The Anatomy Of A Bad Christmas Present (And How To Avoid Getting One)


How many times have you excitedly opened up a Christmas present, only to be faced with what can only be described as crushing disappointment? Sound familiar? Kids face this problem all the time. They are desperately in ‘need’ of the latest toy on the market, but on unwrapping the present they discover their parents have bought them a cheap copy of the real thing. Your childhood was probably tainted by similar experiences. Unfortunately, this continues into adulthood. In fact it’s even worse. A child’s Christmas is often filled with wonder, but an adult’s is one of utter predictability. Deodorant again? Time to put it with the rest of the smellies you have received this last five years.

A bad Christmas present is one of the following:

1. Something with a lack of thought. Alluding to the deodorant problem mentioned above, it’s clear the gift-giver hasn’t given much thought to the gift you have received. They probably saw an attractive offer at the local supermarket, or bought it last minute. Clearly, you weren’t at the top of their priority list when they bought the gift. Either that or you do actually smell, so maybe it’s time to take the hint.

2. Something inappropriate. Similar to the first item on this list, but this may be worse. Getting a book on fly fishing is fine, for example, assuming you actually have an interest in the sport. If not, why did the person bother? Are they trying to get you away from the TV, or do they just not know you at all? Even worse is when they buy you something they think is funny, but you just consider it embarrassing! Edible underwear, really? Then there’s the moment your Great Aunt forgets you are now way beyond puberty, and buys you an outfit that is far too small for your size. All inappropriate, yet you still put on your grateful face and play along. Bah!

3. Something cringe-worthy. You know what we mean. A festive tie, complete with flashing lights. A Christmas jumper with a snowman on the front. A pair of bright orange cowboy boots. These are the items that turn the cringe factor up to 11 and you know you are never ever going to wear them, at least not out in public when away from the offending family member or friend who bought you the darned things. Of course, the look on your face will be priceless, and the terrible gift-giver probably relishes your stuttering attempts to say thank-you, despite your appalled expression.

So, what can be done about them? Well, make sure you’re not one of the people who gives such rubbish away to others. At least have a bit of thought. Then drop hints to people over the year as to what you would like to receive. Something practical, such as male grooming sets, show more thought than deodorant again, and something that actually falls into the remit of fashion will show you the gift-giver actually cares how you look in public. Anything but those blasted orange boots! Be sure to remind distant family members how old you are as well, just to avoid embarrassment. However, if you do get something awful this Christmas, don’t mask your feelings. Be honest if the gift really offends your sensibilities, and the person causing the offense hopefully won’t make the same mistake again. Either that, or be thankful they bothered to buy you something in the first place. Still, let’s just hope they kept the receipt!

Good luck this Christmas and thanks for reading,