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10 worst christmas gifts

Rule Number 1: Don’t do this. Getty Images

This year, you thought you made it easy for your partner to get you the necklace you wanted for Valentine’s Day. You emailed him your Pinterest board, tried it on in front of him at the department store, and even “accidentally” left the browser open to your shopping bag on his computer — all he had to do was click “check out.” But the day is now here, and you find yourself holding a wrapped box that’s the entirely wrong shape to hold the jewelry of your dreams. It’s too late to wonder where you went wrong — now’s the time to sharpen your acting skills.

While you can’t always control how you feel about a gift you get, you can definitely make everyone think that you love it. “That’s the best thing about non-verbal communication — you can override how you handle certain situations so your body doesn’t give your true feelings away,” explains Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and author of international bestseller What Every Body is Saying. Do these five things when you open a gift to avoid any hurt feelings, then go out and buy yourself that necklace (…because you deserve it).

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1. Say “This Is So Nice, Thank You.”

Sure, you might rather scream out, “Really? This is what you got me? You have no taste!!” as you remove an electric toothbrush (sigh) from the box — but just say “Thank you,” instead. To be fair, maybe you did mention that you wanted to get one of these, he just didn’t realize you meant on a casual Sunday trip to CVS, not as a present. When you do say thank you, make sure you have the right tone of voice. “Consider how you respond when you’re happy,” Navarro says. “My daughter’s voice actually goes deeper when she’s happy to receive something, but if you’re one of the Kardashians, the pitch of your voice will go really high.”

2. Give a Big Smile

Smiles are a universal sign of happiness, so definitely do not skip this step. While they’re easy to fake, a false smile can appear super plastic. “Genuine smiles engage your eyes so they start to squint,” Navarro says. “We reserve these for when we are truly happy.”

3. Arch Your Eyebrows and Flash Your Eyes

This might sound like a hard expression to force — if you raise your eyebrows too high, they can make you look surprised or even confused when you open your present. But done correctly, this behavior is one of the more subtle ways we show excitement, and it goes far when trying to prove happiness. “Picture running into a friend you haven’t seen in a while,” Navarro explains. “Your eyebrows arch upwards and your eyes flash in a way that’s reserved for someone or something you really care about.” Making this gesture when you open a gift gives your “Wow, I love it,” some visual credibility.

4. Hold the Gift Close to Your Chest

“We tend to grab and hold things we cherish dearly closer,” Navarro says. “By doing this,we communicate just how much we like it.” On the other hand, if you quickly put the gift aside or pass it to someone else to hold onto, it gives the impression that the item doesn’t have any value to you. Even if you don’t like the gift, your partner spent a lot of time picking it out, so hold on to it for a few minutes after unwrapping to let him know you appreciate it.

5. Repeatedly Look at the Item

Fine, you don’t have to swoon over an electric toothbrush all afternoon, but when you first open it, look at it while you’re smiling, arching your brows, and flashing your eyes. This will reinforce the idea that you cherish it (even though you don’t). “The essence is to mimic the behaviors we normally use when we’re excited about something,” Navarro says. Because you know you will be actually smiling when you get the necklace you reallywanted.

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If You Don’t Like A Gift Your Partner Gave You, Chill Out & Say This

It’s probably safe to assume that there isn’t a single person on the planet who doesn’t like getting gifted something special every now and then — especially when it’s to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, or holiday. Often, new relationships encourage both partners to put their best foot forward when it comes to gifting, but it can take a bit of trial-and-error to figure out what to give the person you love. Naturally, this means that you could end up with a gift (or three) that you’re not really into. If you don’t like a gift your partner gave you, it’s easy to feel guilty. After all, it should be the thought that counts, right? Totally — but that also doesn’t mean that you should keep quiet about gifts that really aren’t your style.

Pretending to like something your partner gifts you can be tempting for so many reasons — the main one being that no matter how you spin it, you don’t want to make them feel hurt and disappointed that their efforts didn’t put a smile on your face. As with many other things, feigning satisfaction is a slippery slope, folks. (Orgasms, I’m looking at you.)

If your bae gives you an argyle dad sweater for your anniversary and you pretend to love it, guess what? You’re reinforcing that gift as something you like, and the next time they’re ruminating on something to get you, they’re going to have a misleading impression of your taste. Needless to say, this could go on forever if you don’t bite the bullet and be honest.

