Christmas, as well as being a time of joy and festive frolics, can also be a cause of huge stress, family politics and a drain on your finances. It’s a time where you have to be nice to family (and other people’s family), that you don’t particularly like. Worse still, you may be expected to buy such people presents.
If you’re in this position, don’t worry, I’ve got a guide to the worst Christmas presents ever. If you’re lucky, your recipient will realise the insulting intent but, due to our lovely British façade, won’t be able to say anything.
Cheap and most importantly, WARM. Even if your recipient isn’t into sports, the thought is there. Especially if they’re a little on the large size. Please do not confuse these with novelty, happy socks – those make excellent presents.
Excessive Sweating Deodorant
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Something you got for free
This is a great present. Not only is it new, but it doesn’t have to look like you’re miserly. For example, one of my friend’s mothers got her a lovely fake silver watch – “it came free when I spent over £50 on presents for people I liked!”, her mother exclaimed joyeously when her daughter unwrapped it.
This idea can even be extended to the free make-up, books and sunglasses that you so often get with magazine such as Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.
“Recylced” is just a nicer word for ‘gift that I was given ages ago that I never bothered opening and need to get rid of’. Not only will you de-clutter your house of that awful pot-pourri set but you’re passing on the horrible present tradition.
It’s even better if you can give back a present your recipient once gave you. Imagine the look of wonderous suspicion when they open it? Again, you’re safe in the knowledge that they will be too polite to mention anything.
An ‘only used once’ present
These are things like make-up and skincare products. From the outside and from first inspection, they look like they’re brand new! And indeed they almost are, if it weren’t for that subtle telltale swipe of a fingers across that lipstick or the residue of body lotion by the opening…
Candles are the perfect present. You get extra points if you don’t have any proper packaging for it, such as its own gift box. Without any branding, it could indeed just be a little fat red emergency candle that you pulled from your ‘power cut’ drawer. But hey, it’ll burn just as brightly as one of your Jo Malone candles. And as for scent, well, who needs cinnamon and orange scents to get you into the Christmas spirit?
Food – especially food that’s out of date
I am speaking from experience here when I was given a lovely box of champagne truffles, only to realise they were over a year out of date. Now, whilst I wasn’t so bothered about that (unless something is more than 40% mould, I’ll probably still eat it), it was the fact that it also seemed to have been kept somewhere damp and forgotten.
Chocolates and jars of stewed fruit or sauce are especially good items to give, especially those with Best Before labels that you can easily pull off. Or not, depending on who your gift is for…
These ones reek of last-minute panic. But hey, at least you got them a present, right? Shame it was one you found fallen down the back of your cupboard.
Novelty mugs sit just marginally higher in my list of awful presents. They’re garish, cheap and you could never have these on your shelf at home. And I’m not talking about the mugs with men who get naked when you have a cuppa (those are great), I’m talking about the ones that people would pay you to take away; the ultimate insult.
Remember the minidisk? Or the first iPod? Yep, I’m talking about presents like that. Ones that would been popular about 15 years ago. Absolutely no use to someone. Although it is quite wickedly fun to see the excitement in someone’s eyes as they think you’ve gone all out for a great present, only for utter disappointment to swoop over them at the realization you’ve given them yet another shit present.
And for wrapping? Why, obviously, any used crumpled paper you may have lying about. Or a teatowel, secured with safety pins.