Holiday Gift Giving Gone Wrong: Common Mistakes in Gift-giving

Holiday Gift Giving Gone Wrong: Common Mistakes in Gift-giving


The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means. Gift-giving! We all know it’s not easy to figure out what to gift someone. We sometimes get to the point where we settle with something we didn’t really think through, just to get it over with. Aside from the usual thoughtless gift, here are some mistakes you should avoid when planning your gift list.

1. The Recycled Gift

In case you didn’t know, re-gifting is when you give a gift that you have received previously from someone else. This is rude and discourteous especially when the original gift-giver finds out. What’s worse is that if you move in a small circle of family and friends and you do this, you might accidentally re-gift someone’s gift back to them. 

2. The Gift of Self-Improvement

While it feels okay to get someone a weighing scale, or a self-help book on dieting, it might be offensive to the receiver. Giving someone such a gift implies that you feel that you know better what they should do with their life. It would also imply that there is something that needs changing with the person. Whatever your intention may be, something this personal should be that person’s decision alone.

3. The Personalized Gift

In addition to the last item, giving someone a very personal gift is a bad idea. Examples of this are perfumes, food and skin care products. Since personal taste in scents has to be considered when choosing perfume, it is unwise to give someone a pre-chosen scent. Also, you never know if someone is allergic to an ingredient. 

4. The Gift of Humor

While it may seem funny while you’re shopping, receiving a gag gift defeats the purpose of gifting especially when it’s the holidays. A close friend could laugh at it once or twice, but in the long run, it is impractical. Also, there is danger of offending someone who doesn’t get your humor. 

This includes politically incorrect gifts and those with mean messages. Always take into consideration the values and beliefs of the receiver. Make sure to avoid those with offensive messages — no matter how subtle and funny it is for you —  about minorities, women or race.

5. The Gift of Inconvenience

You got someone a bike. Have you considered what would happen if the recipient doesn’t have the space for it? While it may sound awesome to receive such gifts, you still have to consider that these items will take space. Unless you know that the recipient will really love the gift and is intending to get it for themselves at some point, don’t do it.

Moreover, it’s also inconsiderate to give surprise pets. They are a big responsibility and pets should be adopted by those ready (mentally, physically and financially) for them. 


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