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“If you really abhor the gift (and you know it was expensive), then you must be honest,” best-selling author and NYC dating expert Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. “The reason your partner gave you a gift was to make you happy. It’s counterproductive to not only waste money but displease you.”

It might also be good idea to consider why you’re not vibing with the gift. For example, a friend of mine started dating a new guy, and in the beginning, he was showering her with some very decadent (aka pricey AF) loot. As their relationship continued, he began scaling it back a bit. Secretly, she felt totally disappointed that he had all of a sudden started giving her “cheap” stuff, even though the gifts were still thoughtful. If this is the case, it’s important to remember that you might not yet have an accurate picture of someone’s financial situation, and if you truly love each other, then it shouldn’t be all that important.

However, if you’re worried that their subpar gifting is a reflection of the fact that they just don’t “get you,” then you should definitely speak up.

According to relationship expert Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love, considering your phrasing is key. She suggests that “at the beginning of a relationship, and this includes a few years in,” try something along these lines: “I appreciate your thoughtfulness and effort in getting me this gift. Thank you. We are still learning about each other and I prefer/like . I am not saying this to hurt your feelings, you know I love you and don’t want to hurt you, but I think it is important for us to understand each other as we’re still learning about each other.”

Both Winter and Chlipala warn against being too critical, and instead, suggest focusing on the type of gifts that are a better fit for you and your personality type. While it’s easy to feel superficial for putting emphasis on getting “good gifts,” the truth is that this is totally a legitimate way that some people are wired to receive love.

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“If your top love language is receiving gifts, talk about that,” Chlipala tells Elite Daily. “People erroneously believe this love language means you’re materialistic, but it’s not true — it really is the thought that counts.”

If you’re still worried things will come off wrong, Chlipala recommends giving them a positive example of a time they got you something you really appreciated, even if it was small.

“Bring up a positive experience with your partner,” she says. “‘Remember when you got me that pint of cookie dough ice cream because I was having such a bad day at work? That meant so much to me.’ You’re showing it’s not the amount of money spent that matters, but being in tune with each other and thoughtful that matters.”

Being honest about certain things can feel a little awkward, but in the end, open communication needs to be a top priority. Not everyone takes direction super well, but if their heart is in the right place, then they will make noticeable adjustments for the next occasion. Unless it becomes a pattern, don’t dwell on it too much.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

You spent all month and most of your money buying a bunch of presents for people you love. And all you got was this lousy t-shirt.

Still, before you toss that t-shirt back at your totally annoying aunt who does not have a clue what you want, or wrap it up for your friend with no taste, consider regifting more deeply. According to the Emily Post Institute on etiquette, politesse isn’t just about seeming to do the right thing but about honesty, integrity, and actually being respectful and respectable. So there are serious limits on what etiquette experts say you can give away.

Regifting, according to the institute, is “inherently deceitful.” You can do it but only if you can follow these two rules:

  1. Avoid deceit and hurt feelings.
  2. Be honest with yourself and others if you’re recycling presents.

“Honest in this case means being authentic and genuine, as well as not telling a partial truth,” the institute writes.

In other words, don’t wrap up that lousy t-shirt and give it to your friend pretending that you bought it for her—that’s rude and dishonest. But you can give your friend the t-shirt if you genuinely believe she will wear it and you don’t act like it’s a present, explaining that you received it and thought it might suit her.

If you do that though, make sure your friend and aunt do not travel in the same circles. Even if you’re honest with your friend, you must not hurt your aunt’s feelings.

Consider also that when you regift thoughtlessly, you send a signal to others that you’re not to be trusted—won’t your friend wonder what happened to all the t-shirts she bought you too, after you reveal you’re recycling?

There are scenarios in which regifting is appropriate, however. If you get two copies of the same book from two different people and have a literary buddy, give your friend the extra copy. But don’t pretend you bought it as a present. Tell the truth. “An unofficial gift of this sort isn’t wrapped,” writes the institute.

Similarly, if you’ve got a spare something and a friend in need of that spare, give it to them. Again, pretending you shopped for them isn’t cool—but giving a brand new coffeemaker to someone whose machine just broke while you are broke is sweet, and you needn’t be deceitful.

As for things you absolutely cannot give away, here are the etiquette experts’ rules:

  1. Never regift handmade items.
  2. Never regift personalized items (even if you share initials or a name with the recipient of the regift).
  3. Never regift anything used, or out of its packaging.

