What not to give

Your loved ones will thank you for not getting them these gifts.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:46 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Everyone has been subjected to a bad holiday gift.

Curtis Wieberg, a student at Moberly Area Community College, knows what to expect from his grandmother.

“My grandma gives me raisins no matter what the holiday,” Wieberg said.

Megan Noon, 25, said her worst gift was from an ex-boyfriend.

“He gave me a used sweat suit,” Noon said. “I knew it was used because it was missing the tags, and why would you go out and buy your girlfriend a sweat suit for Christmas?”

Grandmas and boyfriends aren’t the only bad gift-givers.

Time restraints and money limitations can make anyone give bad holiday gifts. If you don’t know someone well, you might have difficulty finding a gift he or she will like. There are certain things that you should always avoid giving. Here are some tips.

  • CLOTHES: Unless you know a person’s exact size and taste in clothing, don’t try to pick out something for his or her wardrobe.
  • SOCKS: This seemed to be on everyone’s list of worst holiday gifts. Leave people in charge of buying their socks.
  • LIVING GIFTS: Giving pets as gifts can seem like a great idea, but some people don’t have the time or the desire to care for an animal.
  • COFFEE TABLE BOOKS: Often coffee table books go unread and end up being used as coasters.
  • RECYCLED GIFTS: If you don’t like a gift you received, what makes you think another person will enjoy it?
  • DIET COOKBOOKS: Although some might enjoy low-fat/low-carb recipes, others might take offense to the reason you’re giving them a diet cookbook.
  • DANGEROUS GIFTS: Some gifts are hazardous, especially when in the hands of a young person. Make sure gifts are age appropriate.

Justin Bliss, 22, a senior at MU, said a BB gun was his worst Christmas gift, not because he didn’t like the gun, but because it ruined his Christmas experience that year.

“When I was 13, my brother and I really wanted these high-powered, handheld BB guns,” Bliss said.

On Christmas Eve, Bliss and his brother knew they were getting the guns from their mother. They discovered them under the tree. Carefully, they unwrapped the guns and sneaked them outside.

“I started shooting mine toward the big forest in our back yard but my brother’s wasn’t working,” Bliss said. “He held it in his hands to see what was wrong but accidentally pulled the trigger.”

The gun went off and broke a neighbor’s window.

“My mom took them back to the store the next day and we never saw them again,” Bliss said. “And we had to pay $300 to repair the window.”

In the holiday spirit, no gift is a bad gift. If you don’t know what to get someone, play it safe by taking him or her out to dinner or buying a gift certificate.

Avoid giving a gift that will end up in the back of someone’s closet or back at the store.

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