Giving presents at Christmas isn’t only about the usability of the gift, but what you’re saying on a personal level to the recipient, and calendars fail miserably on both these fronts. The point of calendars hasn’t existed for the past few years, and what you’re saying with one pretty much amounts to “I know the internet exists, but please enjoy these 12 pictures of cute animals/babes in bikinis anyway.”
14. A Christmas Tree Ornament
Really, what? The tree’s been up for a week already and you have the gall to waltz in here, take one look at my decoration effort and donate to me a gift that’s about as subtle as a piece of paper saying “I can do better”? Fuck you.
13. Novelty Anything
Don’t get me wrong, a rubber-something stocking-filler here and there is just fine, but what goes through the mind of someone whose sole gift of the season is something that might as well be a dog toy?
12. Games for the Wrong Game System orDVDs for a BluRay Player
It’s called RESEARCH, Aunt Beatrice. You idiot.
11. A Star Named After You
What this present lacks in any enjoyment, happiness, or gratitude on behalf of the recipient , it makes up for in the opportunity to make fun of the moron who spent $20 on a certificate which means absolutely nothing. And, in the end, isn’t that what any one of us truly wants?
10. Picture Frame
I can’t imagine where the tradition of gifting picture frames came from. It’s so inexplicable it could have been anything. There are alternate universes where people, the day before their office’s Secret Santa party, not knowing what else to do, go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy a cafetiere, or a shower mat, or a child-size antique ottoman. A special holiday shout-out to those people that also put a picture of their own choosing in the frame before giving it, which is the second most obnoxious thing I can imagine. The first being making a list of terrible christmas gifts as a job.
9. Clothing That Doesn’t Fit
It’s common practice to leave the tags and receipt with any clothing you buy anyone. The reasoning behind this is that, if it doesn’t fit, they’ll be able to take it back and get something more appropriate. The reality behind this is who has time for that in the week between Christmas and New Year?
8. A Pet Bird, Rodent or Reptile
What’s worse than thrusting the responsibility of caring for another living creature at someone without warning? Choosing a gross kind of living creature. That’s what.
7. A Donation in Your Name
It’s hard to complain about a gift of charity that will undoubtedly improve lives around the world. But let’s try anyway. First off, it’s kind of presumptuous to decide any of your friends have fallen short on the “helping others” quota over the year. Second off, it’s not a cool robot toy or cash or anything, which sucks.
6. Non-Best Selling Book About Something You Were Interested in As a Child
This one feels oddly specific, but from the votes it received it looks like a lot of you have been burned in the past by this kind of thing. A couple of years ago a relative gave me a Boy Scouts handbook, which is weird for a number of reasons including the fact I was never in the boy scouts and the fact I was never in the Boy Scouts.
5. A Subscription to a Daily Newspaper
If the inconvenience of smiling at and hugging the person who gave you this for Christmas seems bad enough, you’re going to be receiving half a pound of paper every goddamn morning for the rest of your life. It’s just not fair.
4. Homemade Coupons
Only acceptable if the coupon reads: “Good for one expensive, thoughtful gift from me wrapped nicely and not how dads do it. Also I’m a piece of shit who considers my time and effort better than any product manufactured or service created in the history of all human discovery and invention. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I want to die. I’m sorry.”
3. Homemade Wreath
I feel like I’ve already detailed the problems with gifting a christmas decoration/something homemade enough already, so let’s go ahead and use our collective common sense to gather that combining the two is an even worse idea, as if that were possible.
2. Swag from the Gift-Givers Place of Employment
If I had a nickel for every time I didn’t have a stapler or a pen lying around, I’d have enough money to buy those things myself like everybody should and does. Don’t do it.
1. Trial Membership
The bad gifts that have preceded the summit of this countdown have been uniquely awful and terrible ideas, but have been at least united by one common virtue: they’re actual things. The same can’t be said for Trial Memberships, the worst Christmas gift anyone could ever give. They’re part things. As much a gift as telling someone a pretty neat place to hang out on Sundays. To those people who recycle something that dropped through the letterbox as a present in a blind Christmas Eve panic: you’re a terrible person, and are banned from Christmas henceforth. Everyone else: stick to money. Money’s awesome.