Most importantly, make sure that the gift you are giving away is something that someone else genuinely wants. In a culture with so much stuff, dumping unwanted presents on someone else is hardly a gift that is worth giving.

It is the thought that counts, but sometimes you receive a gift that would lead you to believe there was no thought at all involved. Or a gift so practical you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. My parents used to wrap up things my brother and I needed and give them to us on Christmas, so alongside our toys and books or whatever we asked for, we would get school supplies and socks and whatever else keeps an 8-year-old going. In the spirit of that memory, and in honor of gift-giving season, I asked MR readers to share the most absurd gifts they’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving. If you received a less than stellar gift this year, scroll down and know you’re not alone.

“I got a men’s watch from my grandma. What makes this the absolute worst is that when I opened it, she realized it was for my cousin, and turns out I had actually gotten nothing for Christmas.”

“Stuffed Geisha dolls glued into a 15-gallon aquarium”

“16 cans of tuna on my 16th birthday.”

“A $10 gift card to Olive Garden. It was from my grandma, I was 15 and couldn’t drive. The nearest Olive Garden was ~25 miles away.”

“My Aunty gave me what I thought was a hat. I only found out it was a tea pot cover after I wore it all day.”

“A bouquet of thistles, because the guy I was dating told me I was ‘pretty, but prickly.’”

“When I was about 9, my grandma bought me a necklace. It had gotten tangled up in the jewelry box it came in. There were 5 letters with rhinestones on them but we couldn’t make out what it said. My mom helped me untangle it. As soon as it was untangled we realized the necklace said ‘Bitch.’ So my mom brings it to my grandma and was like, “Mom, why did you get her a necklace that says ‘bitch’?” And my grandma looked so confused. She looked at the necklace and said, ‘Oh my. I thought those were little people hanging on the necklace.’”

“A vibrator from my mom…mine was a pocket-size vibrator, my sister got a huge vibrator. Oy.”

“A jar of Nutella from my aunt, which isn’t a bad gift in and of itself— but it was accompanied with ‘so you can stop eating all of ours when you come to our house and bring your own next time.’”

“A plate of dried fruit from my father.”

“I was given a large, white T-shirt with the words ‘Live, Love, Golf’ in French from my grandparents for my birthday. They had gone on a trip to Quebec for their 50th wedding anniversary and thought that this was a perfect birthday gift.”

“Chocolates that had expired three years prior.”

“An old holey Christmas sweater & a box of condoms — it came with a note that said if I wear the sweater I won’t need the condoms.”

“A $50 Build-A-Bear gift card from my dad when I was 18 years old.”

“A letter from my grandma explaining how to write a thank you note.”

“I was spending the holidays with my ex and his family in another state. He presented me, in front of the family, with a triangle shaped box beautifully wrapped in shiny gold paper. Everyone thought there would be something fancy and/or special inside.

They are the type of family that take turns while each opens one gift at a time. So, I’m in front of everyone, I had to open the box and pretend to be thrilled about a ‘jam tree.’ It was three tiny jars of (utterly unremarkable) fruit preserves, arranged in a triangle box. A JAM TREE.”

“For Secret Santa one year, I received a framed photo of a lady I worked with. Very strange considering I didn’t know her well and the photo was taken 20 years ago. She said she ‘didn’t want to gift an empty frame.’”

“A glow in the dark wind chime that changed colors.”

“When I was around 8 or 9 I received a bag of pennies (like a lot of pennies), and a few of those weird, hairy cat bobble head pencil sharpeners from a relative. Not exactly the Barbie I asked for.”

“At our family’s Secret Santa gift exchange a few years ago, I was gifted not one, but TWO, Big Bang Theory bobbleheads and a pair of Big Bang Theory socks. I don’t even watch the show???? And keep in mind we usually give nice, thoughtful things; it’s definitely not a joke-y white elephant situation.”

“A box of instant coffee packets which my dad mailed literally across the country to us, wrapped and everything, with a handwritten note, addressed to me and ‘Brad’…my husband’s name is NOT Brad, it’s Bram. (Since I’m sure you’ll wonder, yes, my father has spent significant time with my husband and was at our wedding and everything and no, he does not have some sort of brain illness.)”

“Sephora gift card with the note: at least buy concealer.“

“A partially burned candle with ‘Christmas 1999’ etched in the glass (gift received in 2014) with a dried up dead spider in the box. Granted — I am aware that the gift giver is older, on a fixed income, and frequents garage sales but still it was tough to keep a straight face opening this one.”

