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In-Laws Give the Worst Gifts, Says Study — But We Aren't Buying It

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In-laws might do a lot of things differently than we’d like, but when it comes to giving gifts, we think they’re spot on. However, a new study conducted by Vistaprint UK claims that in-laws are the worst gift-givers, following close behind co-workers, aunts, and (surprise) sisters.

Vistaprint UK reportedly surveyed 2,000 adults only to find and found that mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law both have a knack for giving terrible gifts. But, what exactly is a “bad” gift? According to the survey, participants have received everything from mug sets (what’s wrong with mug sets?) to knitwear to corny romance novels.

“The survey found Brits had received gifts which included a broken toilet brush, an already opened pack of peanuts and an out of date cereal bar," said Oliver Harcourt, the head of Vistaprint UK, in a statement. “But despite receiving some less than desirable presents, overwhelmingly people felt it was the thought that counted.”

See what others had to say about their "bad" gifts in the video below.

The top 10 worst Christmas gifts according to Vistaprint:

1. Ugly clothes

2. Toiletry kits

3. Bath salts/bubble bath

4. Socks

5. Slogan t-shirts

6. Movies you’ve already seen

7. Candles

8. Handkerchiefs

9. A scarf

10. Soap on a string (whatever that means)

An outdated cereal bar does sound pretty bad, but on the plus side, many participants said they appreciated personal gifts far more than material gifts. Eight in 10 adults said that it was the thought that counts when present-giving, and one in six survey volunteers said that they would rather keep the gift than admit they didn’t like it.

“But despite receiving some less than desirable presents, overwhelmingly people felt it was the thought that counted,” Harcourt continued.

So, how do you pick the right gifts?

Personally, I think the idea that in-laws don't know what they're doing when it comes to picking out gifts is just plain false. When it comes to my own in-laws, I've yet to receive a gift I didn't like (really!). With that being said, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're not falling into the "bad" gift-giving in-law category. Take my mother in-law, for example. She knows I live in New York, where it's really cold in certain months, so last year she gifted me with a really cute pair of Michael Kors ear muffs and a scarf that I wear just about every day. She thought about the environment that I live in and made a gift out of it, and it was perfect.

Before you go Christmas shopping, think about what your son or daughter-in-law might need — or just ask. Gifting something they need is almost always a good bet. Ultimately, though, it's the thought that matters. That, and being able to spend quality time with the family.

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