02 December 2008

The Six Worst Gift Ideas Ever

The busiest shopping time of the entire year has arrived. Australians are flocking to shopping centres, looking for just the right gift for Aunty Maud and little Johnny and everyone else on their gift list.

All of us have heard at one time or another the saying 'buyer (or seller) beware - but in this case, the saying now becomes 'gifter' beware. Many of us give with the best of intentions, but never realize that the gifts we are about to give are truly nightmares - or worse - in disguise. No one ever means to make such a mistake, but these do occur and we are here to help you avoid these mishaps. The following are the six worst gift ideas ever to cross our paths.

No. 1 The first and biggest of the six worst gift ideas ever to give is the item that tries to give a subtle hint for what you consider a needed change in this person's life. We think this is a polite way of doing it, but all in all we cause more pain and trouble than it is worth. Some examples of these types of gifts are things like books for losing weight, an audio book on helping someone with their memory, or even a book on finding the right guy or girl. For the recipient, all they experience is you calling them fat, stupid, and unable to meet good people for relationships. The gift causes pain and depression - the opposite of the intention you had for it.

No. 2 The second of the six worst gift ideas ever given is giving something that shows how little, if any, thought you put into your gift. This happens more often than people like to admit to, and this is why it is number two on our list. An example that springs to mind is the steel wool, wrapped roughly in used Christmas paper, and thrown under the tree, that a relative gave to my brother-in-law one year. It's hard to show thankfulness and gratitude for a gift like that. If you truly don't want to put your heart into giving gifts, then don't even bother - those you call friends will appreciate it.

No. 3 The third out of six worst gift ideas ever thought of would be the extremely large books often referred to as coffee table books. The typical thought when giving these books is that the large wrapped item will make the person so much more happy - but upon opening this tome of a book, almost always the person is anything but happy. Books can be a great gift, but remember that in this instance, regular sized or even pocket sized is better than extraordinarily huge, hard to handle and impossible to read curled up in a chair or bed, books!

No. 4 Fourth of the six worst gift ideas ever attempted is giving a gift that the person has no way to exchange or even be able to give away. We all want the recipient to love our gifts, but we can't get it right 100 percent of the time. So please, do not give a gift from a specialty shop that does not exist in the recipient's part of the country unless you know for sure they want this item in question. If you don't, the person has the potential to be disappointed in you and your gift and your money, time and energy will have been wasted.

No. 5 Of the six worst gift ideas ever to see the light of day, number five may appear harmless enough, but don't allow it to fool you. We all forget a holiday or special occasion and find ourselves desperate to come up with a gift. We know we don't have enough time to go out and purchase something, and making something is out of the question. So we look through what we own and give the special someone a gift we ourselves were given before, or even something we had bought for ourselves. The problem is the immense guilt you feel after the fact for doing so. Remember, even with items that at first appear free to give away - there is always a cost.

No. 6 Finally, the sixth worst gift idea ever is the one where you buy the item, actually wanting it for yourself, but you figure the recipient will not want it and will give it back to you to be returned or exchanged. Please know this: this type of plan will always backfire on you, and is horrible to attempt in the first place! If you want the item, buy it. Choose something you know the recipient wants, needs, likes and will enjoy and you will both be wearing smiles.

As you hit the shops with your gift list in hand, keep these six points in mind. It is easier to find the perfect gift than you think.


  1. No 7. Those cheap and nasty tins of Danish Butter Cookies that have surfaced every Christmas since Adam was a boy. How do you feel when you get a gift like that when you know they only cost a few dollars. I remember when they were about $2.95 a tin. An aquaintance made the mistake of giving them to me once. After I opened the gift I walked over to the kitchen bin and dumped them in it. Not good form, but I was just so angry. I'd rather have nothing, than rubbish like that.

  2. Isn't it funny how people have different tastes ? I rather like those Danish Butter Cookies and think they are a pretty good buy for the price. When we were in Aldis today I saw them and commented how I liked them. I don't ever think about the price of gifts that I'm given. I'm just thankful that someone thought of me. A tin of biscuits is very handy when unexpected visitors drop in.

  3. Im with you John & Chris I like the biscuits and some times that is all some one can give and they did make a efit to wrap it. if you didnt like them just pass them on to someone that dose I gave them to he boys teachers one year with a mug and a choice of coffee and tea in the mug and wrapped in cellophane and a ribbon it looked lovely a bit better than soxs and handkeys and they can shear them at work

  4. I love those biscuits! I wish I could find them at $2.95!

  5. I remember giving at a $10 gift swap, a pink cupcake tin and measuring cups and spoons. I thought it was a great gift. My own mother, thought it was a stupid swap present. I was hurt at the time. As the saying goes "one man's trash is another man's treasure".


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