“Samurai Sword Earrings”

“My uncle gave me an encyclopedia of Swedish flowers. The book was in Swedish and had no pictures. I can’t speak Swedish… and I was 8.”

Your turn! Tell me the weirdest/worst gift you’ve ever been given!

Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

Top 10 Worst Christmas Presents3 min read

What’s not to love about listening to Wham! and complaining about tacky supermarket decorations? Exactly. What we don’t love, however, is finding terrible presents under a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, we’ve all been there.

Since horrendous presents come in different shapes and sizes, they are just not that easy to avoid. As long as you don’t follow the Polish tradition of giving your child a birch rod for Christmas (as a punishment for being naughty throughout the year), you may want to keep in mind that a gift should simply make both the giver and the recipient happy. Or at least not disappointed or upset.

In order not to create more cases of bad gift-giving, we came up with a list of the worst Christmas presents ever. Sit back, relax and enjoy our top 10.

Christmas sweaters, Christmas socks or Christmas anything, really

They may have their charm, but it will most likely fade away after two days. If you’re lucky, your gift may survive until the next holiday season – probably buried in someone’s closet.

Seemingly funny and completely useless items

Don’t even try to be hilarious, it’s not worth the effort. Such gifts usually make their recipient laugh for about 5 minutes (as long as they’re not disgusting or pathetic, that is), but they will never be used afterwards. What’s the point then?

Excessively useful gifts, which intend to make our life better

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt the need to use an automatic twirling spaghetti fork or egg timer – unless you’re into odd tech gadgets, these would be a no-go.

Compelling fitness, health and/or happiness books

No matter how good your intentions are – there is nothing more depressing than receiving a self-help book for Christmas. Thanks for the friendly reminder that something is wrong with me, but I’d rather work on my weaknesses after I stuff myself with Christmas cakes.

Gifts that require any effort

Not everyone loves IKEA-style of presents, especially during busy Christmas time. Don’t be cruel and simply don’t buy anything divided into many parts that should be put together by the recipient.

Horribly cheap and tacky presents

If you’re actually broke – rather than carelessly choosing the cheapest option available, you may want to consider giving a handmade gift.

Anything that is thoughtlessly re-gifted

Again, showing that you genuinely don’t care does not seem like the best way to spend Christmas, does it? You’d better wait another day.

Pets

Well, this should be self-explanatory. Pets are not toys – don’t even bother to surprise anyone with the cutest puppy on earth, if you’re not sure that anyone can take care of it once holiday season is over.

Ties, mugs or ballpoint pens

Surprisingly, these are the first gift-ideas that come to our mind. And that’s precisely why we should restrain from buying any predictable gifts for our loved ones.

Souvenirs

Your trip to Asia ages ago was probably an unforgettable experience. Good for you, but there’s no need to remind anyone about that now. Gifts that you give should not be all about yourself – it’s the recipient who matters the most.

We hope you now realise that there is nothing worse than receiving an awful gift. As the holiday season is upon us, you might as well spend some time to think about your loved ones. How well do you know the people you care about? What can you do to make them happy? After all, it’s your effort that counts.

So, it’s time to check gifts off the list and start wrapping things up. In case you need to ship any gifts to your family and friends abroad, we’re here to help. Merry Christmas!

Last modified: June 13, 2019

Lets face it, Christmas shopping is a pain. Sometimes it’s impossible to choose the right gift for that special person you want to impress. However, that’s no excuse for some of the terrible gifts that get given every year during the holidays. We searched the internet and asked the staff at FloraQueen to find some of the worst Christmas gifts ever given. Hint: It’s not socks

1. A can of unicorn meat

Merry Christmas! Here is a dismembered unicorn toy in a tin. Once you get over the novelty and admittedly well-written text on the can, this really is a throwaway gift.

2. Ugly Christmas sweaters

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Just stop it ok!

3. Gift vouchers for a store they hate

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Oh, thanks. I’m sure I’ll love spending that $20 Bed, Bath and Beyond voucher. This also applies to anyone in the UK still giving people £20 WH Smiths vouchers at Christmas.

4. A scooter

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Remember you’re just going to spend the next 365 days of the year tripping over the stupid thing.

5. Crocs

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Crocs are not only a fashion disaster. It’s also been shown that they’re actually bad for your health.

6. Wrinkle cream

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Word of advice, never buy this for your Mother-in-Law. Needless to say, she won’t appreciate it. One of our team found that out the hard way.

