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Author Topic: The 10 Worst Holiday Gift Ideas
snopes
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Giving gifts is an art, and unfortunately many people are still at the finger-painting stage. Here's ten common gift ideas that should be avoided -- and why -- along with seven sure-bets when it comes to giving gifts:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/11/prweb481520.htm

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Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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From a practical perspective I would actually enjoy getting socks as a present. I'd prefer to pick out my other clothing items such as shirts, pants, and shoes, but if someone got me a pack of tube socks I would find that quite useful.
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Ariadne
Deck the Malls


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Oh, man. I am handmaking almost all my gifts this year. And my dad specifically asked for socks. No, really, he did.

I wonder if I should go pick up a bunch of gift cards?

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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According to the author:

quote:
Homemade Trinkets: There are some exceptions here -- for example, such gifts from children to parents -- but generally, the recipient will not appreciate the hours you spent hot-glue-gunning tiny Christmas bears to a wooden sleigh (that you also spent hours hand-painting with the family's initials and coat of arms). We know this violates some people's assumptions and best intentions, but according to experts and studies it is so!
I'm still searching the site for these cited studies. But scroll down to the good gift ideas:

quote:
Personalized gifts ... especially for women, such as a personalized photo throw rug



Tasteful unique gifts, such as personalized marble coasters

So:

-Personalized gifts made by your own hands = bad
-Personalized gifts made by young Asian fingers = good

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qualli
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screw that. I make homemade gifts, and I work damn hard on them.

Gift Cards are the best? Hmph... why even bother?

Personaly, before I started making gifts I had gotten to the point where I was just tempted to make arrangements not to exchange gifts.

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I love getting socks. Working with 2YOs, my socks are often a topic of discussion, especially around the holidays. Silly Sock Day is my favorite day of the school year.

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I cannot live without books-Thomas Jefferson *~* A child educated only at school is an uneducated child - George Santayana
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1958Fury
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My MIL always requests specific things, and they're always so incredibly dull that I feel bad about getting them for her. One year she asked for bookends. We got her some, but she turned around and bought another set she liked better. Another year she had us buy her house slippers. This year she has asked for an oven mitt.

I'd love to do something creative instead, but she's hard to shop for. If it doesn't reflect her expensive tastes, she won't use it. Even her oven mitt will probably need to be stylish.

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Amigone201
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I never get anyone gift cards. For one thing, I feel like it's copping out; if you don't know the person well enough to get past "Well he can probably pick himself out somethin' nice at this store," you shouldn't be buying him a gift.

For another thing, gift cards are often not used, so they're more like a gift for the store than anyone else.

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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amigone: I have someone on my list who has requested Victorias Secret for Christmas. No way am I buying that for her so she's getting a giftcard. Its what she wants more than anything.

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I cannot live without books-Thomas Jefferson *~* A child educated only at school is an uneducated child - George Santayana
I'm going to pummel you with such zeal, Buddha will explode! *~* Never miss a good chance to shut up - Will Rogers

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
I never get anyone gift cards. For one thing, I feel like it's copping out; if you don't know the person well enough to get past "Well he can probably pick himself out somethin' nice at this store," you shouldn't be buying him a gift.

*sigh* ...and I am so sick of buying people gift cards, too. Sometimes I feel like it's my only choice. Last year I got my brother-in-law a $20 gift certificate from Best Buy. He also got me a $20 gift certificate from Best Buy.

Not only are gift certificates unimaginitive, but they also tell the receiver exactly how much you spent on them. We rip price tags off of other packages, but we can't do that with gift cards.

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I'mNotDedalus
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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
For another thing, gift cards are often not used, so they're more like a gift for the store than anyone else.

Do you have a cite about gift cards not being used? Genuine curiosity.

I must say, that contradicts some of the documents I used to peruse when I worked Borders Corporate. Not only were our gift card usage stats shockingly high, but they also often led to additional purchases, creating individual purchase-totals larger than the gift card's original electronic worth (which is, of course, the point of gift cards).

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Cactus Wren
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With every year that passes, these look better.

(And let me buy my own socks.)

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Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar. -- Edward R. Murrow

IOToriSparrowANK!

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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
For another thing, gift cards are often not used, so they're more like a gift for the store than anyone else.

Do you have a cite about gift cards not being used? Genuine curiosity.

I must say, that contradicts some of the documents I used to peruse when I worked Borders Corporate. Not only were our gift card usage stats shockingly high, but they also often led to additional purchases, creating individual purchase-totals larger than the gift card's original electronic worth (which is, of course, the point of gift cards).

This site says about 10% will go unused. I guess I was looking for something a bit higher, but I think I saw this story break here on Snopes.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/260931_giftcards27.html

That ten percent consists mainly of my family, my extended family, my friends, everyone I buy gifts for, and um, me [Smile] My mom is supporting FYE thanks to me.

