The Top 10 Most Terrible Christmas Gifts
As much as we all love Christmas (and boy do we really love it), there’s no denying that there’s an art to gift giving. It seems that no one is exempt; that everyone has at least that one person who, time and time again, will continue to give you every subsequent piece of knitting they’ve ever done in their lives—socks, sweaters, tea cozies, the whole nine yards. Awkward grins and muffled ‘thank yous’ to grandma aside, this year we’re going to take a preventative approach (we vowed we would after all those socks…vowed): damage control. Here’s a look into some of our favorite best worst gifts for the holidays, complete with a list of less cringeworthy solutions that’s guaranteed to make even the most clueless gift giver a smashing success on Christmas day.
1. The Infamous Bad Sweater
Why this gift has continued to perpetuate itself for as long as it has is a phenomena so strange we think it warrants some serious attention. It’s something everyone can relate to, which is a marvel in and of itself, and it’s usually inflicted by the same perpetrators: grandmas and great-aunts.
2. The Senseless Piece of Equipment
A top of the line knife sharpener; a breadmaker; some type of toolkit, a weed whacker, an ironing board…the horror goes on and on. These are usually the type of well-meaning gifts that have gone horribly awry, the type of gifts that someone (chances are, your uncle or grandpa) buys you thinking, “Now if Tommy only had an ironing board…everything would be right in the world.”
3. The Insult Gift
The ‘insult’ gift is a special type of gift that can take on a myriad of forms where each one that springs up seems to be more terrible than the last: cheap last minute drugstore buys (we can always tell) like fake nails or coloring sets; items that strongly send out a clear message like weight loss or get fit programs or, even worse, a secondhand gift that reeks of being pawned off (potpourri, anyone?).
4. The Stale…Food?
Fruitcake? Old holiday trail mix? Whatever it is, you can be sure it isn’t going anywhere near our mouths—especially if the fruitcake is looking suspiciously invincible.
Though scientists have been working on why socks seem to keep cropping up in our Christmas wish list for years, they’ve made little progress thus far. Stay tuned for more updates.
6. The Decorative Thing
Because nothing says Christmas quite like a nice set of glass marbles to fill up that vase you’ve always been wanting. It’s almost as if you could feel the sinking in your heart—no, wait, that’s just the, er, marbles.
Just because I’m a twenty something in search of a career does not mean I need a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul, grandma. It means I’m in need of some quarters for laundry, stat.
If you hand me that lava lamp with the wacky inflatable little animals inside it things are going to get ugly real soon.
9. Inappropriately Aged Toys
Don’t get me wrong—we all loved our Easy Bake oven as kids, but it’s not exactly the king of thing you hope to unwrap when Christmas rolls around. Or maybe it’s insanely powerful 100 watt bulb is simply too much for us to handle. We’ll leave this one up to you.
10. The Wacky Inflatable Tube Man
It goes without saying that this is simply unacceptable. If you have the bad luck to receive this as a gift—or any of its equivalents including the infamous “Green Man” suit—then just duck and run.
WHAT TO GET INSTEAD:
Certain things are universal, and we love them for it. In this vein, then, help out someone in your life by getting them the gift of life: crock pots and microwaves for starving students, cookware that won’t disintegrate as soon as you burn it with the tiny bits that peel off the bottom, nice speakers, snuggies—items so good they’re must-haves on everyone’s list.
Brain stuck in the mud? When in doubt, gift card out. There’s an endless stream of stores better suited for holiday weather and a big, sweeping expanse of internet for all those who like to shop online. Gift cards are great solutions on all fronts—with an endless array of customizable options (everything from design to denominations) and little to no wait time, they’re a surefire way to get excited about the holidays without all the worry.
And while you insult gift givers should be ashamed of yourselves for your negligence, luckily enough we know how to combat all the ugliness of your sad presents. Say it with me now boys and girls: return policy.
We won’t tell anyone if you don’t (which makes it OK…sort of).
Have some gift giving horror stories to share? Rejoice and make merry below in the comments.