7. Binoculars

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Why would you buy this for someone who’s not a proud bird watcher?

8. A vacuum cleaner

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That’s what everyone wants to think about at Christmas. Cleaning… Be warned, buying this for a female friend or relative is an incredibly stupid idea for obvious reasons. It is December 2018 after all.

9. Fresh fish

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Whether the person doing the gifting is a fisherman or they just have a sick sense of humour, this is a surprise that’ll leave a bad stink long after Christmas morning.

10. Granny pants

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I think Grandma may have forgotten to buy a gift and was forced to improvise at the last minute.

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Have you ever received any of these awful presents yourself? What was the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments below.

Send a unique Christmas gift to help your love and emotion travel far and wide during the holidays. FloraQueen delivers flowers in over 100 countries around the globe so you can send a beautiful surprise whenever and wherever smiles are needed.

10 gifts you should stop buying people

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.

In my thirty years on this earth, I have received some not-so-great gifts. First, there was Barney Tent circa 1992. It would have been great, but it popped open as soon as it came out of the box. Ironically, it was not very safe for kids. Then, there was this gigantic necklace that looked great for a boho-loving 50-something, but not for a polo-wearing 15-year-old. All I wanted that year was a graphic T-shirt from Abercrombie and Fitch. You win some, you lose some. Later on, there was a basket of brownie mix, chocolate frosting, and jams that I would never use in the three years before it all expired. If only these gift shoppers had the resources offered by my friends and I at Reviewed today. Their holiday shopping would have been much more successful.

All year long at Reviewed, we test products and research customer reviews to help you guys buy the best stuff. A month ago, we released a bunch of gift guides that include products we love and advice for getting gifts that don’t suck. Now, I am giving you guys a list of gifts you should stop buying, with some recommendations of what to buy instead of course. Happy gift shopping! May your adventures lead to happy gift recipients.

1. As seen on TV stuff

Remember the Forever Lazy? It was like a Snuggie jumpsuit (also of as seen on TV fame), but with holes to go to the bathroom. Never in my life have I ever seen someone wear a Forever Lazy (that’s a lie—I saw one person wearing one at a Patriots game in 2011). Why? Because it’s kind of absurd. Same with Snuggies. I got a Snuggie as a gift once. Never took it out of the package. That’s because if it has an infomercial, it’s probably not a great gift idea.

If you want to get something trendy and cool, why not spend your money on such a thing that has proven to be both great AND useful instead? You could get our favorite affordable Alexa smart speaker, the Echo Dot OR our favorite aromatherapy diffuser. Not only do we love both of these, but the people love them too. We’re not saying to give these as gifts this year, but we also are.

What to get instead:

Get the Echo Dot on Amazon for $19.99

Get the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser on Amazon for $17.99

2. Handbags and clothing a person did not put on a list of things they want

A few years ago, I asked my boyfriend for a handbag for the holidays. No directions were given, as I, like many girlfriends out there, expected him to read my mind and get me the exact bag I wanted. He ended up buying me a bag that year—but it was not at all what I wanted. The color was wrong. The designer, or lack-thereof, was incorrect. The shape was not ideal. Morale of this story: Don’t buy someone a handbag unless they send you links and/or specific names of the bags they want.

If someone loves handbags enough to want them, they are going to be particular about what they want. If they don’t love handbags, they probably would prefer something else as a gift. The same goes for clothes and shoes, except even more so because these things have to fit right. If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone who loves picking out their own stuff, consider giving them a Rent the Runway Unlimited or Update subscription. I have been doing Unlimited for the past two years or so, and I love it. Read my review of the service here.

What to get instead:

Get a Rent the Runway Membership starting at $69 on Rent the Runway

3. Something expensive JUST BECAUSE it’s expensive

When it comes down to it, an expensive gift like a Birkin bag does not say ‘I love you’ (although I would not be mad if someone who could afford it got me a Birkin bag—looking at you, Drake, I know you have a closet full of them for your future wife). Saying ‘I love you’ says ‘I love you.’

The holidays are not a time to show off. They are a time to be thoughtful and considerate. If you want to splurge this year, do it because the person will love, appreciate, and actually use the gift you get them. Need ideas? Here are our top picks for luxury gifts this year, with two ideas below.

