"Thanks, but no thanks": 10 of the worst holiday gifts you can give someone

Nov 11 2022, 5:54 pm

The holidays are a time of giving, but not all gifts are well received. In fact, some are actually a nuisance.

So, if you don’t want to be a Scrooge this December, here’s a list of things not to buy for your co-workers, friends, and loved ones.

They’re almost sure to disappoint.




Unless it’s a valuable family heirloom, nobody wants to unwrap a box under the tree and find your old junk inside. Save the “does anybody want my old ____?” conversation for after the holidays.

This is a time of giving, not dumping.

A loud toy


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Thinking of buying that mini drum set or megaphone for your friend or family member’s little one? Think again.

By doing so, you will be causing weeks, if not months, of unwanted noise in their household until the child eventually gets bored and moves on to the next thing.

If you’ve already made the purchase, be sure to include some Tylenol (or wine) for mom and dad.

A pet



You wouldn’t give someone a child without asking them first. The same goes for animals.

Even if someone has expressed interest in getting a pet, it’s best not to surprise them with a new family member under the tree. Let them make that choice for themselves.

Exercise equipment


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This is fine if you’re dealing with a personal trainer or fitness junkie. If you’re not, this present can be taken as an insult ā ā€” sort of like offering someone a piece of gum or a stick of deodorant.



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Here’s something you probably didn’t want and will be forced to take care of every day.

You’re welcome.

DĆ©cor items


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There’s a good chance that those throw pillows you picked up at HomeSense are not in-line with the tastes of the person you’re giving them to. To add insult to injury, they’ll feel forced to put them out every time you go over to their place.

Cleaning supplies


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Don’t even think about it.




Unless you are 100% sure that you have someone’s correct size and that this is something they really want, it’s best to steer clear of clothes.

If you insist on buying them that sweater or pair of jeans, make sure to include a gift receipt.

Cheap candy/chocolate


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If your gift is going to be edible, it better be good, and that might mean spending a little bit extra.

Nobody wants to eat flavourless wax.

Random gift cards



If you’re going the gift card route, you better know your customer.

Gas card for someone who is always driving = good.
Tim Hortons gift card for a coffee addict = good.

A $50 certificate at an arts and crafts store for your brother-in-law who’s never held a paintbrush = hard pass.

Al SciolaAl Sciola

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