Bad Christmas Presents

bad gift

Once in a while, everyone receives a gift that isn't exactly to his or her personal taste. However, a truly bad Christmas gift takes some effort. Whether you're looking for a funny and terrible gift to give for the holidays or are simply curious about what makes a gift really awful, these ideas can help.

Truly Terrible Christmas Gifts

Foods That Flaunt Dietary Restrictions

In many cases, food makes a great Christmas gift. You can bake cookies for the neighbors, buy your mom a wine-of-the-month club membership, or give your grandma a box of truffles. However, these gifts become far less charming when they go against the dietary restrictions of the recipient. These are a few quick and easy ways to get on the worst Christmas gift ever list:

  • peanut brittle
    Peanut Brittle
    Sugar cookies for someone with Celiac disease
  • Peanut brittle for a person with a peanut allergy
  • Delicious candy for a diabetic
  • A nice bottle of wine for a recovering alcoholic
  • Strawberry jam for someone who is allergic to strawberries
  • Meringue cookies for those allergic to eggs

Cemetery Plot or Headstone

It's hard to imagine a gift that's in poorer taste than a Christmas present that consists of a cemetery plot. Whether the recipient is eight or eighty, this present just isn't in the holiday spirit. Although cemetery plots can be pricey, the morbid nature of this gift will always outweigh your generosity.

Similarly, it's best to stay away from giving someone a custom-engraved headstone, such as those from Personalized gifts are great, but it's better to stick to those that benefit the living. Try a tote bag or t-shirt instead.

Pet Hair Crafting Books

It's fun to buy a gift for a pet lover. After all, it's hard to go wrong if you purchase something that involves their precious furry friend. Unfortunately, there are a couple of options out there that it's best to avoid:

Cleaning Supplies

In addition to being boring, a gift of cleaning supplies is easy to interpret as a thinly-veiled insult. This includes appliances like vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners, as well as standard supplies like mops, buckets, brooms, and toilet brushes. The same goes for a gift certificate to a cleaning agency.

Bacon Car Air Freshener

The Mr. Bacon Air Freshener is another bad choice for a Christmas present. There's nothing quite as enticing as the smell of bacon frying for your morning breakfast or some tasty BLTs. However, like many real-world odors, this smell doesn't translate well to the world of artificially-scented air fresheners. Not only do reviewers on say that this air freshener smells disgusting, but it's also not the most attractive object to see hanging for your car's rearview mirror.


Shapewear is something you should never buy as a gift. In addition to sizing and comfort issues, this kind of present can be extremely insulting. For instance, if you buy a woman a pair of thigh-slimming shorts, she's going to think you're criticizing her legs. Similarly, a waist cincher can send the wrong message, especially around the holidays. Whether it's Lipo in a Box for women or Insta Slim for men, it's best to skip these slimming gifts.

On the flip side, you also want to avoid giving shapewear that adds curves to a person's body. Stay away from push-up bras or padded underwear, like the backside enhancer Booty Pop, for the ladies in your life.

Travel Wine Glass

A travel mug always makes a practical present, especially for a coffee enthusiast. However, the gift isn't quite as appropriate when it applies to alcohol. The Sippy Wine Glass, which retails for about $20, is inappropriate for several reasons. First and foremost, drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous and illegal in every state; secondly, adults with small children may not appreciate the confusion this particular sippy cup could bring; and finally, needing a lid for one's alcohol less-than-subtly implies a person may have trouble holding his or her liquor, both literally and figuratively.

Re-Gift with Original Label

Sometimes you get a gift that isn't right for you but might be right for someone you know. While regifting falls into a gray area in the world of etiquette, it's a common practice. However, certain guidelines should apply. Step one is always to remove the original gift label with your name on it.

Hoodie-Footie Bunny PJs
Hoodie-Footie PJs

Obnoxious Pop Singer Toothbrush

On its own, a toothbrush does not make a good Christmas gift, since it sends a message that the recipient has poor oral hygiene. This terrible present is made even worse by adding the vocal stylings of a pop singer to the mix. The Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush, which retails for around $15, is an especially terrible choice. Even if you give this present to a teenage girl, you're inflicting pain on her parents.

Disturbing Pajamas

In general, pajamas make a nice Christmas gift, particularly if you're sure of the recipient's size. However, the type of pajamas you buy are important. Anything too racy or too personal can be a bit awkward, but nothing is quite as disturbing as Hoodie-Footie Bunny PJs. These adult-sized pajamas feature a zip-up front, fuzzy hook with pink and white ears, and even a pink puff tail on the rear. They retail for $80 and come in women's sizes up to 3X.

Diet Cookbook

A cookbook is a fun gift for Christmas, but choosing a diet version takes the fun out of it. It's another veiled way of telling someone they should lose weight, particularly when the title is as clear as The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook: More Than 100 Tasty, Easy Superfood Recipes That Effortlessly Peel Off Pounds by Lucy Danziger. Unless you know the recipient is working to diet, it's best to avoid this type of gift.

What Bad Gifts Have in Common

Buying bad Christmas presents ultimately comes down to a lack of thought about the recipient's feelings. As long as you consider the tastes and needs of the person receiving the gift, your presents will never fall into this category.

Bad Christmas Presents