What to get instead:

For the one who likes listening to music: Get the All-New Sonos One Smart Speaker on Amazon for $199

For the one who likes having a clean home: Get the Ecovacs Deebot N79S at Amazon for $198.99

4. Gifts that encourage a new habit instead of helping to maintain an enjoyable habit

Don’t get someone a scale unless they ask for a scale (but also, maybe don’t ask for a scale?). Don’t get someone work out equipment that doesn’t regularly work out at home. Don’t get someone a fitness tracker unless the person is already into tracking their fitness. Basically, it’s rude to get someone something because you think they need it. You should be getting people gifts because you think they’ll want them, for example a TV or a Kindle.

What to get instead:

Get the TCL 55-inch 6 Series from Amazon for $650

Get the all-new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-Reader at Amazon for $129.99

5. Gift cards to stores you’re not 100% certain the person goes to

Every year, tons of gift cards collect dust in wallets, bags, and desk drawers. But why? Most gift cards are literally free money to a specific place. Why wouldn’t someone want to spend free money? Well, if they have no interest shopping, eating, or drinking at the place the gift card is for, they won’t want to use the gift card. An example of this would be someone giving me a Dunkin Donuts gift card. I prefer Starbucks. Another example would be someone giving me a gift card to Ulta Beauty. Great store, but I am a Sephora fanatic. Know your audience before you buy the gift card—or just get the Visa! No one is going to think you’re more thoughtful because you chose a gift card to a specific store over the Visa one. You are still giving a gift card. At least give them one they’ll definitely use.

What to get instead:

A Visa gift card or cash (or browse our gift guides for an object here; we’ve got something for everyone, I swear)

6. Scented things in scents you don’t know the person likes

A coworker told me that one gift she thinks people should stop giving is candles. I had to disagree of course, as one of my top gifts to give people is the famous Capri Blue Volcano scented candle. First of all, I am confident that the Volcano scent is loved by most people, but even if I am wrong (and I probably am), it doubles as chic home decor. Shopping for smells people will like is hard. This goes for candles, body lotions, perfumes, etc. ESPECIALLY body lotions and perfumes. If you’re buying someone a scent that is to be worn on their body, you better know they like that scent. If you don’t, maybe buy something else? Or consider a sampler of scents so the person can figure out what they like themselves. My favorite is Sephora’s! It’s my go-to gift.

What to get instead:

Get the Sephora Favorites Holiday Perfume Sampler for $65 at Sephora

7. Pajamas

What kind of pajamas does this person like? Do they like to be warm when they sleep, or do they prefer being cold? Does this person even wear pajamas? If you don’t know the answers to one or more of these questions, you probably shouldn’t be getting someone pajamas. I know, I know, pajamas are a nice gift! But do you really want to spend your money on something that could be stuffed away in a dresser drawer collecting dust until spring cleaning happens two years later and the never-worn pajamas get put in a bag to be donated? Why don’t you just get something else? Like a blanket (that they can wear whatever they want under).

What to get instead:

Get the Nordstrom at Home Faux Fur Blanket for $149 at Nordstrom

8. Stuff that is “funny” but not at all useful

Last year, I ended up with two “Handicorns.” And yes, it’s exactly what you think it is: hand puppets for a unicorn. One for the face, two for the feet. Hilarious (kind of), but I’m never going to use these. Ever. A few years ago, I got a pizza night light. Funny because I like pizza, but it sat in the package in a drawer for three years before I threw it out. Please don’t buy someone something just because it’s funny. It’s a waste of your money—and it will only waste space in the person’s home until they throw it out.

What to get instead:

Get the 40 oz pack of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for $8.98 on Amazon

Get the Anker iPhone charger for $7.99 on Amazon

9. Regifts

There are obviously exceptions where it’s okay to regift. Maybe you got a Fitbit but already have one, and your brother has been wanting a new fitness tracker. In that case, re-gift away! But if you got a fitness tracker you don’t love because it isn’t that nice, don’t give that to someone else just to get rid of it. They probably won’t want it either. Gift giving is supposed to be thoughtful—not a way to get rid of things you don’t want (unless it’s red wine and you drink white wine, wine is always a good gift… and regift).

What to get instead:

Well, if you don’t want to spend money, you could always get nothing… or… you could shop our gift guides here.