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Cervus
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Amigone (and everyone else) please send all unwanted/unused gift cards to me. Thank you. [Smile]

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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LyndaD
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My MIL gives all of her grandchildren (12 of them) gift cards. She feels she can't hope to please all of them with presents (they range in age from 8-26), and the prospect of shopping for that many is a little daunting for her. Our kids, at least, love the gift card idea. I take them shopping with them after Christmas, and then we go to Granny's house to show her the things they picked out.
One of the favorite gifts I've ever recieved was from my mom. Every year before Christmas she'd take me shopping. We'd spend the day together and she would buy my Christmas present. She would then take it home, wrap it up and put it under the tree. This tradition continued from the time I was in high school until the Christmas before she passed away. The gift I'll always treasure is the time spent together.

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snopes
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quote:
So:
-Personalized gifts made by your own hands = bad
-Personalized gifts made by young Asian fingers = good

No, it's:

Homemade gifts = bad
Standard consumer products personalized for the recipients = good

"Homemade" and "personalized" are two very different things.

- snopes

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:

One of the favorite gifts I've ever recieved was from my mom. Every year before Christmas she'd take me shopping. We'd spend the day together and she would buy my Christmas present. She would then take it home, wrap it up and put it under the tree. This tradition continued from the time I was in high school until the Christmas before she passed away. The gift I'll always treasure is the time spent together.

You know, this is what I wanted to do with my friends with whom I exchange gifts. I would much rather have a few hours to poke around in stores, have lunch and buy something I know my friend will like (and fits!) than get a surprise when we meet to exchange gifts. Gift selection is getting harder and time spent alone together is almost non-existent.

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Singing in the Drizzle
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Personal I'm going to be disapointed again this year. No one is buy that $30K tracker I need or that 103" HDTV that I think that I need.

Since I know I will get what I want. I love people that will buy a few pair of those expesive socks that I use for hiking or the nice thick wool ones I use around the house during the winter. I also like the homemade gifts as long as some though when into them. Since I bout my first house a couple of years ago. There are several outdoor and shop tool that I would be very happy to get for gifts.

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landmammal
Deck the Malls


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I loooooove getting socks, especially the fancy Nordstrom $12 a pair kind of socks. Unfortunately my mom now refuses to buy me socks for Christmas because she thinks I have too many. But really, when it comes to socks you can never have enough.

I didn't think much of their suggestions. I don't like getting gift cards, jewelry, or toiletries. And a personalized marble coaster? Puh-leeze. "Thanks Aunt Helen! Just what I've always wanted- not just generic useless crap, but generic useless crap with my name on it!"

I like getting books and movies, but don't kill yourself trying to pick something you think I'd like. Get me something you like that you think I won't totally hate (no war movies, in other words). That way, maybe you'll help broaden my horizons this year.

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Ariadne
Deck the Malls


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I would like socks, too. I am really to the point where I don't need much except for big items I have to save up for (home improvements and stuff, basically). When it comes to books and movies, I'd rather pick them out myself. I personally like gift cards because then I can buy things I need.

Landmammal, I would feel the same way about personalized coasters. Not only would I not use them, I couldn't even sell them at a garage sale or on eBay so they would have to sit in a box in my basement for eternity.

I am asking my parents for an ACLU membership or something similar this year, since they want to get me something. I also may ask for a new pair of gloves. I usually get cute socks from my mom. I am really in favor of practical gifts. I would rather have someone get me a good pair of socks or nothing at all than spend money on something I won't use.

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saxea ut effigies bacchantis prospicit eheu | prospicit et magnis curarum fluctuat undis
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underfire and overrated
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I'm joining the "I like socks" crowd.

Besides that, I do like getting gift cards. But then again, I like to shop and I hate to spend money so a gift card is perfect for me.

Really, though, personalized marble coasters? How... odd. The photo throw is creepy, too. I deffinatly don't need a blanket with a loved ones face on it.

-underfire

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Tabbymago
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I love gift cards. You've given me the gift of wandering through Barnes & Noble for hours and getting whatever I want! It's the best thing in the world for a picky impulse buyer who rarely has specific desires except where more pricey things are concerned.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
This site says about 10% will go unused. I guess I was looking for something a bit higher, but I think I saw this story break here on Snopes.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/260931_giftcards27.html

That ten percent consists mainly of my family, my extended family, my friends, everyone I buy gifts for, and um, me [Smile] My mom is supporting FYE thanks to me.

Interesting link! The 10% aside, I'd still hesitate to classify unused gift cards as a gift for the retailers. For one, the article designates the earnings as a windfall profit: entirely unexpected. Which makes sense: why wouldn't the retailers want you to return to their stores?

