Unthoughtful Gifts for Christmas

It’s real simple, when you’re so close to someone that you decide to buy them a Christmas present, don’t half-ass it. This is a little list of what you shouldn’t get people if you actually give a hoot about them. By all means, if you hate them, use this as a shopping guide, or just buy whatever cheap crap Kmart has on its first display shelves.


And they're always the daggy, long, white type.

And they’re always the daggy, long, white type.

How cute, little Johnny got his dad some snuggly socks for his cold Christmas feet, dad must be so touched by his generous offering. No Johnny, he’s not. Your dad hates you, and I hate you. Every time he puts on those socks he’s going to think of what an awful child you are. Anything, absolutely anything would be better than socks. What’s that Johnny? You drew a cute picture of yourself and dad? Good, frame that shit and give it to daddy, and next time you think of buying socks make sure that they’re for your feet only.

Exception: Buying this gift as a joke for a friend with no feet.


Wow! With all this soap I won't be so smelly anymore!

Wow! With all this soap I won’t be so smelly anymore!

It doesn’t matter what shape it comes in: bird, fish, tiny love hearts – it’s all shit. Keep in mind that people are typically very good with their hygiene, and they will use their own preferred brands rather than the two dollar, coffee-scented, cat-shaped soap you thought really reflected this person’s interests. Guess what – Personal hygiene is everyones interest, or at least it should be.

Exception: Buying this gift for a smelly, inanimate object.


Mmm.. Smells like Coles brand.

Mmm.. Smells like Coles brand.

Now this one is a bit tricky because a genuinely good candle will be used and will last long, and picking a scent that is personalised to your loved one is a nice touch. A general rule would be, if you’re getting someone candles (which is a pretty lazy present, but I’ll forgive you), get it from a boutique candle store. Make sure it’s a good brand, because much like soap, if you get it from any dollars and cents store in one of those value bundle gift packs, this person will regift it and give it back to you next year, you heartless monster.

Exception: Buying this present for a person with a phobia of running out of candles.

Self-help Books

Thanks, but I like my reasonably terrible life the way it is.

Thanks, but I like my reasonably terrible life the way it is.

It seems dumb, but I really do have to spell this one out: If you get this for someone their going to think that you assume they need some sort of help in their tragic life. This gift isn’t so much unthoughtful but just downright rude. Maybe if someone has expressed an interest in starting a hobby or learning more about x, then you can get them a book about x. When it’s something like Understanding Men, or Microwave Dinners for One, then it’s very unlikely you’ll be getting a present back.

Exception: If this gift is for yourself and it’s titled: How to not be a dick on Christmas.

Beauty Bundles

Such beauty... so cheap.

Such beauty… so cheap.

Geez, if you’re getting into this territory you’ve just given up. We all know that these packages of makeup or nail polish are the first things we come into contact with while Christmas shopping. They’re obviously cheap, impersonal and surprisingly rubbish – The nail polish comes off within an hour and the makeup is the consistency of chalk. Shame on you if you’ve ever purchased this for a loved-one you genuinely love.

Exception: Buying this gift for any child under the age of eight with a strong passion for budget beauty.

Anything Christmas-themed

No no no!

No no no!

Christmas is for one day – one day out of three hundred and sixty five. This gift will be useful for maybe the week surrounding Christmas, but after that it will be considered pointless. It’s especially bad if you get it on Christmas day or later, because it’s something you won’t get to/have to use until another year has gone by, and by that time you would have thrown it out anyway. For the love of Santa, don’t get anyone a Santa.

Exception: If you’re an elf who gets paid in Christmas ornaments.

Perfume / Aftershave

*Heavy coughing and spluttering*

*Heavy coughing and spluttering*

It doesn’t matter if you get the cheap shit from the chemist or the classy celebrity-labelled brands from David Jones – in the end it’s just cliché smelly stuff, and I don’t even know how that became a go-to gift. A perfume or aftershave is so personal, and people are very picky when it comes to their scent. You will either receive the brand you’ve always worn, which just means this person has been in your bathroom (not that they know you well), or you’ll get one that has about an eighty percent chance of making you ill. It seems nice, maybe because it’s a top-notch brand and this person has spent a butt-load of money on it, but the amount of dollars spent doesn’t make it a good and thoughtful present.

Exception: Buying this gift for someone who only has the sense of smell.

I’m not going to say this is the absolute definitive list, Even on top of the exceptions I’ve thought of there are many more. I just think more people should know that it’s really evident when no thought has been put into a present, and it causes awkward and unpleasant feelings in a relationship. It’s not always the case, but its possible that if you get someone an amazing and thoughtful present they will return the favour.

by Josefina Huq

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