Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Gifts that are Over-Rated

Christmas shopping is something that doesn't come naturally to me. I am a great shopper for certain people. If I notice a need, it really makes my life a lot easier. And sometimes, if I'm really lucky, inspiration will hit me in the face. I feel like my best inspirations always hit when I am in no position to do anything about it. Like when I have my hands full of groceries and a baby and no pens are anywhere and as soon as I unload, said ideas have fluttered away like hummingbirds and butterflies.. they're always so very close but nearly impossible to touch.

So I end up turning to magazines and online articles for inspiration when I actually have the time to sit down and dedicate myself to finding gifts for people. This year, we decided on white elephant gifts for the adults and then gifts for the kids. I am not made of money so most people aren't getting gifts from me this year that are worth much. But it is the thought that counts, right?

Meanwhile... during my hunt.. I found a lot of stupid things that are suggested as gifts, and I think it's time for me to make a list of things that I find over-rated or stupid ideas for gifting. I also am biased by my own wants and needs, so some of you may think I'm crazy for not liking these things but it's my list of over-rated.. so feel free to hate it and make your own.

Caitlin's Top 8 Over-Rated Gifts:

1. Nail Polish. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unappreciative of the times I have been gifted this item. It's always the thought that counts.. but...
I bite my nails (I'm getting better but it still happens sometimes) so this is an obviously bad choice for someone like me. I know, you're saying "but what about your toe nails? Don't they deserve to look beautiful and polished?" My answer to you is.. no. I am terrible at painting nails, I hate when they start chipping and look REALLY un-kept... I think nail polish is stupid and a waste of time. I have never really liked it and the only time I find it acceptable is if I get a pedicure professionally done and even then, I can use the polish they have in stock. It smells bad. It's messy. I just hate it in general. I think anyone that really knows me well should know just by the fact that I bite my nails and never wear polish that it's not an ideal gift for me. And I think that it's a bad idea for me to gift to others since I have no idea how they feel about polish or what colors they want.

2. Any sort of clothing. Unless its someone you know well... and even then, maybe just gift them a card to their favorite store.

But it's so sexy!
NO! I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten clothing from people and HATED it. And I always feel guilty about returning it and often end up just wearing it in front of that person so they don't feel bad. The only person who has bought me clothing and not disappointed me was my mother-in-law and she just happens to be one of those people with amazing taste and the ability to buy things that fit you perfectly. Clothing is also a very dangerous, land-mine style gift. You might offend the receptor of the gift by purchasing something that is either too big or too small, you might offend them by getting something they find ugly and then they think you think they like ugly things. It's a bad idea. Just get a gift card, trust me on this. Unless you are my mother-in-law.. then just keep the clothes coming...

3. Stupid Knick-knacky Crap.

We take all the space in your home and leave you with clutter! muahahaha!
Ok, here is when it's ok to give a knick knack. You know this person really really well and you know they collect snow globes and they love them and want as many as possible. Or... someone who is a collector of certain things (I have an aunt who collects Italian guy stuff for her kitchen and hummels). My sister's nickname growing up was "moo." You can imagine the amount of cow stuff she got growing up and still gets. I'm not sure if she loves it or hates it... all I know is, I have gotten gifts before where I'm like "what do I do with this?" "where can I put it?" and ultimately, my husband vetoes it's existence and it goes to Goodwill so we don't have any more clutter. My advice on this is to only get these for people if you KNOW they want it... or you know it will add to an already amazing collection. Or if you have no money and it's really cheap. :)

4. Kitchen Appliances That No One Uses.

Yes, cotton candy machine.. I'm talking to you
Cotton candy machines, ice cream makers, fondue fountains, the list goes on. I have moved a lot. I have had a lot of these things. I never used them (OK I used the ice cream maker once and it was delicious but I'm intolerant to milk so you can imagine my pain later that day). If someone wants to make their own cotton candy, let them buy their own machine. It's a huge waste of space and something people just don't usually get around to. The only exception is if you have some sort of whimsical chef friend or family member who really likes to use weird kitchen appliances, and again, they probably already have one if that's the case.

5. Socks and Underwear

because it's fun having your parents choose your underwear and know what it looks like
My parents were bad about this.. and I'm pretty sure my brother is following in their footsteps. I'm sorry but no one is excited about getting underwear for Christmas unless it's lingerie and even then it's usually only the men who are excited about GIVING that to their wives.. and that's an OK gift. What is NOT OK is for anyone else to pick my underwear out and gift it to me. I will choose my own underwear, and I don't want anyone else knowing what it looks like or what size I wear unless it's my husband. Gifting underwear to children as a hilarious joke is fine, but please do not make it one of their actual presents taken out of the Christmas budget.. that's just rude. Underwear is a basic necessity. It should be given freely, not as a scapegoat gift because you're too cheap to buy them underwear any other time of the year. Socks.. unless it's like fitness socks or specialty socks, the same rules apply.

6. Weight Loss Products

You might as well write a note that says "you're fat"
I don't care if the person has been complaining for 10 years about losing weight and you think this will help. Don't do it. Let that person do it. Unless the receptor of said gift has specifically said "I want this weight loss product" it's a bad idea. Even Personal Training sessions (this has happened before) are a bad idea for someone who isn't ready. I cannot train the unwilling. Just like you cannot force someone to eat broccoli or go for a swim, you cannot force them to personal train. It is also HIGHLY offensive to someone who is already really self-conscious about their weight. At Christmas, gifts should uplift, not hurt self-esteem. Please don't make this mistake.

7. Home Decor (not specified in their list)

I don't think we have enough plaid in here
You might like plaid.. or purple. But I don't. Please don't give me home decor items that I have not asked for. If it's ugly, I'll feel bad if I don't put it up when you come visit me... but it will go right back in its hidey hole as soon as you leave. I imagine that is the case with other people as well. Just stick to their list if they have something they want. I have had family members suggest I buy them certain things.. like comforters, or sheets. Even those make me nervous. I don't know what you like. My taste is different than yours. So I just can't imagine trying to make those decisions for you. Trust me, I almost made the mistake of asking for a comforter this year.. then I realized it's probably something I should buy myself.

8. Bath Salts

We make your bath smell good.. and zombies
Bath products are a total cop-out in my opinion. It's what you get when you have NO idea what to get someone, and (from personal experience) almost never get used. Who has time to relax in a bath? And who remembers the bath salts when they do? Bath balls, lotion, good smelling stuff.. it's all fine and good, when you get it for yourself. But you might love the smell of vanilla, and your best friend might feel like throwing up when she smells that. It's just a big minefield of maybe the person will love it and maybe they will feel like you put zero thought into the gift. I have never felt upset getting this as a gift, but at the same time, I never really used it either.. so it was a waste of money. Instead of bath salts, perhaps a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond, or Bath and Body Works is a better idea.

Later I'm going to make a list of the BEST things you can get people. This list isn't meant to be critical or some sort of passive-aggressive jab at people. I just think these are funny and maybe people out there could avoid awkward situations by reading my list :).

No comments: