricky one as people all have their own taste and style, and it is too easy to get it wrong, as often their tastes change, and your idea of what would suit them is not always theirs.
Books or DVD’s. I have put these two together for several reasons. One is that again, unless you know the person’s tastes it is really hard to choose either of these, especially if you don’t know for sure whether they have already read the book or seen the film, secondly because they tend to be gifts that are pretty boring to unwrap, (especially for children), and thirdly, it is a short lived gift, as most people only watch a DVD once or maybe twice, and read a book much the same amount of times unless it is a text book they will refer back to.
Tacky Versions of an Item a Person Collects. To list an example of this, my Sister collects Ancient Egyptian type ornaments, pictures, furnishings etc. A few years ago our Mother bought her a ‘Tutankhamen Sarcophagus’ CD holder, which my Sister recently said reminded her of an ‘Oompa Loompa’ from the ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ film. The main problem with it was that the body was all out of proportion, with legs that would have been a third the size of the body had it been an actual sized coffin. She even had my Mum in fits of laughter as she described the problem with it.
Book Tokens. I loved reading as a child, but found it so dull to receive a book token as a gift. No exciting parcel to shake under the Christmas tree, and no choice as to the kind of gift I could get. To be honest I would have preferred cash if the person buying me a gift had no idea what to buy me. Quite often I would sell them on to family or friends so I could choose something I really wanted.
Gift Vouchers for Specific Shops. Same reasons as above, plus you are cornered into only having one store to choose from, which is not much good if what you really want to spend the voucher on is in the store three doors up.
Socks and Pants. The obvious ‘no no’ for any age group. Yes they are practical, but they are also soul destroyingly boring to receive and a very last resort, (along with handkerchiefs with your initials on).
I don’t want this article to sound ungrateful, as yes, I know it is the ‘thought that counts’, but honestly, quite often, the receiver would rather you had kept your money for yourself than give them something they are simply going to give away again, or are going to have to feign excitement about receiving. So please, think carefully before you buy your next gift, and if you can’t find the time to do that, then best just send them a card with a cheque enclosed. Still not much fun, but better than them getting something they really don’t want!
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