Gift Woes and Nos


The holiday season is just around the corner. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? What’s the worst one you ever given?

Okay, full disclosure, I don’t celebrate any of the holidays from October to January, not for years, anyway. Most of my family members are not Muslims, so there is a lot going on with them during the holidays, but the husband, kids and I rarely take part.

I am one of those people who give gifts throughout the year. A spontaneous gift is one of my favorites. For me, they are usually the most sincere. I feel like the person thought of me as an individual, not a name on a list of people they must present some kind of offering.

I have received some inappropriate gifts, not necessarily because the object itself was terrible, but for one of three reasons.

Do You Know Me?

The worst gifts I ever received showed an obvious disconnection the giver had with who I am. Yes, I can be picky, but I am not referring to that. It shouldn’t take too much time and energy to figure out what might work for a person and fit their lifestyle. Do not be careless and give a Muslim a pork sausage meat box or a recovering alcoholic a bottle of wine.

I Don’t Roll Like That

Another of the worst gifts I got highlight stark differences the giver and I share and may make things uncomfortable. People may have a close relationship, but that doesn’t mean they like all the same things. There may be points of divergence.

Your friend may love romances just like you, but they may not get into that Evangelical romance you love. So, it is probably not a good idea to get them the box set.

Just Keep It

A bigger mistake than not considering the likes and dislikes of the person you are buying a gift for is to think of yourself. Nothing is more irritating than opening a present that is clearly better for the person who handed it to you.

Another gift giving horror is when the giver’s ego takes center stage. This happens when someone spends an outlandish amount of money on a gift, which can shift the relationship and imprint feelings of obligation on the recipient.

The price tag then correlates to the presenter’s ego. Balance the type and cost of the gift with the relationship.

Whether for the holidays or just because. Give some thought into the gift to increase the chances of putting a genuine smile on the recipient’s face.

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