Once upon a time, when I was just 9 years old, I was given what could possibly be the worst Christmas present of all time.
My younger brother and I eagerly awoke our parents early Christmas morning, bounded downstairs (dragging them with us, for some reason they seemed to want to sleep more rather than open their presents), and sat ourselves down beside our tree. Underneath this tree were presents as far as our tiny little heads could see. And, as instructed by our parents, we chose one each and got to unwrapping.
And what was this first present we each unwrapped?
Matching, horrific, home-knit Christmas jumpers. Who sent us these monstrosities I can’t remember. What I can remember was politely telling my parents I thought mine was lovely, while my brother looked at his with fear in his eyes. Was this it? Was this going to be the standard of presents this Christmas? No toys, no books, no games; just ugly jumpers, pants and socks that we’d be forced to wear forever more.
To add insult to injury we were made to wear those matching, itchy, in-your-face jumpers for the entire day. Although my brother can hardly remember this torture, it’s been burnt vividly into my mind. I made a pact with myself; when I was an adult, I would never put anyone through the same pain I’d felt. I’d make a stand for embarrassed kids everywhere. NO MORE TACKY CHRISTMAS GIFTS.
- 1 Your Funny Christmas Gifts Aren’t Funny
- 2 Your Home-Made Christmas Gifts Suck. Sorry I’m The First To Tell You.
- 3 Think Of The Money You’re Wasting Next Time You Buy A Funny Christmas Gift
- 4 You Can Give A Funny Christmas Gift For Secret Santa – Just Not Tacky!
- 5 How To Stop Buying ‘Funny’ Christmas Presents
- 6 Writing Christmas Lists Doesn’t Take The Surprise Away From Christmas
- 7 SEE MORE: The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide 2014 >>
Your Funny Christmas Gifts Aren’t Funny
I still can’t quite get my head around why anyone would give someone such a ridiculously bad Christmas gift. Is it just that they can’t see how bad it is? Or is it some kind of joke? If it’s meant to be a joke, it really isn’t funny.
Why would you ever buy that jumper for someone? You know they’re not going to wear it after Christmas. ‘Funny’ Christmas gifts like this one are entirely pointless. If you’re buying one you’re just wasting your money. You might get a laugh out when they open it, but was that laugh worth the tenner you spent on it? Not likely.
I for one hate wasting money. So whenever I buy a gift, I already start to feel a little nervous because I know I could never buy something for anyone that they couldn’t buy better for themselves. If they don’t explicitly let me know what they’d like (and believe me, I pester most people until they give me a rough idea), then I work from the ideas I mentioned in the 7 Mistakes You Make When You Buy Cool Gifts For Guys blogpost. I listen to them in the run up to Christmas, see if they unwittingly point out something they’d like from a shop or an advert on TV, and if they don’t I just buy something related to their interests.
In general this has worked out pretty well for me so far. I like the presents I buy to be well received, so if I really can’t come up with any ideas I’ll give money, a gift voucher for a shop I know they like (or Amazon as a backup), or I’ll get them some chocolate. Simple.
The last thing I’d ever do is buy them some funny Christmas gifts I KNOW they’ll never use. Or worse yet; make them something.
Your Home-Made Christmas Gifts Suck. Sorry I’m The First To Tell You.
Unless you’ve had specific, genuine requests from friends and family for you to make them something, don’t.
No, I’m going one step further than this; unless you have a proper craft, i.e you’ve sold things you’ve made in the past, please don’t give them as gifts. If people wouldn’t spend money on them, you shouldn’t be giving them away in lieu of real presents.
I’d make an exception for cards. If you want to make anything for people at Christmas, make your own Christmas cards. However bad they are, people appreciate the thought. If you make your own Christmas presents though, they feel a little cheated after they spent real money on you. They won’t say they hate it of course, they’ll lie and say they love whatever you made them, but behind your back they’ll be telling people what a let-down it was.
And never, ever, give a little kid a hand-knitted funny Christmas jumper in place of a real present. If you don’t know what to get them, buy chocolates or sweets! You’ll ruin their day with a jumper, trust me. If you want to give a home-made piece of clothing alongside a normal present though, be my guest. Just don’t expect them to ever wear it in front of you after Christmas day. Even if their parents try to make them, they’ll ‘lose’ it like I lost mine…
Think Of The Money You’re Wasting Next Time You Buy A Funny Christmas Gift
Try to think in terms of money whenever you buy a Christmas present. And no, I don’t mean be a Scrooge and count every penny, refusing to buy anyone anything but tat. More like – think in terms of value for money.
