Top Ten Things Not to Give as a Present This Year

Christmas packages


This list is inspired by watching seventy plus Holidays come and go with some mixed results on gifting both giving and receiving.

Top Ten Things Not to Give as a Present This Year

10 This year do not give anyone a fruitcake. If you do, at best it will find its way into the city recycling center. At worst, it will come back to you next year just a little bit harder than when last gifted. (Sure it looked good in the catalog.?

9 This year do not give anything that has “as seen on TV” printed on the package. If you do, at best the recipient will know you shopped in the drugstore. At worst, the gadget will be responsible for taking out the recipient’s electrical system. (You didn’t see that recall notice did you?)

8 This year do not give Scandinavian cookies in a metal tin. If you do, at best the made in USA label will give away the lack of an imported gift. At worst, the cookies will taste like overpriced Little Debbie vanilla wafers. (How’s that stuck to the roof of the mouth feeling working out for your recipient?)

7 This year do not give frozen mail order steaks. If you do, at best the steaks will be received by a vegan. At worst, the steaks will arrive in time to sit on the porch between Christmas and New Years while your recipient is skiing in Telluride. (They never said they were going out-of-town did they?)

6 This year do not give fruit gifts. If you do, at best whatever you choose is hated by 75% of the people in the recipient’s household. At worst, the gift you choose arrives during the worst snowstorm in one hundred years and won’t show up until spring. (Man, those pears sure didn’t freeze well did they?)

5 This year do not give personal grooming devices. If you do, at best the recipient will wonder your intent. At worst, you may get a call from the recipients lawyer who is talking generalities about severe damage to very personal areas. (The ad said it was perfectly safe, and you believed it right?)

4 This year do not give a box of chocolate covered cherries. If you do, at best they will cause the recipient to choke on the first and throw the rest away. At worst, the recipient will be so depressed by the lack of thought the entire box will be eaten, and the recipient admitted to the ER with symptoms of a glucose overdose. (It seemed like a good idea while you were getting your prescription filled. Didn’t it?)

3 This year do not give a discount coupon for a day spa visit. At best, you will broadcast how cheap you are. At worst the day spa is running discounts because their service sucks. (Can you say toe fungus without cringing?)

2 This year do not give anything that designed to be worn under clothes. If you do, at best you will raise a question regarding the need. At worst, the size will be all wrong, and it won’t matter if you chose too small or too large the result will be the same. (Did you have a few drinks at that trunk show or are you just an idiot?)

1 This year so not give anything that you bought on an impulse just to have a gift to give. If you do, at best you will have difficulty explaining why that particular gift. At worst, you will probably overspend for something that has no thought behind it. (That will be your payback for procrastinating your search for a gift.)


  1. 11. Do NOT give an invitation to a Donald Trump Christmas rally. At best you’ll create yet another rabidly xenophobic loon. At worst you’ll be partially responsible for starting World War III.

    1. Ha ha ha. One of the best. Thanks. 😀

  2. Worst mistake I ever made was giving a coat to a woman. When she looked at the size, she was offended that I though she wore such a large size. Then, when it was too small, oh, you know how that ended.

    1. Yes I do know how it ended. I’ll bet you never tried that again. 🙂

      1. Worse. I tried to explain…

      2. Oh nooooooo. Doomed.

  3. LOL, I had the impulse to duck the instant I read the title. 😀 I must have known there was a fruitcake coming! Another brilliant list John. Have a marvelous Monday. Mega hugs!

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I wish an easy Monday for you at the glue factory. 🙂

  4. Hilarious list, John, especially the one about the fruit cake, because I know people who’ve actually done this! lol. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Traci. I think I have one in the backyard holding up a volleyball net support.

  5. Those ‘As Seen On TV’ things are everywhere for some reason. Even the big stores. Question about #6: Does this include Edible Arrangements?

    1. Edible arrangements are okay if delivered to the person right away. (I feel like a judge with this answer)

      1. Right away and uneaten, right?

      2. Yes. No bites out of the melon rose.

      3. Those are safe. The pineapple flowers might be in trouble.

  6. My mom was a teacher for over 20 years and if she’d had a dollar for every box of chocolate covered cherries she received as Christmas gifts from students, she could have retired a lot sooner.

    1. Ha ha ha. That is a lot of choking. Thanks Teri. 🙂

  7. Ugh…the dreaded fruitcake…it just keep coming back around. Great list, John! Number 9 cracked me up.

    1. Thanks Jill. Nine made me laugh as well. (I know nuts right?)

  8. Re No. 5, my wife once received an Epilady leg hair remover. She never thought of the giver in the same way again…

    1. Ripping out leg hair does that to person.

  9. Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho-Humbug! I actually like them! 😀

    1. I’m really enjoying the Advent calendar. Took a while for me to get it up and running but I finally figured it out. Thanks again Jan.

  10. Ah, John, timely and well thought out list. Every single item seems made for bad moments. Might I add perfume you think smells nice but the recipient doesn’t want? Same for jewelry. Shoot, Christmas gift-giving gets harder every year — no wonder cash rules!

    1. I am with you on this one.

  11. My older sister once stole a box of chocolate covered cherries and lied on me about it and I got a switching by my grandmother. I prayed for my sister to get sick.

    We have a solstice party held by a friend every year. We take all of last years white elephants and pass them off at the party.

    1. great idea. I love while elephant parties where you get to steal other’s gifts

  12. I LOVE fruitcake!!! Wassa matta you?

    1. Everyday you broadcast your hoserness.

  13. This is not the year to ask for a collection of Steeler highlights … and I like fruitcake!

    1. Yes. The old man team is about done. You can like fruitcake if you want. Just don’t give it to me.

      1. Hopefully the final blow happens this weekend … but hey … they are still dangerous – especially with the speed at WR.

      2. Yep … but Tomlin’s team always scares me.

  14. Yes, another brilliant list! Thanks for the reminders! But I like fruitcake – homemade.

    1. Yes. I have heard it is good.

  15. They’ve been selling the same fruitcakes since 1901………..Recycled, because nobody eats them. Ick.

    1. Think of archaeologists in the year 5020 digging up a fruitcake. Will still be edible.

      1. Will NEVER be edible.

  16. Masterful listing, John.

    1. Thanks. You have been busy reading.

  17. I almost didn’t get past #10 (fruitcake) because that is exactly what I sent my brother this year. Of course, he and I aren’t on the best of terms so … 🙂

    1. I think is was the perfect gift then.

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