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Really Awful Christmas Gift Ideas

Updated on November 26, 2011
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

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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