10. Jewelry

If you jewelry shop blind, there’s a 50% chance you will end up failing. After all, the kiss does not begin with ‘Kay.’ The kiss literally begins with ‘k,’ as in the letter. That’s it. When my now-husband and I started dating, he got me a silver watch. The problem: I don’t wear silver jewelry. I wear gold jewelry. I never wore it. To be honest, I would have been happier with a $50 gift card to Starbucks. Now he knows that, and I know to always give him the gift that keeps on giving: A LIST OF THINGS I ACTUALLY WANT WITH LINKS TO BUY THEM. Now these lists live on USA TODAY in the form of articles. Lol, I’m kidding. Or am I?

The two gifts below are sure winners to replace jewelry, in my opinion. Not so sure? Check out my full list of gift ideas for women here.

What to get instead:

Get the Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Circle Cardigan for $116 at Nordstrom

Get the Harry Josh Pro Tools Hair Dryer for $249 at Dermstore

Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.

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The 31 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts, Ever

Valentine’s Day can often go perfectly right or horribly wrong. Whether you have unrealistic expectations from your partner or they are just a terrible gift giver, this collection of the 31 worst Valentine’s Day gifts will have you considering a no-gift policy this Feb. 14. Keep reading to see all the bad Valentine’s Day gifts to stay away from this year.

photo: Sharon McCutcheon via Unplash

1. Cheap flowers

“A plant with the discounted tag attached. You know the ones that live right next to the pretty flowers at the grocery store. yeah, that happened. He didn’t last long.” (via Jeanette K.)

2. Expired coupons

“An ex gave me an expired coupon to a restaurant that had shut down the only location in our area.” (via Reddit user _generalmayhem)

photo: Dorothe Wouters via Unplash

3. A talking bear.

“A Build-A-Bear from a guy I hadn’t been dating very long at all and wasn’t super into. He recorded himself saying ‘I love you’ and so when I squeezed the bear I heard his voice.” (Dana F.)

4. Roses for somebody else.

“A dozen roses with a heartfelt love note signed ‘to my one true love, Martine.’ My name is not Martine.” (via Reddit user ligamentary)

photo: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

5. A break up email.

“My very first boyfriend used his ex-girlfriend to break up with me over email on Valentine’s Day.” (via Karly W.)

6. A flower with borrowed money.

“Somebody borrowed $2 from me to buy me a $2 flower.” (via Reddit user tempuserthrowaway5)

photo: Jessica Wilson via Flickr

7. A confirmation of delivery, but no flowers.

“Once I ordered my girlfriend flowers that didn’t arrive (or were stolen from the porch), so I gave her the delivery confirmation. It was not as funny as I thought it would be.” (via Reddit user wacht).

8. A toilet seat (we swear).

“My dad gave my stepmom a toilet seat once for Valentine’s Day. He genuinely thought he had the best gift ever. This happened over five years ago and we still laugh at him about it.” But that’s not all, “It was the most generic toilet seat ever. Not even one of the ones that go down slowly.” (via Reddit user makingmc)

photo: Emergency Brake via Flickr

9. Jumper cables.

“When I was a kid, my dad gave my mom a set of jumper cables for Valentine’s Day.” As it turns out the story has a happy ending. “He was in the doghouse for a couple nights, but about a week later her battery dies and dad was a hero again.” (via Reddit user Soon2Barmn)

10. An oversized tank top.

You know, the ones once known by the horribly offensive moniker “wife beater?”\ “It was meant to be used as a dress, I kid you not!” (via reader Silvia Rodríguez)

photo: Cal Evans via Flickr

11. Inappropriate candy messages.

We’re betting the recipient of one of these lollipops would have something interesting to say in response.

12. Hair

“My husband (then boyfriend) once gave me a picture frame filled with his hair… he thought it would be romantic, but I didn’t agree!” (via reader Annie W.)

photo: Amazon

13. Dental hygiene products.

A tongue scraper as a Valentine’s Day gift? There are endless things to do together that don’t involve removing “tongue fur.” Eww.

14. The gift representing exactly the opposite of who you are.

“My boyfriend at the time took me to dinner, and then surprised me with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Total fail because 1. it was cold and I’m Southern (I don’t do sub-50 degree weather well), and 2. I hate the horse-drawn carriage industry. We didn’t make it past March.” (via Shelley M.)

photo: slothzero via Reddit

15. It’s your funeral (literally).

This ad takes the “til death do we part” idea a step beyond what the vow intends. We’re pretty sure that’s the least romantic gift ever. (via Reddit user slothzero)

16. A heart made out of meat (that you can eat).

You’re all for getting a gift that’s from the heart. But what about meat? Yep, that’s right. Meat. Apparently, you can buy your sweetheart a raw steak shaped like a heart. Yum.

photo: pexels.com

17. Any type of cleaning tool, supply or appliance.

A weed whacker! (via reader Krista F.)

