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10 awful christmas gifts
Time Out Hong Kong

10 Awful Christmas gifts that nobody wants to get

Get these as presents if you feel like offending someone

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Written by
Jenny Leung
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Some say the best part about Christmas is the exchanging of gifts, but there's nothing worse than having to force a 'thank you' through your fake smile after unwrapping a rather disappointing present – it's even worse when you see someone have that same reaction to a gift from you. To help you steer clear from those situations, here are a few uninspiring presents that you definitely should not put under the Christmas tree.

RECOMMENDED: Avoid those awkward moments and find the perfect gift for your loved ones with our Christmas shopping guides.

1. Statement mugs

Another mug, how original. This one’s even got an inspiring statement on it saying 'Do all things with love'. It'll go great in the back of the cupboard sitting along with 20 other mugs that either say 'It's actually wine in here' or 'Don't talk to me before I finish my coffee'. Come on buddy, nobody needs another mug.

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2. Anything that’s obviously a regift

Let’s admit it, we’ve all done it. Regifting is a common practice and it does help to reduce waste. But those who overtly proclaim that they ‘got this gift just for you’ and forgot that the recipient was around when you originally got the present, well, that's just distasteful. May your stockings be filled with lumps of coal this Christmas.

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3. Gift cards to places you never go to

While gift cards can be a practical gift in many ways – who would turn down an iTunes coupon or a free meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant? – sometimes, it's just obvious that not a lot of thought was put into the present. For instance, getting gift cards to cake shops when the giftee is known to be on a diet or flower arrangement classes for someone who’s allergic to pollen might not exactly be a good idea. 

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4. Chocolates from brands no one’s heard of

Chocolates are often the way to go when it comes to Christmas presents. Most of us love a sugary festive treat. But forgive us for expecting something from La Maison du Chocolat or even good old Ferrero Rocher over some dubious brand no one’s ever heard of or seen in a supermarket. But yes, let’s break it open now and have a taste now, shall we?

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5. Self-help books

Almost like a subtle dig that there’s something majorly problematic about us, opening a present only to find a self-help book is never enjoyable. Intentional passive-aggressive gift or not, the book is probably going to end up as a doorstop or a monitor stand. Not a total loss then.

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6. Socks, socks, and more socks

Yes, everyone wears socks – but we're pretty sure that everyone has enough socks as well. Even if they don't, socks are just something that's best to buy for yourself considering they have to be the right size, style, and colour. Gift a pair that's too small or colourful and they're pretty much rendered unwearable. And don't even get us started on festive socks or ones with cartoons on them. 

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7. Anything ‘novelty’

Sure, it’s probably incredibly funny and entertaining for the first couple of hours once you’ve opened the present, but every novelty gift quickly becomes an eyesore for the rest of the year. Really, how likely are you to use that bum bag with a man’s hairy belly printed on it or a golf set designed to be played while you’re doing your business on the bog? 

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8. Photo frames

Ok, so we're not entirely against photo frames, but they have to be of sentimental value. If you have a photo that's meaningful and a classy frame around it, then we applaud you. But when it's just a tacky, empty frame you bought from the $12 store, that's just plain laziness. 

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9. Anything exercise or diet-related

Think you're being thoughtful by getting someone workout equipment? Think again. Unless you're buying a gift for a fitness fanatic – even then it's still a bit risky – it's never a good idea to give anything exercise or diet-related. Instead of a 'thank you', you're more likely to get a "what are you trying to say?" reaction. 

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10. “I’m the gift”

One of the worst offences are people who shamelessly don’t hide the fact that they didn’t bother getting a gift at all. Instead, they come in, smug as can be and state that they’re the gift. Er, no. Just don't.

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Bad at gifting? Check these out

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