#4: Bad gifts

holiday matrix

Today’s sad and desperate search term, bad gifts, has me wondering – was the searcher purposely trying to identify a bad gift for someone? Or trying to avoid giving a bad gift? I’m going to go with the less-cynical option today, and assume it is the latter.

To help this person out, here is a list of items you should never “gift”:

  • Any small appliance, unless the recipient has specifically asked for it.
  • A craft, unless you are absolutely, positively sure it is a) cute; b) useful; and c) not offensive in any way (think Kleenex box cover in the shape of Pocahontas’ head. Yup.)
  • Any noisy child’s toy without an off switch.
  • Any item of clothing with a company logo. Believe me, it happens.
  • Anything alive, especially if it requires an inordinate amount of care and feeding such as, oh, I don’t know, a retired sled dog team.
  • A project, like that useful make-your-own garden stepping stones concrete and concrete mold kit I so unfortunately selected one year. (Sorry, Mom.)
  • Any book, item, or program that could be interpreted as a message that the recipient should lose weight, get in shape, improve their marriage, or change their lifestyle. Christmas is not a time to point out what you view as someone’s personal deficiency. We will take care of that ourselves when it’s time for New Year’s resolutions, at least for a couple of days.
  • Anything you secretly want yourself. The recipient might notice you staring wistfully at it as you unwrap your Pocahontas Kleenex box cover.

And my best advice – adhere to the Golden Rule of Gift Giving: Always provide a gift receipt as you would have others do unto you.

That is, unless the sled dog retirement bureau has a no-return policy.

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P.S. If you’re looking for a treat for yourself, check out the recent offer from author Barb Taub. Pick up some good reading, and help out an animal shelter – all at the same time!

11 thoughts on “#4: Bad gifts

      1. You’d have to pick the recipient carefully.

        My sister once gifted my other sister some scratchies. But because she lived in another state and they were going to have to be posted, she scratched them first. They arrived with a little note in the card: “Sorry you didn’t win.”


  1. Really need a photo of the Pocahontas head tissue box cover. That reminds of this ceramic bunny rabbit that my mom puts in her bathroom for Easter. It dispenses cotton balls. From its butt. Ha!


    1. Oh, my! I would never feel right using one of those cotton balls… I wish I had a picture, but sadly I do not. It was a gift that warped me during my childhood.


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