Do you know what this is? It’s a £7.99 waste of money. Yes, this incredibly tacky Christmas tie is a whole £7.99. You might as well just chuck that money into a bin for all the good it’s done. Your gift will be opened, everyone will chuckle ‘haha, good one’, and it’ll be left in it’s box to rot. Or be given to a charity shop. Or, heaven forbid, regifted, to pass that horrible feeling of opening it onto someone else.
Was that small laugh worth £7.99? No, it wasn’t, I could’ve shown them all pictures of cats on the internet and gotten the same reaction for free.
So start thinking in terms of value. Before you buy a gift, consider whether it’ll be worth it’s cost to the Christmas gift receiver. If you buy a £40 game for someone, will they get £40’s worth of plays out of it? And if you buy any funny Christmas gifts, will they really get used enough?
If you really are going to make someone something this Christmas, consider yourself losing an hours worth of minimum wage to work on it. That tacky Christmas jumper I received all those years ago probably took a good 3-5 hours to make, and it was worn for a day. You be the judge of how much value that was….
You Can Give A Funny Christmas Gift For Secret Santa – Just Not Tacky!
I have a theory for why funny Christmas presents are such a problem. People just seem to panic when Christmas comes along. They feel the pressure of having to get something, anything, and half the time present buying is left so late that the only thing you can think of under the time-constraint is a ridiculous gift.
Well, I’ve already given you 7 incredible last-minute Christmas gift ideas, so that shouldn’t be a problem this year.
Even if you’re the kind of person who’s agreed with all my previous points, for some reason everyone seems to lose their mind for Secret Santa. You don’t know your colleagues that well, so it’s understandable. You end up buying them something they’ll never need or use, probably a funny Christmas gift you hope will get a laugh.
Honestly we all need to break this trend. Although you might not know the person you pulled from the hat well, you’ll probably know small things. Do they drink tea? Then a mug would be perfect. Or if they like chocolates or biscuits, you could get them a little selection box. No, this won’t get a laugh out of your fellow workers, but you can bet it’ll get more use than their presents will. If that’s not enough to get your little brain chugging, I’ve got more Secret Santa gift ideas (that they might actually use…) right here.
Just don’t give them anything like this…
How To Stop Buying ‘Funny’ Christmas Presents
You have your reasons for buying these kinds of tacky Christmas gifts, I know that. You think they’ll be funny and well received, you don’t know what else to get, you left your Christmas shopping too last minute… The list goes on.
But funny Christmas gifts aren’t the answer.
Just imagine how you feel when you get a present off a loved one. You have that little thumping of excitement in your chest, and for a moment you can’t help feeling the present over and trying to guess what it could be in your head. They know you well right? So they’ll definitely have bought something you’ll like.
Now you’ve got a pack of funny reindeer socks in your lap. Not only is this really not all that funny to you, but it’s completely useless to receive on Christmas day. Because Christmas day was the last day of the year that you’d even half consider wearing something like this. Now that it’s over they’re going to be stuffed in a drawer to be (maybe, if you can remember them) worn next year.
My family’s stealthily got around this whole ridiculous and tacky Christmas gift giving since the great Christmas jumper fiasco of 2001 – we now write lists for each other. Ground-breaking I know.
Writing Christmas Lists Doesn’t Take The Surprise Away From Christmas
I know what half of you are thinking – Christmas is meant to be special and full of surprises! You can’t just tell people what you want, that takes all the magic away! But you’re wrong. Who knows better what you want for Christmas than you yourself? I bet there are a load of things you’d like to have in your life if you had the money to spend and you thought hard enough. And remember, your friends and family really do want to get you something you’ll love. So they’ll appreciate the help.
What I do is sit and write down as many things as I can possibly think up. I do this for a variety of budgets too, some will be cheaper than others. Then I give this to family. Now I have no idea what they’ll pick from that massive list, so it’ll still be a surprise when I receive the Christmas gifts on the big day itself.
My family members all give me these type of lists for me to buy things for them too. And sometimes we’ll each throw in one, smaller, Christmas gift that we’ve thought of ourselves. But it’ll be one we know they’ll know. If they love dairy milk, I’ll buy them a giant bar. If they’re a huge fan of one movie, I might buy them the book of it, or a piece of memorabilia.
I’m really hoping this post has stopped you in your tracks if you were thinking of buying any funny Christmas gifts this year. Agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.