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.
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!