Don’t Buy That! 8 Worst Holiday Gifts You Should Avoid

worst Christmas gift ideasWhen it comes to gift giving, it’s the thought that counts, right?


We’ve been busy sharing with you a ton of gift ideas that will wow your loved ones. You can thank us later. But let’s not ignore that fact that some items should never be given as gifts. Ever.

Good gifts can truly cement a relationship while bad or thoughtless gifts can cause it to fizzle. Not only that, a bad gift will make you appear tactless, and the person on the receiving end won’t feel so great either. Bah humbug!

‘Tis the season to give, and you must keep in mind that giving unto others is actually a very strong form of communication. What message are you sending with the gifts you’ve picked out this year? Hopefully none of these are on your shopping list:

  1. Anything diet or self-help related: From a box full of Spanx to the latest Dr. Phil hardcover, these are not the gifts that keep on giving. In fact, they might be insulting, ultimately conveying to your loved one that, either physically or emotionally, they aren’t good enough. Random fun fact: Did you know they make Spanx for men?

  2. Socks, neckties and tacky sweaters: It doesn’t matter if they’re holiday themed or not. These items are awfully boring and predictable. Don’t buy them. Ever.

  3. Loud toys: For your nieces, nephews and other children, take their parents into consideration. There’s only one word to describe those electric guitars, sing along books, echoing microphones and talking teddy bears: obnoxious! The faint, eerie voice of Tickle Me Elmo down the hall at 3 am is a gift no parent would welcome.

  4. Holiday snack baskets: Have you ever seen those pre-wrapped seasonal baskets filled with sausage rolls, blocks of cheese and packages of spicy mustard? Yeah, these are pretty thoughtless gifts. And there’s a pretty good chance that those same baskets sat on store shelves last year. Gross.

  5. Anything regifted: Regifting occurs when you receive a gift, then pass it on to someone else as if you purchased it for them. It’s an act that’s bound to come back and bite you, especially if you regift to someone that the original gift giver knows. Besides that, it’s just awkward when you’re asked later on, “How do you like that (insert useless gift here) I bought you for Christmas?”

  6. Cheap perfume: Even the most expensive perfume is a tricky gift to give. Just because you like the scent doesn’t mean the receiver will. But with cheap perfume, the message you’re really sending is that it’s a last minute gift that you grabbed just for the sake of giving something.

  7. Pets: Sure, puppies are all cute and cuddly. But any new pet completely changes the dynamic of a household. Feeding, grooming, toys and pet insurance all cost money, and pets require lots of attention, too. And if you’re giving to someone who lives in an apartment, does their property even allow pets? Besides, giving a pet would set expectations extremely high for the future. What will you give next year, a pony? Keep expectations low and if you insist on a gift that has a heartbeat, play it safe with a goldfish or two.

  8. Big stuff. A high-tech grill, hard-copy magazine subscription, power tools and big kitchen appliances seem like great, thoughtful gifts. But they can be a hassle for someone who doesn’t have the space for it. As the new year approaches, most people are trying to declutter their small space. Big gifts will defeat that purpose, adding stress to your loved one.

Tell us: What’s the worst give you’ve ever received?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Vladimir Gjorgiev

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