Giving gifts to friends and loved ones over the holidays feels good. Yet the process of actually shopping for holiday gifts can be rather stressful.
Rushing around crowded, overheated department stores in your winter coat in order to find decent gifts for friends and relatives isn’t much fun. Because shopping for Christmas gifts can be a pain, some people tend to buy gifts for loved ones without putting enough thought into the purchases they make. However, once you know what pitfalls to avoid, buying Christmas gifts for loved ones isn’t quite so taxing.
1. Insulting Gifts
Have you ever bought a weight loss book for a rotund aunt, or a teeth bleaching kit for an uncle who smokes tobacco? You may think that such gifts are helpful, but they aren’t. Your plump aunt knows her bottom is bigger than average, and your smoking uncle knows that his teeth are discolored.
Most people are all too aware of their flaws. If you give someone a gift that is intended to improve their appearance or character in some way, you are letting them know that you are aware of their flaws too. When a person opens up such a gift, it feels similar to a punch to the gut.
If you decide to buy someone clothes for Christmas, then you are taking a big risk. When you buy clothes for someone else, it is very easy to purchase the wrong size, style or color. Nobody likes to receive the gift of clothing that doesn’t fit.
If the clothing is too small, the recipient will feel fat. If the clothing is too large, the recipient will assume you think they are overweight. If the clothing doesn’t suit the recipient because of the style or color, they will either exchange it for something that flatters them or let it gather dust at the back of the closet.
Some men make the mistake of buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends. This may seem like a good idea if you want to heat things up in the bedroom, but it can easily go horribly wrong.
First of all, lingerie falls under the category of clothing. Hence it’s easy to choose the wrong size, style or color. Furthermore, receiving a lingerie gift can cause a woman to ask herself certain questions.
For instance, your partner might wonder why you chose such a gift, and believe that you are bored with your sex life together. She may also suspect that you bought the gift to gratify yourself rather than delight her.
4. Ridiculous Gadgets
Choosing a gift for a man who already seems to have everything he needs can be difficult. When choosing a gift for such a man, many people play it safe by choosing some kind of electronic device or gadget.
Many men are fond of gadgets that reflect their personal hobbies and interests. A music lover, for example, would probably appreciate receiving of a pair or cordless headphones.
However, you should be careful not to purchase anything too weird when choosing a gadget gift. Nobody really needs an egg boiler, a beer drinking helmet, or a flash drive that looks like a dog.
5. Dangerous Toys
If you are looking to buy a gift for your son, you might imagine he’d be thrilled by a gift such as a dirt bike or BB gun. There’s no doubt that a certain kind of boy would be thrilled to receive that type of gift.
Nevertheless, dangerous toys can lead to law suits. Don’t buy your kids BB guns, catapults or other potentially hazardous gifts unless you want your neighbor to sue you because your son shot his Labrador retriever in the bottom.
6. Gifts You Want
Most people have a wish list of gifts they really want to receive. Sometimes, people end up buying one of the things they want most for a friend or relative.
For instance, you might really want a certain pair video game and end up buying it for a friend who owns the same console even though you know he doesn’t really like that particular genre. Always remember that buying gifts is about fulfilling other people’s desires, not projecting your own.
7. Household Items
Household items are definitely useful and practical, but they don’t make the best gifts. Household gifts can seem very impersonal to the recipient because they help beautify a home, but do nothing for the individual.
You should be especially wary of buying household item gifts if you are a man who needs a present for his romantic partner. There is no gift less romantic than a vacuum cleaner.
8. Gag Gifts
You may think gag gifts are humorous, but really they are just tacky and tasteless. Whoopee cushions, for example, are only ever funny for the first few fart noises. After that, they tend to become annoying. What’s more, gag gifts have no practical use.
If you are very lucky, the joke gift you give will amuse the recipient for a minute or two. After that, it will be forgotten in the back of a drawer somewhere. The truth is that joke gifts are nothing but a waste of money.
9. Thoughtless Gifts
When you are hunting for gifts, be very careful that you don’t accidentally buy someone something the recipient cannot use. For example, it is a bad idea to buy a puppy for someone who is allergic to pet fur, just as it’s foolish to buy chocolates for a diabetic or a bottle of wine for a recovering alcoholic. If you can avoid making such mistakes, you won’t look thoughtless and inconsiderate.
10. The Same Gift as Last Year
If you have a relative who gives you the exact same gift every year, then you know how tiresome it can be. Dads get tired of receiving socks and underpants.
Sisters grow weary of getting bubble baths, perfumes and body lotions. Little brothers get sick of video games. Instead of buying people the same old gifts every year, try to use your imagination and get them something different.
Nothing feels better than receiving a nice gift that you never imagined you’d get.