What NOT To Give – Worst Holiday Gift Ideas

While you soak up the fun (and the drool) of all the blog gift guides this holiday season, how about a few pointers for your sweetie on what not to give? These are gifts that honestly could be given with the best of intentions, but could easily (especially with a few glasses of egg nog and some estrogen) be misinterpreted. Read, enjoy, laugh, and….share it with that special someone who always has the best of intentions but just can’t hit the mark. Much love to you all!


Giver thinks: It’s practical, it gets the job done, everyone needs one….
Receiver thinks: Are you saying my house is dirty? Are you saying I need to clean more? Are you saying I’m lazy? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY


Giver thinks: It’s the king of toothbrushes! It’s expensive! Everyone probably wants one, why not Receiver!
Receiver thinks: Do I have bad breath? Are my teeth yellow? Do I not brush well enough for Giver? WHAT GIVES


Giver thinks: It’s affordable, it comes 12 times a year, people love getting motivated to be healthy, s/he’ll love it!
Receiver thinks: OH SO YOU THINK I’M FAT DO YOU


Giver thinks: It’s the luxury expense everyone wants but not many actually shell out for. S/he’ll feel good about him/herself, have lots of energy, be less depressed, lose weight, get healthy, the benefits are limitless!
Receiver thinks: OH SO YOU THINK I’M FAT DO YOU


(see above)


Giver thinks: S/he can take some time out to pamper him/herself, relax, get his/her skin all glowy, s/he’ll love it!
Receiver thinks: I know I have bad skin, but now you’re practically shouting at me to get it fixed. Great.


(see Gym Membership)


Giver thinks: S/he’s been eyeing that book at the bookstore….and if s/he actually solves his/her problem using the book, I get partial credit! Win-win!
Receiver thinks: OHMIGAWD. I know I had problems, but now everyone else knows too? FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC


Giver thinks: She’ll look sexy, feel sexy, she’ll want to play, and I want to play…WIN WIN!
Receiver thinks: Sure it’s great and all, but…who is this really for? HMMM?


That’s right, share the worst gift you ever received (you don’t have to name any names…) and let’s all give each other some laughs and gasps at the horror stories!

For instance, I’ll share mine…one time for Christmas, my parents gave each of us just one gift since we all went to Norway for the holidays and the tickets alone cost…well, lots.

As sibling after sibling opened up awesome presents (fur snow boots, I want that!) (Nintendo DS? Cool!), it came to me to open my present.

It was a free cell phone.

I mean, literally $0, which I knew because T-Mobile was having a special on this very cheap Nokia phone where you get the phone free if you upgrade or add a line, yadda yadda yadda. I was nearly in tears but I sucked it up. Everyone else each got an awesome gift and I got a lousy free phone! (YES I am thankful for everything in life…just put yourself in mind of a dramatic teenager and let YOUR heart sink when you open that gift and YOU know it cost zero. dollars. and everyone else’s didn’t. Needless to say there was some sulking going on.)

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  1. 12.15.2010 / 4:33 pm

    I have that toothbrush and yes while it does amazing things to my teeth I wouldn't want to get it as a gift!

    • 12.15.2010 / 6:48 pm

      I have it too, lol! But I'd certainly be wondering what's up if I received it as a gift…

  2. Lynn Z.
    12.15.2010 / 5:13 pm

    I have a "Henry" – the world's best vacuum slash friend – and although I didn't receive him as a holiday gift, he was given to me as a gift from the world's best father ever for moving into my first apartment.
    But you are right on the nose with the gym membership!

    Happy Holidays, friend!


    • 12.15.2010 / 6:48 pm

      Haha I laughed at "slash friend"…I'm sure he's the best!! (And so is your World's Best Father)

  3. jacrabbit
    12.15.2010 / 5:24 pm

    My husband likes to pick out gadgets that I can't even identify and present them to me for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. I've started buying my own gifts since obviously those aren't for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 12.15.2010 / 6:49 pm

      Can he send them my way? #gadgetgirl

  4. 12.15.2010 / 5:39 pm

    after a string of less than exciting gifts, now my boyfriend just takes me shopping and let's me pick out what i want. win/win.

    • 12.15.2010 / 6:49 pm

      Excellent. This is why I have a year-long wishlist that my man can access anytime he wants. Mostly, he forgets.

  5. Jess Kay Designs
    12.15.2010 / 6:11 pm

    Well, one of my sister-in-laws is really clueless about how to be social with people/family – she lives alone in the Virgin Islands, secluded from family, and lives with a bunch of pets.
    So her idea of Christmas presents is to actually gift family members with presents for their pets… therefore, my husband and I received a cat bed one year… Thanks, I guess?

    On a side note… maybe do a gift guide for the guy who has everything and wants nothing? (and often has a habit of buying himself things without considering that Christmas is near). My husband is a tough one…

    • 12.15.2010 / 6:50 pm

      I've been thinking about doing a gift guide for men….now that you bring it up I might have to do one…I'll see if anyone else asks for one too!

