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Tis The Season…

Let me start by saying in all things you should be gracious.  People don’t have to buy you a gift, and you should be happy that they thought enough of you at all.  Having said that, and knowing it’s the thought that counts it is also important to be a thoughtful giver!  Be it the office Secret Santa or your husbands sister…who wants to unwrap a box of foolishness?

As you hustle and bustle to pick up things for everyone on your list, please exercise a little gift giving etiquette.  We’ve all received a few less than stellar gifts at one point or another so here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you with those last minute decisions.

1.      Unless she is an avid collector, DON’T buy a woman over the age of ten a stuffed animal.  It screams last minute.  It screams gas station.  It screams cheap inconsiderate idiot.  I once had a guy give me a Morehouse teddy bear as a gift.  He didn’t attend Morehouse mind you.  I remember he showed up to my house all proud of that gift, like he did something *clown*.  My friends and I called it a bootleg Teddy Ruxpin, and I threw it away.

2.      DO find out her size before you break the bank in Victoria’s Secret. Lingerie that is too big or too small is a definite no-no! 

3.      DON’T do the Kwanza fake out.  Don’t get me wrong, hand made gifts are nice, but if people aren’t creative and craft savvy, the thought of making something nice might be intimidating.  My friends and I once decided to exchange Kwanza gifts.  It was a good idea for them, because they are all creative.  I can barely color in the lines so I won’t even tell you what I “made” for their gifts!

4.      DO keep his personal style in mind when you buy him a gift.  Even if you hate the way he wears his jeans, buying him a pair of skinny straight leg Rock and Republic’s is not the solution.  He won’t wear them, and that’s three hundred dollars you could have spent on yourself.

5.      DON’T buy Secret Santa gifts from the gas station.  At the very least, you can stop at the grocery store on your way to your office and visit their gift card rack.  No one wants to receive crap, not even the people at work that you don’t like.

6.      DO request a gift receipt.  Even if you think your taste is impeccable, someone else might not agree.  

7.      DON’T ever give anyone a Fruit Cake as a gift…PERIOD!

8.      DO say thank you! Even if you don’t like the gift, or even if you have seven just like it at home, smile and be gracious.   

As I compiled this list of do’s and don’ts I couldn’t help but think of all the bad gifts I’ve received.  There was the aforementioned bootleg Teddy Ruxpin.  There was the package of barrettes my aunt gave me when I was in my twenties (I had a short haircut and could barely curl it, let alone clip barrettes to it). To me those were bad gifts, but the very worst gift I EVER received was actually for Valentine’s Day.  The guy I was with at the time took a picture of us and had one of those characture cartoons drawn from it.  I was beyond disappointed.  When you think Valentine’s Day gift, you think flowers, jewelry, candlelight, romance.  Instead I got a cartoon.  A cartoon that didn’t even look like me.  A cartoon that was rolled up with a rubber band and still in the plastic sleeve.  So much for presentation!

So Epiphanyblog, can you top that?  As you check the gifts off your list and strive to be a thoughtful giver, what was the very worst gift you’ve ever received?



December 18, 2008 - Posted by | Fun, Holidays, Laughter


  1. Okay Jerzee, I want to know what you “made” for your friends! Was it reservations-LOL!!!!
    Worst gift I ever got was from my mother-in-law. She bought me undershirts and flannel pajamas. She said she noticed I didn’t wear anything but a bra (don’t ask) under my shirts, and that I often wore my husbands “underthings” around the house so maybe I needed my own PJ’s. Then there was the year she bought me a dust buster and some pledge for Xmas.

    Comment by scrooge | December 18, 2008

  2. I am an investment banker, and I wear suits most days. My girlfriend thought I needed more color in my wardrobe and bought me a red zoot suit. She was from Mississippi, and she is my ex-girlfriend now.

    Comment by JBlaze | December 18, 2008

  3. My worst gifts always comes from co-workers. Those cheap dollar store “fake” bath and body works spa sets. I end up using them as cleaning soaps or I wrap them up the next year for the white elephant exchanges.

    When all else fails do gift cards and attach a nice card. I will buy my own stuff. LOL

    Comment by Venom | December 18, 2008

  4. Perhaps you are remembering the time I took a certain sister in law gift back to the Gap and it was literally $1.99 on the sale rack. Geez, thanks!!!!

    Comment by ncmama | December 18, 2008

  5. POTS AND PANS!!! A cheap set at that!! Don’t buy your girlfriend (or wife)pots and pans for Christmas. You can’t imagine the look of disappointment you will see in her eyes! I took them back the day after Christmas and put the money toward the earings I really wanted at the Day After Christmas sale.

    Comment by Miss Linda | December 18, 2008

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