The Ultimate Bad Gift Guide

Thursday, December 19, 2013

There has been a ton of great gift guides out there for some pretty amazing gifts. But what about bad gifts? Have you ever received a gift that was so totally horrible?

I luckily have never received a bad gift on purpose. We used to have what we called a "Pink Elephant" gift exchange at work, and we were all asked to bring a really bad gift that we wanted to re-gift. It's fun when everyone knows that the gifts are going to be bad and tacky and everyone expects to be receiving a bad gift. 

One year we had someone re-gift a Thigh Master, in it's original box, complete with Suzanne Somers's picture on the box. 




Another really bad re-gift was a small dog that had been taxidermied. It was a very small fluffy pup, that I can only imagine was at one time a little old lady's best friend. If I remember correctly, the girl who opened this gift screamed upon opening it, and luckily one of the guys was kind enough to "steal" it from her so she wouldn't have a complete mental breakdown. The dog spent the next 3 months sitting in his cube with a sombrero on it. Yes, these are the people I work with...ha!

Recently Rick and I went to a holiday party with a gift exchange. The rules were to bring something that someone would want. Rick and I were lucky enough to open these fine gems:



Although such classics that anyone would enjoy, we were very excited to find $20 AMC gift card attached to each. I will take $40 worth of movie tickets, and a night full of hot men shaking their stuff. Rick wasn't so excited about the latter :) 

Bad gifts can be fun during these types of gift exchanges. It starts a conversation and keeps everyone on their toes. But bad gifts can be really disappointing at times. Especially when you spend a lot of time and put a lot of thought into a gift and then get a bad gift in return.  

So what do you do when you receive a horrible gift?

1. It's always best to use your manners, smile, be gracious, and say thank you. You need to remember the reason for the season and that it's the thought that counts.

2. If the person notices your disappointment and asks you if you are unhappy with the gift, it's probably best to be honest, but don't hurt their feelings. Maybe tell them that the gift was really thoughtful, but it's just not your personal style. 

3. If the gift includes a receipt, go return it. The gift giver wouldn't have included a receipt if they weren't comfortable with you returning it for something else. If it still has the tags, most stores will let you exchange it for store credit. So as long as the person isn't going to notice you have never worn that hideous sweater, it's probably best to just thank them for the gift, and return it the next day.

4. If you can't return the gift, there may be someone else that could get use of your gift. You can always drop it off at Goodwill, or donate it to a shelter. They always say one man's trash is another man's treasure. Someone is likely to enjoy the gift. If the gift giver asks, let them know you shared it with someone who you felt would get better use out of it. 

5. If all else fails, hold onto it and re-gift it back to them next year. Kidding! But in all reality there is a can of water chestnuts that started out as a gag gift that has been circulating around my family for the last 20 years. 

So what can you do to ensure the gift you are giving isn't a bad gift. I always say keep it simple, and don't give something that is complicated or would need a good explanation. Think about their personality, what you might like, and if all else fails gift cards are always a great choice. Think about what stores or restaurants they frequent. You never have to worry about buying the wrong size with a gift card.

And if you are looking for tips for gifts for the man in your life, check out the fun info graphic below. The Dollar Shaver Club polled some of their members about the worst gifts they have ever received.



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So lesson learned here? Socks and underwear are better gifts than travel chess sets! My dad gets sock's and underwear every year and he always seems very happy about it. So what is the worst gift you have ever received? Did you keep it, return it, donate it, re-gift it, burn it?

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