Gift-giving can be tricky. Many presents will end up being thrown away or regifted, and that’s avoidable with a little forethought. Some items on this list might seem like a good idea at first, but you might want to think twice before giving them to your friends and family.
1. A Candle
Unless someone specifically asked for one, they probably don’t want a candle. This is a gift you reserve for when you forgot to get someone a present and you keep one in the trunk of your car for gift-giving emergencies. Put a little more of a personalized touch on a gift this year, because nobody is really that excited to get a candle for Christmas.
2. A Pet
It might seem fun to give your friends or loved ones an adorable animal companion, but you’re also gifting them all the hours of cleaning and grooming and all the other responsibilities that come with a pet. If you’re dead set on this option, opt for a cool looking fish.
Even if your taste is impeccable, there’s no guarantee that your recipient will like the clothes you got them, or even that they’ll fit into them. If you really have a problem with their choice in apparel, get them a gift card to a clothing store.
The concept of giving experiences instead of material things is nice, but unless the recipient has specifically expressed interest in classes play it safe and get them something more flexible. The last thing you’d want is to get them cooking classes that they feel guilty for not going to, even though they never really wanted to learn to cook in the first place.
Unless you are 8 years old and adorable, or a professional in your chosen craft field, giving gifts you’ve made yourself can be risky. You’ll always be wondering why they’re not wearing the hat you crocheted for them, or why the DIY craft you got them isn’t proudly displayed in their home. Handcrafted gifts can be sentimental and nice, but be cautious.
6. Exercise equipment
I’ve seen this debacle go down at family gatherings. Seriously, just don’t buy anyone dumbbells or yoga mats this holiday season. Just trying to save you the argument at family dinner this year.
7. Things they won’t use
Unless you’re positive the recipient loves coffee, don’t get them coffee. The same goes for tea, and any other giftable food or drink. If you don’t know them well enough to know their morning beverage of choice, you can probably get away with giving them something impersonal — maybe a candle?