It’s the thought that counts. So why not try putting a little thought into it? These are the words I have to constantly hold myself back from saying when I hear some people talking about the Christmas gifts they bought for family members and friends. Why? Some of theses “gifts” are so thoughtless, they verge on being inconsiderate, or even insulting.
I know it’s none of my business what other people buy for their loved ones. I know they probably won’t change their minds about whether it’s an appropriate present for their nearest and dearest. And I know that they probably won’t go out of their way to buy a whole new gift — especially if they already spent the money. But I’ve seen so many winces and sensed so many bitten tongues over the years that I feel the need to speak up for the recipients of these so-called presents, if no one else will.
I’ll tell you why. Christmas is supposed to be a time spent with the people you adore the most to show them just how much you care. Exchanging Christmas gifts is supposed to be a joyous occasion and just one beautiful example of just how much you love your relatives and close friends. If you regularly exchange gifts with these folks and if you’re financially stable enough to provide them with a present, don’t you owe it to them to give them a nice one?
Now, by a “nice” gift, I don’t necessarily mean something that is super expensive. It doesn’t even have to be large in size. But it should speak to the recipient and represent their personality in some way. It should be something that they not only can use but are actually excited to use. And corny as it is, most importantly, it should come from the heart.
So maybe don’t buy your loved one…
We all know that a candle really says, “I didn’t know what else to get you.” Also, no matter how pretty the candle is or how good it smells, it’s eventually going to melt away, leaving nothing but a dark, charred remain that is going straight in the trash. Is that really the message that you want to send to your loved one?
2. Body Lotion
It’s hard to realize how insulting this one is, especially when body lotions today come in all the pretty colors inside of those adorably shaped little bottles. But you must realize that by gifting them to people, all you’re doing is telling them that they must like to smell nice. Or worse, that they don’t smell nice and need a helping hand for that.
3. Coffee Mug
Don’t get us wrong, we’re totally pro-coffee around here, and thus, pro-cute-coffee-mugs. But a coffee mug is something you can buy a coffee-loving family member or friend any time of year. What’s so special about buying it for this day specifically? Plus, if they really, really love coffee, they definitely have enough coffee mugs. Trust us, we know.
4. Household Goods
Whether the woman (or man) in question is a homemaker or not, getting a person a gift of an iron or a casserole dish is never really fun. Sure, there’s something to be said about practicality, and you want them to be able to use the gift you get them. But don’t you want them to, you know, want to use the gift, not just because they have to?
5. Clothing, When You Guess a Size
If you must buy clothing for a loved one this year, you better be darn sure of what size they are in the particular brand that you’re buying for them. If the size is too small, the person may feel insulted. And if the size is too big, the person will definitely feel insulted.
6. Any Machine That Cleans
Lots of people enjoy having a clean house. Almost no one enjoys actually cleaning it. Think about it. Would you be excited to receive something that you’d eventually have to use for chores? “Oh, thank you so much for this beautiful vacuum! It’s exactly what I wanted this Christmas!” said no one, ever.
I don’t care how much weight the person wants to lose (or gain); a present like this will remind them of one of their deepest insecurities on what should be one of the happiest days of the year. And yes, this really happens in real life, not just in your worst nightmares. I know one woman who was “gifted” a scale by her own husband. I give her props for managing to not throw it outside into the snow.
Disclaimer: Disregard everything I just said if — and only if — the loved one in question specifically asks for one of these gifts. Then, buy away.