8 useless Christmas gifts people give every year (and what to buy instead)

Please... no more picture frames!

Don't give your friends and colleagues these boring presents
Don't give your friends and colleagues these boring presents
11 Mar 2015

Don't give your friends and colleagues these boring presents

PHOTOS: Ingimage 

Every Christmas, it’s inevitable that for every awesome gift you receive, you’ll get two more that will end up in a pile underneath your bed. Not because they’re horrible, but because they’re just kind of…generic and useless. Which is basically the criteria we use when selecting presents for people we should buy presents for, but don’t really know (say, a colleague who sits on the other side of the room).

1. PICTURE FRAMES
1. PICTURE FRAMES
11 Mar 2015

1. PICTURE FRAMES

Who even develops photos anymore? Unless your colleagues are over 50 years old or extremely old-fashioned, they’re not going to develop pictures just so they can use your picture frame. Chances are, it’ll go unused until its owner succumbs to a sudden bout of sentimentality.

What to buy instead: A flash drive for storing their photos. Welcome to the 21st century.

2. MOUSE PADS
2. MOUSE PADS
11 Mar 2015

2. MOUSE PADS

News flash: Most computer mice have sufficiently adapted to bare surfaces, rendering mouse pads obsolete. Don’t be surprised if you see your friend or colleague using it as a place mat instead.

What to buy instead: A keyboard maintenance kit, as engineers still haven’t found a way to prevent keys from getting dusty.

3. DECORATIVE SOAP
3. DECORATIVE SOAP
11 Mar 2015

3. DECORATIVE SOAP

It’s so beautiful! And so useful! And always so neglected. The person who receives it feels so bad marring its gorgeous design, that they usually end up sticking it in their underwear drawer as a closet deodoriser. Which means….

What to buy instead: You should just buy closet sachets in the first place. Buy the packs that come with multiple scents. Your friend is bound to like at least one of them.

4. PHYSICAL ADDRESS BOOKS
4. PHYSICAL ADDRESS BOOKS
11 Mar 2015

4. PHYSICAL ADDRESS BOOKS

We’re a little baffled that stationery stores still sell these – and that people still give them to us – when they’ve been effectively replaced with smartphones. What to buy instead: A case for holding all of their business cards. Every office worker has at least 500 of these stuffed haphazardly inside their desk drawer.

What to buy instead: A classic lined journal. They’ll end up using it as a diary or for meeting notes eventually.

5. NOVELTY JOURNALS FOR OBSCURE HOBBIES AND PASTIMES
5. NOVELTY JOURNALS FOR OBSCURE HOBBIES AND PASTIMES
11 Mar 2015

5. NOVELTY JOURNALS FOR OBSCURE HOBBIES AND PASTIMES

Dream journals, happiness journals, mindfulness journals, travel journals, wine journals, and pet journals might sound quirky and practical in theory, but nobody has time for that. Why fill out a journal about your dog when you can just take a million photos and upload them on Instagram?

What to buy instead: A classic lined journal. They’ll end up using it as a diary or for meeting notes eventually.

6. A HOLIDAY CANDLE
6. A HOLIDAY CANDLE
11 Mar 2015

6. A HOLIDAY CANDLE

Nobody will want to smell gingerbread, frosted cinnamon, and cranberries after New Year’s, so after just a week of usage, it’s going to enter an early retirement.

What to buy instead: Aromatherapy room spray. It’s convenient, it’s useful, and it can be used at any time of the year.

7. DESK ACCESSORIES
7. DESK ACCESSORIES
11 Mar 2015

7. DESK ACCESSORIES

How many pencil cups and paperweights can one person possibly fit on her desk? More often than not, desk organisers make your table look even more cluttered than before.

What to buy instead: A cute stapler. Goodness knows those things always get lost, stolen, or borrowed and never returned.

8. FIGURINES
8. FIGURINES
11 Mar 2015

8. FIGURINES

Ask yourself this: Do you need another Precious Moments or Forever Friends figurine? If the answer is no, then your colleague doesn’t either. Unless the figurine is something especially beautiful – say, purchased from a quaint little antique shop overseas – this will end up being sold for $5 on Carousell.

What to buy instead: Since figurines are useless, literally anything (well, anything other than what we’ve listed above). Here are a few free suggestions: coasters, luggage tags, power banks, a pocket-sized mirror, a quirky coffee mug, a basket of holiday treats, an exotic tea blend, or a passport pouch with tons of pockets. YOU’RE WELCOME.

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