Unless you are 100% sure who gave you that old box of chocolates, aftershave or bottle of liqueur, it is not worth the risk. This has to be one of the most awkward faux pas in the world of Christmas presents. Not only does it say ‘I didn’t like your present’ but also reveals a lack of effort for getting them something. Also check for tell-tale sell-by-dates on the back. You don’t want to poison them either!
It has to be said. Everyone wears socks and everyone needs socks. Everyone loves a pair of soft, thick socks in the winter, but it does show a huge lack of imagination. Plus, being such as common gift, you may just be adding to a pile in front of some despairing man. Think outside the box, or outside the planet even, with a personalized star map. Maybe give the reindeer socks a break for one year?
The idea behind vouchers is a nice one, ‘I wasn’t sure what to get you so I thought you could choose and get it right’. Really what it says though is ‘I wanted to limit your spending to one particular shop’. Not only that, it’s easy to get the shop wrong. Perhaps they read everything on a Kindle and book vouchers are useless or they just don’t like the style of clothes from your local clothes shop. Plus, some shops are just plain difficult for some people get to. Own your lack of imagination and just give them cash!
4. Age appropriate
Buying something for a child? Time really can fly and it’s easy to view ‘little Barnaby’ as six years old when he’s ten. Every kid wants to feel big and getting something which is too young for them will go down very badly indeed. Equally, something too old for them will just be “boring”. Children’s interests vary so much from year to year, you need to know their age!
It’s nearly impossible to know for sure what clothes someone will like, no matter how well you know them. Taste changes so much and you might end up putting the person in the awkward situation of feeling like they have to wear it in front of you. Even harder to get right is the size. If you get something a little too big or too small, you could cause offence. Too risky!
6. Exercise Equipment
Unless you are buying a present for a weightlifter or athlete, stay away from all things exercise related. No weights, running watches or even a yoga mat. If someone is not already doing the related exercise, it will not be a subtle hint. Big no-no!
This one isn’t okay just because it could make someone feel uncomfortable. This is not okay because it is just not okay! Taking on a pet is a huge responsibility and to take a risk, hoping the person will love and look after an animal is taking a risk with the animal’s welfare. Not cool.
8. CDs or DVDs
Perhaps you haven’t got the memo yet: no one uses CDs or DVDs anymore. Most new laptops don’t even have CD drives anymore. I won’t say much more because you are unlikely to be on a webpage if you don’t already know this!
Okay “souvenirs” is a very broad range of gifts but I’m talking about the ones which say ‘I’ve thought of you’ but do little else. A classic would be a fridge magnet or a keyring from wherever you’ve just been on holiday. Save your money and the planet. No one needs a snow globe from Vermont! Sometimes souvenirs from a foreign country can be exactly that: painful reminders that you have been somewhere nice and they haven’t.
10. Bathroom Scales
The worst of the worst. Unless you want to ruin someone’s Christmas, never ever buy bathroom scales for someone. Kitchen scales, okay. Human body weighing scales (and at a time when everyone is stuffing themselves full of turkey and chocolate!) absolutely off-limits. If you have already wrapped and sent one, tell them you thought it was a frisbee. Anything but bathroom scales!
What to get instead
Before the obvious plug, we want to mention a few other things. For example, giving experiences you can enjoy together with the giftee is almost guaranteed success. Think theatre ticket, weekend ski trip or a themed dinner. A carefully chosen book is always well-appreciated. If you want something special, design a custom-made star map of the sky above you and the giftee in a special moment you shared. Read our reviews to decide if it's a great gift or not: https://www.underluckystars.com/reviews
When ready, design your star map here.