10 Gifts Everybody Gets, But Nobody Wants

We all love getting gifts, but sometimes, we tear open that lovely wrapping and have to perform an acting job worthy of an Academy Award. From bad clothing to tacky knick knacks, here are 10 gifts we all know we're going to get… and can't wait to get rid of.

1. Holiday Shirts, Ties, and Sweaters

Nothing says "Wow, this is useless" more than a holiday-themed piece of clothing. You'll wear it once, stick it in your closet, and donate it to Goodwill a few months later. Unless the sweater is so obscenely awful that you can use it every year at your annual Ugly Sweater Party, it's not getting worn.

2. Scented Candles

Some people like scented candles. After all, there are millions of these things sold every year. However, a lot of them are sold to people who plan on giving them to you as a gift. And, 99% of the time, it's a smell you don't want anywhere near your house. Scents like Christmas Tree, Patchouli, Salt Water Taffy, and Marshmallow Chicks are all on the "This sucker is so getting regifted" list.

3. Bathroom Gift Baskets

Well, it's all there — the body wash, bubble bath, lotion, soap, shampoo, and eye mask, all wrapped up in a basket and sealed in plastic. It's just a tough gift to get right. Men and women are both particular about the smells and products that they put on their bodies. If you get someone one of these, you are almost certainly going to miss the mark. It will stay sealed, and given away at a later date… probably at one of those white elephant gift exchanges.

4. Fancy Hot Chocolate Sets

These do the rounds every single year. It's cold out, and people like drinking hot chocolate. So, how about a fancy mug, some candy canes, and a couple of sachets of high-end hot chocolate to show them you care? How about no. It's a bunch of little items wrapped up and overpriced by a considerable amount. The mug will be used once or twice. The chocolate, although tasty, is something almost everyone has in their pantry at this time of year anyway.

5. Books

This is not to say people don't love reading books. But unless the book is on your Amazon wish list, or you dropped a few hints, chances are it's a book someone else loved and wants you to join the conversation about. And chances are, it will collect dust on a shelf.

6. Gift Cards

Here's the problem with gift cards; You are basically being forced to spend your money at a certain store. You'd probably rather have cash! If the card is for Amazon or eBay, no problem — you've got options. But if it's for a niche store you never visit, you may have to get creative. Maybe do a gift card swap with someone at work.

7. Robes, PJs, and Slippers

I've had my fair share of robes, pajamas, and slippers over the years. I actually did get one robe that was really cool — it's a Jedi robe, and it has been the only exception to the rule. Most robes, PJs, and slippers that you receive are the wrong material, the wrong size, they're gaudy, or just something you never wear. They're tough to regift, too. You can either take them back and ask for store credit, or donate them.

8. Cheap Chocolates and Candies

I have a love of good chocolate. But most of the time, the chocolates and candies on sale during the holidays are cheap and of poor quality. They're wrapped up to look like trees, or come in big boxes. These sweet treats are high in sugar, corn syrup, and a ton of preservatives and flavorings. Of course, they will get eaten, often by being passed around to anyone who pops in for a visit — however, these are not the kind of treats you savor.

9. Picture Frames

There are two types of picture frame gifts. There are those containing photos that mean something special to you, and those that don't. The former are great. The latter…it's a frame. Frames are usually chosen to compliment the photo or image, not the other way around. At some point you may find something that works with the frame, but until then, it's staying in a dusty corner of the basement.

10. Gag Gifts

Every year, without fail, we all get some kind of gag gift. Once, I received a basketball hoop set that you put on the bathroom door, so you can shoot while you poop. Oh, the hilarity. You probably have gag gifts at home that are still in the boxes, or that are destined to be regifted or donated at some point. Even worse are the gag gifts that are themed for the holidays, like edible candy cane flavored underwear. Funny. Not.

Now, what have we left off the list? What awful presents or gifts have you received over the years, and how did you react when you received them?

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Guest's picture

I disagree with many of these. I always welcome useful gifts such as slippers and socks, and consumables such as hot chocolate and candles.

Guest's picture

I went for a special gift and found this painting that lights in the dark.

Its somekind of doual-view painting. I can see it during the day, but when is dark
inside the room, the painting is still visible.
Is this some kind of alien technology/ or is just some special
wall art?
However, i decided to get it as a gift, but to buy some for myself too
I believe that in matter of gifts, this would be the
greatest. Do you feel the same?

Guest's picture

I cannot tell you how much I agree with this post!!

I especially want to call out candles and bath sets. I am scent sensitive and fake scented things give me an instant headache. I always feel bad as I hustle those gifts into my trunk and drop them off at a thrift store on my way home from the party.