OPINION | Gift giving – what not to do

There are still a few days until Christmas, and many of us are still completing (or, ahem, starting) our gift shopping. 

While I can’t help you with the perfect present for everyone in your life, I can give you my thoughts on what NOT to buy.

And as this is the season of lists...herewith, my top 10 Christmas present no-nos.

  1. Don’t buy someone a gift that you secretly want for yourself - they will see straight through you. If a husband gives a wife a Fox Sports subscription, doesn’t it look suspicious? (Asking for a friend.)
  2. Don’t give exercise equipment. You might as well just write, “Merry Christmas, Fatty” on their card.
  3. Don’t give lingerie to anyone else except your significant other. That’s just weird.
  4. Joke presents are only really okay for the office Secret Santa. The nose hair plucker you give your Dad for a laugh is just a waste of money. Consider socks instead - at least they’ll get used.
  5. Check the back of your friends’ fridges for the cauliflower pickles you gave them last year. Only give them the same again if they don’t have a collection of jars up the back with untouched yellow-ish contents.
  6. Teachers have enough mugs.
  7. Those charity donation cards are great, but only if it’s one the recipient supports. No one wants to know their Christmas gift went to a group that supports rights for feral cats if they’re an avid greenie.
  8. Cash is okay for kids but crass for adults.
  9. Don’t give clothes to anyone over 16. They won’t fit, and they won’t be quite their taste. Grown-ups can buy their own.
  10. Don’t buy crappy gadgets off the internet for your nieces and nephews. They will be far less impressive in real life and break the first time they use them. Don’t ask me how I know this.

In the end, a nice card, a homemade cake or a bunch of flowers will be better than store-bought in many situations. (But I wouldn’t try it on a kid.)

Regardless of how well your presents are received, remember that it’s the thought that counts. Unless you thought wrong. 

Have a very happy Christmas.