Really Awful Christmas Gift Ideas

Bad Gifts = Bad Christmas

Many articles you will find online focus on how to choose the perfect Christmas gift. Well, who wants to read that? Wouldn't you rather know the products you need to avoid this year?

Some people have the best of intentions when deciding on presents for loved ones. Even though they mean well, it doesn't necessarily mean the gift will go over well. If you are known for always choosing the wrong gifts, you might want to read this to figure out where you are going wrong.

So without further ado, let's discuss some really awful Christmas gift ideas. Don't be the "terrible Christmas gift giver" this year.

Weight Loss Products

As a general rule, any of the gifts listed here are fine if someone specifically requests it. However, if a person does not actually say, "Hey, I'd like some Slim Fast for Christmas," DON'T give it.

Nothing says, "I think you are a tub of lard" more than giving a person a weight loss product. Even if you friend says she would like to lose some weight, it does not mean you should give her diet pills, Slim Fast, weight loss DVDs, etc. If your friend is a fitness enthusiast, it is probably safe to give her a sport or fitness related product. However, if your friend is obviously out of shape and has not requested exercise equipment, you may just end up with a weight smacking you upside the head this Christmas if you buy your friend workout weights.

Inappropriate Clothing

Oh boy, there are so many types of inappropriate clothing that should never be given as a Christmas gift, it is hard to decide where to begin. Probably the first item on the list would be lingerie of any type for someone you hardly know. If you are a dude and just starting to date a woman, you do not break out the Victoria's Secret items. That is totally awkward and just a bit forward as well.

While we are on the subject of lingerie, don't give it to relatives either. I have heard of female relatives exchanging lingerie gifts if they are close, but other than that, it is just a creepy no-no.

Quite frankly, any item of clothing can be a terrible Christmas gift if it is the wrong size. I personally believe clothing is just taking too much of a chance with anyone. However, if you are bold and ready to take the risk, make sure you get the right size. If you are unsure about size, always go with the smaller size unless you have a super skinny friend that would actually like to pick up a few pounds.

Yes, Christmas is coming, but unless you have a wacky relative that enjoys cheesy clothing items, please avoid the ugly Christmas sweater. Sure, the recipient might like a nice Christmas sweater for the Ugly Sweater Party, but usually, you should just not give it as a gift.


Another Christmas gift faux pas is giving an animal as a present. Seriously, who wants to wake up Christmas morning to find more responsibility under their tree? Oh great. Thanks for the gift that requires food, attention, veterinarian visits, and a ton of other requirements. During the holiday season, who has the free time for this?

Once again, this is another example of a gift that can be OK if the person explicitly says, "I want a kitten for Christmas." Even so, it is a much better idea to give a card with something cute inside indicating he or she is getting a kitten and you will take the recipient out to find one after the holidays. Just remember, most people like picking out there own pet. They have to know if they are going to bond with the pet. When you just simply buy an animal for someone, they have no choice in the matter. It is just not a great gift idea unless you are picking a pet out for small children who would not have much say in the decision anyway.

Obviously Regifted Gifts

Some gifts are just obvious regifts. This is especially the case if you've already been using the item and then decide to give it away. Giving an obviously regifted gift is a completely awful Christmas gift idea. Another major gift giving mistake is regifting a present to the very same person that originally gave you the gift. So if you are considering regifting, make sure to give something you've never used before and something the actual recipient did not give you last Christmas.

Household Items

Household items can be great gifts for anyone. There are awesome blenders, crockpots, toasters, and other assorted kitchen items that are adorable. However, a boring product for the home purchased for a female can be, well... sexist. It is usually just a really bad gift idea.

Guys, if the vacuum breaks at your home, DO NOT purchase a vacuum as a gift for your wife. After all, you will probably benefit from the vacuum just as much as everyone else in the family, so a vacuum is just not the way to go. Most women are honestly very offended by it. A practical gift can be a good idea if a person suggests it, but otherwise, do not buy the Swiffer Sweeper as a gift for the lady in your life.

Merry Gift Giving!

The bottom line is, put a little bit of thought into each gift. A gift that works for one friend will not necessarily appeal to a different friend even if they do have similar interests. Don't forget that a nice box of candy with a gift card is always a suitable gift. When in doubt, gift cards are a safe, thoughtful gift. Why take the chance with a potentially terrible Christmas gift idea?

Merry Christmas!

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Comments 35 comments

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

Great idea for a hub, jeannie! This made me laugh - for my last birthday, my husband got me an underground electronic fence for my dog ... that we had to install ourselves! Waiting to see what Mr. Romance has in store for me this Christmas. Maybe I need to show him your hub. : )

LindaSmith1 profile image

LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

Deb: Maybe this year it will be that underground snow melter system. LOL

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

A timely - and important - hub, Jeannie. This hub should save my husband's life by warning him not to buy me that home decorating equipment instead of a cashmere sweater!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada


I was doing outstanding as I read your most excellent of guides here. I was coasting through the 'clothing' section...fairly confident that I had it nailed...after all...I'm no longer allowed in the local Victoria Secret stores (I won't elaborate)...but on your very last line...yo remove the ugly sweater option?? Alas...back to the drawing board!


profile image

dkmayo 5 years ago

I liked the Hub. To be fair though, if I guy can get power tools for Christmas, shouldn't a women be able to get a vacuum cleaner?

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Giving a pet for Christmas/birthday etc. is cruel to the animal as he will likely end up abandoned. Who knows if the person who wants it knows what she is doing.

The rest of the hub was funny.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Great hub! I agree with all of your choices!

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

I laughed all the way through this thinking of all the crap presents I have received.