  6. 12.15.2010 / 7:22 pm

    o gosh haha my friend's ex bf gave her #3 as a present … but apparently he had been hinting at her previously certain things she needed to change in her life …

    • 12.16.2010 / 6:18 am

      hence the word EX, right….! lol

  7. Jenny N
    12.15.2010 / 8:09 pm

    While my great grandma was still alive she would always go shopping with her caretaker and I ended up with many a shoulder padded sweater from the old lady section…I was in elementary school. After a few years of that my mom started taking her Christmas shopping so she could help pick out presents for my brother and I. (my brother received a Tonka truck for his 8th grade graduation from great grandma, we all had a good chuckle over that one.)

    • 12.16.2010 / 6:17 am

      Tonka truck in 8th grade!! OMG jenny I am laughing on that one!
      Who'd have thought that shoulder pads would eventually be back in style – guess your granny sure did!

      …Oh wait, it's just me that wears them? Oh, okay.

  8. 12.15.2010 / 8:31 pm

    My grandmother was the worst at gift giving. For my brother's 4th grade Christmas he got men's cologne and then for 9th grade Christmas she gave him a kids right handed baseball mit (he was left handed). Us girls (the cousins) all got matching feety pajamas at Jr high not the year we wanted to be thought of as babies. We all still laugh about the weird gifts we all got.

    • 12.16.2010 / 6:16 am

      I can hear it now, like it's on a sitcom – "Oh, Grandma!" *cue laughter*
      I feel ya on the pajamas in Jr High – we sisters consistently got underwear from our overseas cousins & aunts & uncles every christmas until we were in high school. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It's the thought that counts, I guess! I just sometimes wonder what exactly that thought was that was crossing their mind at that exact moment they decided to purchase said item for gifting.

  9. Anonymous
    12.15.2010 / 9:47 pm

    Ok, call me crazy, I TOTALLY asked for a SonicCare toothbrush…LOL. What can I say? I like clean teeth! Can't think of a horrific gift, but I can think of plenty of times I swore I was going to get something, coming up with elaborate story plots of how my parents were going to surprise me (When is it coming? At the friend's house? Will they put it on my pillow at night before i go to sleep for dramatic effect?) Yeah…never got that freaking Elsa Peretti Tiffany bean necklace when I was 17…. sad face. lol.

    • 12.16.2010 / 6:14 am

      I won't call you crazy until I first tell you that one year, when I was younger, I asked for a laminator.
      You know, like those machines teachers laminate paper with? Yeah. I got one. Best. Present. Ever. I'm easily amused, apparently.

  10. 12.15.2010 / 11:56 pm

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  11. 12.16.2010 / 2:13 am

    Aw, man! The free phone sounds so sad! My worst gift given was from my loving grandma… a hideous sweater cardigan thing that still hangs in my closet. Never worn, since I'm not much into the 50-year-old-librarian look as much as. Being (at the time) 19 and a college student. And now 21 and not a librarian.

  12. 12.16.2010 / 6:06 am

    I would totally take a gym membership. Sure, I'd probably be offended at first, but hello a membership is expensive and something I always want but feel guilty purchasing. Any type of cleaning appliance would irritate me though. Reminds me of the scene in "Father of the Bride" when the fiancee buys her a blender and she freaks out.

    • 12.16.2010 / 6:13 am

      That's a good point Rach – I guess it is all about mindset. If it's something you've been openly wanting for a long time but cannot buy yourself, it may just be the perfect gift to give you!

  13. 12.16.2010 / 7:55 am

    I agree with #5 that there’s no such thing as a bad gift. When ever I receive a gift I really do not want, I give the gift to someone else at a later date.

  14. Foo
    12.16.2010 / 1:12 pm


  15. Lain
    12.16.2010 / 6:22 pm

    OMG. I have so many. My in-laws are horrible. I’ve been married 10 years this year. 1. The second year I was married, my MIL gave me a baby blanket and announced she planned for me to put something in it (I had mis-carried 3 times in my life and was scheduled for a total hysterectomy in 3 months). 2. My BIL re-gifted me a book I had given him for his birthday in October. 3. MIL gave me a used Harry Potter lunch box because I had read the books while recovering from hysterectomy. She said since I read the books, I must like all things Potter (I was in my 30s). 4. When we were dating, he gave me a henna tattoo kit because I have a real tattoo. 5. My SIL (still husband’s family) gave me clearly re-gifted body products (mis-matched brands, sample sizes) for years before my husband told her I was highly allergic to scented body products. 6. BIL gave me a woods survival guide book one year. (I live in downtown Houston and am not outdoorsy.) Despite all this, my husband truly is the most amazing man and I would not trade him for the world. I usually win worst gift contests, so all is not lost.

  16. 12.17.2010 / 10:02 pm

    I had a similar free gift episode … my good friend/roommate gave me a belt which was a free gift when you purchased a pair of pants from Express that year (I of course got her something that cost actual $$). What really annoyed me though, is that we were shopping together and so she knew, I knew it was the free belt … really!? ๐Ÿ˜›

  17. 12.18.2010 / 5:58 pm

    Hey wendy i was fixing to give a gym membership to Nicole and now i'm kinda thinking.. . . Should i not ?!! Want some advise … Or .. maybe i will change to something else. useful Guide you have here.John. http://www.pradman.com

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