18. Bad news.

“A text breaking up with me.” (via Reddit user hippopots)

19. Romantic balls.

We’re betting these aren’t the kind of balls someone wants to receive for Valentine’s Day.

20. A hair trimmer and photocopied card.

“My dad got my mum a hair trimmer set and photocopied her card she got him one year. They celebrate their 25th anniversary this year so maybe it’s a good one.” (via Reddit user UnofficialKing)

photo: dippydoodahGC via Etsy

21. Cards referencing bodily functions.

Yeah, maybe you’re cool with it. But you don’t need to be reminded. Or do you? There’s more where this one came from.

22. Someone else’s scent

“I’m pretty sure it has to be the bottle of really old perfume I’m pretty sure was his mom’s.” (via reader Denise R.).

photo: Reddit user SSJWiggy

23. E-Z Divorce

“Not quite the gift I had in mind for my first Valentine’s Day.” (via Reddit user SSJWiggy)

24. Weird Food

photo: Marco Verch via Flickr

25. A jewelry box … but

“A fancy jewelry box … and the comment ‘don’t get excited … it’s not a ring or anything.’” (via reader Amy L.)

26. The most boring gifts ever.

“My husband gave me a beanie. And a plain black coffee mug.” (via Amber G.)

photo: Lottie via Flickr

27. A framed photo of … your pet. Presented by … your pet.

You might want to check your partner’s priorities in the L.O.V.E department.

28. Mermaids and diapers are related how?

“A little mermaid doll and adult diapers. I was pregnant, I guess my husband thought it would be funny.” (via reader Michelle C.)

photo: prettywarstl via Flickr

29. A garbage can (no, seriously).

“The ever so romantic metal trashcans with the step-on open feature! In his defense—he had the flu when he went out shopping. I’m sure they felt like a good idea in his fever-addled brain!” (via reader Carol S.)

30. Stuffed forest animals.

“A boyfriend once gave me a plush raccoon for Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a thing for raccoons—he thought it was cute, I guess. Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like rabid varmit! (via reader Amanda J.)

photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

31. An empty box of chocolates.

“He told me that he bought it, and there was coconut in all of them (there never is), and that he had to eat them to keep me from having an allergic reaction (I’m allergic to coconut). So really, he said, ‘for Valentine’s Day I saved your life.’ It didn’t last long after that.” (via reader Lindsey R.)

32. Nothing at all.

“The first Valentine’s Day after we were engaged, I said to my now-husband, ‘so we aren’t doing gifts for Valentine’s Day, right?’ He said, ‘well, maybe just something small.’ I followed this rule and got him an engraved money clip. Turns out, his “small” really meant “nothing.” Which I would have been fine with but HE SET THE RULES!” (via Kate L.)

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––Erica Loop & Karly Wood

RELATED STORIES:

Nothing Says “I Love You” Like a Bad Valentine

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50 Easy Valentine’s Day Cards You Can Actually Make

The Top Ten Worst Gifts That Women Definitely Don’t Want for Valentine’s Day

Although it kinda feels like it should be more, 39% of women have been disappointed in their Valentine’s Day before, or full-on HATED the gift they got, according to a new survey.

If you’re planning to give any of the gifts below to your sweetheart today, you might want to reconsider.

Or at least buy a back-up gift.

2,000 people were asked to name the top cheesy gifts they definitely do NOT want to get for Valentine’s Day. Here are the top ten . . .

1. Pink furry handcuffs. So the whole S&M thing ISN’T romantic? Shocking.

2. A tattoo of their name. So overrated

3. A giant teddy bear. Because it’s useless, and where do you put it?

4. An oversized card with a cheesy quote. BOOORRRIIINNNGGG

5. A huge heart-shaped balloon. Unless she’s in 8th grade and can take it to school, this one is a bad idea.

6. An album of nothing but love songs. BARF

7. A heart-shaped locket. Go ahead and get one for your grandma too.

8. An expensive bouquet of roses. That’s the most surprising one on the list and I disagree.

9. A giant cookie with “I Love You” written on it. Just extra calories and cupcakes are better.

10. A heart-shaped box of chocolates. Screw that…splurge and go for the good stuff.

(Mirror)

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