Now I am a grandfather everyone is getting socks for Christmas. lol

LindaSmith1 profile image

LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

Hey, socks are nice! I use to get socks, but not on any terms with that person. Now I have to buy them myself.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks everyone for the comments! I am surprised so many people read this hub while I was signed out.

DeborahNeyens - Wow, an electric dog fence. Well, that is just... umm... interesting.

Angie, I have to agree with you... cashmere sweater all the way!

Thomas - Sorry I took away your ugly sweater option. Also, it is a shame you've been banned from Victoria's Secret. Good luck finding a new store for lingerie.

dkmayo - I think if a guy enjoys getting power tools, it is a different situation. If a guy hates building things or fixing things, then yes, it is the exact same thing. No power tools for guys for Christmas!

Flora - Yeah, I was mixing some humor with some seriousness. I know too many people that end up with unwanted pets as gifts. Bad idea!

Alecia - I am glad you agree with me on this one. Thanks for reading.

molometer - Hahaha... sorry this hub reminded you of past crap gifts. Christmas can be tough sometimes. Glad you laughed at it though.

LindaSmith1 - It is a shame you have to buy your own socks now. I do rather enjoy getting socks for Christmas, too. It is usually impossible to mess up on the size!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

The 'obviously regifted gifts' paragraph was hilarious!

Great hub and voted up.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks, Movie Master! I have seen people try to regift some items that are better left in a closet somewhere. When it comes to regifting, there have to be some standards.

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

Love it! Thanks for the smile.

penelopae profile image

penelopae 5 years ago from Harpers Ferry, WV

Once I received a bra from an in-law -- that she'd ordered online and decided she didn't like how it fit. I'm not sure what was worse, getting a re-gifted bra or the realization that it fit better than any of the others I owned at the time.

Great hub! Both well-written and highly amusing. Voted up. :)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Esmeowl12 - I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for dropping by!

penelopae - Wow! I can't believe someone gave you a regifted bra. That took some nerve. What is even weirder is that it fit you so well. Honestly, a good bra is hard to come by, so maybe it was a good gift after all. Thanks for the comment and the vote up!

adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 5 years ago from Atlanta

Hey Jeannieinabottle, what an interesting hub title. I could not imagine giving anyone a weight loss product for a Christmas gift. I did find it interesting that you said even if the person wants a pet, its still not a good idea. I don't think I agree, if someone wants a pet why not give them what they want. Just my opinion. Thanks for sharing.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks for the comment. Yes, diet products are never a good way to go. My suggestion for not buying a person a pet is because I believe people should pick out their own pet. If a person specifically says they just want a pet and they are not picky, that is fine. However, it has been my experience that people prefer to pick their own pet for various reasons. Oh well, we can agree to disagree. :-) Thanks for dropping by!

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I tried to give my son a check inside a book one Christmas. He never opened the book, so I got to keep my money! That was years ago and he still only remembers that I gave him a book for Christmas. Boo Hoo. Surprisingly, it was a hardback edition of the wildly popular Harry Potter first book.

Perhaps children should learn to read more :-)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Hahahaha... yes, maybe it should have taken the time to open the book. That will teach him he should be reading more. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

P.S. I love Harry Potter!

Silver Fish profile image

Silver Fish 5 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

Great hub.

My mother gave me a new toilet seat last year- beautifully gift wrapped!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Well now, that beats anything on this list by far. Thanks for sharing!

samanthamayer profile image

samanthamayer 5 years ago from New Zealand

Hilarious. I loved the household items and regift points. You're right - household gifts feel almost rude! Even if we say something like, "the vacuum cleaner is on the blink, I'd love one of those Swiffer Sweepers," it's such a disappointment when your passing comment is taken seriously.

Great hub, voted up, funny and awesome! :)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

You are right. I make comments about stuff I might want all the time, but that won't make it a good gift. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the votes!

LindaSmith1 profile image

LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

Look at the other side though. If somebody hears I would like to have this or that, yet we don't buy it ourselvess, then whatever it is that we want may very well turn into a gift. People don't always ask What do you want for holiday gift, or birthday, etc. They listen to what you say, and then make the choice from what they hear.

Make a wish list and plaster it all over the house.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

This is true. Perhaps it is best to make a wish list and then make it obvious. I have been trying to leave hints on Facebook for my friends. I hope they pick up on them! Thanks for dropping by!

Leabzari profile image

Leabzari 5 years ago from NICARAGUA

This Hub gives me great ideas...thank for this hub...

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

No!!! Don't get your ideas from this hub! Do the opposite. :-)

Thanks for visiting my hub!

Leabzari profile image

Leabzari 5 years ago from NICARAGUA

jajajajajaja, yes i think that´s better.....

LindaSmith1 profile image

LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

What kills me is things like my grandmother, who was hard to buy for, had mentioned for months about wanting a stereo system. So, great gift, right? Wrong, as the holidays got closer, while I was looking for the perfect stereo, I went to visit, and what did I see, the stero system she wanted. She went out and bought the dang thing.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you both for your comments. And yes, I know what you mean, LindaSmith1, I've had that happen before, too. It is better is someone does not go shopping for themselves during the holiday season. It makes it better for everyone else. :-)

Wolf lover14 profile image

Wolf lover14 5 years ago from AR

LOL I loved it! I read your hamster blogs and the are absolutley cute! =D

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it. Also, thanks for reading the hamster hubs. Not too many people read them anymore.

Wolf lover14 profile image

Wolf lover14 5 years ago from AR

You should read mine! =D I would really like it since

im new and I cant get anyone to read it!

I read ur's right after I made mine


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I will read your hub. Welcome to Hubpages!

Wolf lover14 profile image

Wolf lover14 5 years ago from AR


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