Never gift these ten things to anybody

We give gifts and presents as a way of confirming our positive emotions for somebody in our life and connecting with that person. It says “I love you” or “we have a relationship I appreciate” or “I appreciate you being in my life” so the item we give as a gift should reflect that feeling and generate a positive feeling for the person receiving the gift too. It’s a mutually positive gesture.

Having said that I know it’s hard to find presents and gifts especially if your budget is small and you don’t have much time to find the gifts too, which can lead to some dubious gift choices out of pure desperation. There is so much to choose from, and so many people and reasons to give a gift it can be a hugely stressful task.

I’ve made a few mistakes in the past, some of them from this list but I’ve learned from my errors and hopefully now I’m better at finding the right gift for each person.

I strive to help my customers make good gift choices too, so lets start by excluding all those items that should never be gifted so we can concentrate on finding the perfect gifts instead.

This blog covers ten items that you should never give as a present to anyone.

The top ten items to never gift

Pets: We all know the phrase “A pet is life not just for Christmas” and this rings true for all other occasions like birthdays and anniversaries too. Pets are a big responsibility, and as life can take many twists and turns so although it may seem like a great idea at the time, in the future a gifted pet might put a strain on the giftee.

Re-gifting unwanted presents: Is it OK to re-gift an present? Well if you feel uncomfortable doing it then no, it’s not OK. Especially anything that has been handmade for you specifically. Passing off your unwanted gifts to others is not generally accepted as good etiquette. If you have unwanted gifts at home then donate them instead of re-gifting.

Products from adult” shops: This can cause embarrassment for the recipient so these types of gifts are best avoided. If the person in question wants this type of product they are likely to buy it for themselves.

Used or hand-me-down items: While there are some positive points to this kind of gifting; it saves money, it’s good for environment and it could be a truly unique item such as an antique, or piece of art but gifting second hand items is on par with re-gifting and is not considered good etiquette. How would you feel about receiving a used item as gift? Unless you are sure the recipient will feel good about receiving a second hand item don’t do it.

Anti-aging products: These products are bountiful around Christmas time and Mother’s/Father’s Day (see my blogs about the worst gifts for Mother’s day and worst gifts for men) but can upset and offend the giftee. If the person in question wants this kind of product they will generally buy it for themselves.

Underwear and socks: Most people have very specific preferences about these items and will buy them for themselves as and when they need them. Also giving socks for Christmas is such a cliché, it can be regarded as having had no thought behind the gift at all.

Cleaning products: For the car, home or office. Recipients of these gifts could possibly feel very insulted, even if they do love a spring clean.

Gym memberships: If the recipient has specifically asked for this then it’s acceptable but as an unsolicited gift it can cause offence, and would probably go unused as many gym memberships often do.

Plants: I don’t mind be gifted plants as I love them but my friends and family understand I am notoriously bad at caring for them, so they gift me easy to care for plants. Unless you are absolutely sure a plant is the perfect solution do not buy these as gifts.

Novelty items: Often these gifts appear as stocking fillers or Secret Santa gifts but they have a short life span and end up in the shed/garage waiting to eventually be thrown away, so don’t waste your money when you could find something more appropriate.

Now you know what items not to give as gifts you can focus on finding the perfect present.

You can now plan your gift buying strategy and find gifts that are truly going to invoke a feeling of being loved and appreciated in the person receiving the gift, just as it should. Here are some quick tips to help you on your way, but you can find more in-depth guidance in my guide: how to be a fairy giftmother.

Think about the person you are giving to, this should be topmost in your mind:

  • What is their favourite colour/animal/place/hobby or sport?
  • Are they artistic, sporty or homely?
  • Do they have a specific style?
  • What gifts have they been excited about in the past?
  • Is there an activity they want to take up in the future? Or something they want to learn about?
  • What are their passions, hopes, dreams and aspirations?

All these things are clues to help you find the right gift and if you keep a note of these things either mentally or maybe in a notebook you can keep with you, then you’ll be well on your way to gift giving success.

Now it’s over to you?

What items would you add to this list of things you should never give as a gift? Have you been given a bad gift in the past? Have you been guilty of giving one of the things you should never gift and want to confess? Join in the conversation in the comments below.

à bientôt