Another important point is:

quote:
When a company sells a gift card, it initially records a liability on its balance sheet for its obligation to the card's holder. The liability is erased and revenue is recorded when the card is used or expires.

The complications arise when a card is sold with no expiration date and the holder fails to use the entire balance. That could leave a retailer reporting a liability on its books for years.

Of course, the article's main driving point is how large retailers such as Home Depot and Best Buy began reporting the unused gift cards during what was probably their 2nd Quarter of 2006. To be honest, I can't recall how quickly Borders reported their unused gift cards (which also dont have expiration dates, IIRC). Interesting stuff.

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The salty fragrance of LEau DImNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
So:
-Personalized gifts made by your own hands = bad
-Personalized gifts made by young Asian fingers = good

No, it's:

Homemade gifts = bad
Standard consumer products personalized for the recipients = good

"Homemade" and "personalized" are two very different things.

To be sure, I was making an obnoxious hyperbole. But I still see some similarities between "homemade" and "personalized." A homemade gift, of course, can be personalized in its details. In another vein, the personalized nature of the homemade gift probably has more to do with the gift-maker: their personalized expression (which lends itself more to your point, snopes).

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by qualli:
screw that. I make homemade gifts, and I work damn hard on them.

The article didn't say "homemade gifts," it said "homemmade trinkets." To me, "trinket" implies a dust-catcher, a useless object, probably tacky in design. I'm sure the gifts you make are neither useless nor tacky. [Smile]

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Tzarina
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I buy gift cards for the teenagers in my family. I also buy a large giftcard to a restaurant and movie passes for my BIL and SIL. It's usually good for 2 dates, and I know where they like to eat, so they get used every year.

Everyone else gets an acutal gift. I try to avoid being too practical, but I also try to find something that will actually get used. I hate when a gift sits and collects dust. The only person I have this problem with is my MIL. She's a huge pain to shop for.

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Algae
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Hmmm...I got slipper socks for my grandmothers this year. They all have circulation issues and their feet are always cold. And they've all told me that they don't want any gifts that aren't practical.

I think homemade gifts can be bad, but it's like any other gift; if there's no real thought put into the recipient and you're just making it because you can, then it's a bad gift. If you know you're good at making sleighs with bears in them and your cousin loves bears, then it may be a good gift. Your aunt that hates teddy bears due to an unfortunate childhood nightmare, though...not so good.

And I will admit to being a hypocrite: I love getting gift cards, but I hate to give them.

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by qualli:
screw that. I make homemade gifts, and I work damn hard on them.

The article didn't say "homemade gifts," it said "homemmade trinkets." To me, "trinket" implies a dust-catcher, a useless object, probably tacky in design.
Exactly Lainie. If an 8 year old gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll I'm going to be touched at her thoughtfulness. If my 28 year old sister gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll I am going to be less than impressed and actually probably really annoyed at her cheapness and her assumption that I would want something like that in the first place. Oh and colour co-ordinating it to match my bathroom decor will not make it less tacky!

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GenYus
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I agree with Lainie. I think the different is the usefulness of the gift. The sleigh they examplfy is pretty useless as anything but a dust collector unless you have a sleigh thing. But a throw rug at lease has some potential use.

Also, it may have something to do with the skill of the hand-maker. If your throw rug looks like the sweepings from the yarn factory, I don't think it is a good present.

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The Goof
Deck the Malls


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I like getting gift cards, then I can get just what I want.

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"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid,than to open it and remove all doubt."- Mark Twain

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zman977
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by qualli:
Gift Cards are the best? Hmph... why even bother?

My wife and I love getting gift cards. Especially for stores like Best Buy, Circut City, etc. I'd rather get a gift card then a pair of socks.

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RLobinske
Deck the Malls


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(good ole boy mode on)Oh yeah, photo-personalized throw rugs are just eat up with class and style.(good ole boy mode off) Because, everybody wants a gift that allows everyone to symbolically walk on their face. [Roll Eyes]
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MaxKaladin
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Gift cards are good. I don't always use them right away, but I use them. For instance, For the last few years, I had a tiny apartment. Earlier this year, I finally moved into a much bigger apartment. I'd saved gift cards from the past two or three years and then spent them all on stuff for the new apartment. It came in very handy.
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I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
If an 8 year old gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll ... my 28 year old sister gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll I am going to be less than impressed...

Crotched? As opposed to crotchless?
Posts: 2115 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by kismoctopus:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
If an 8 year old gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll ... my 28 year old sister gives me a crotched cover for the spare toilet paper roll I am going to be less than impressed...

Crotched? As opposed to crotchless?
[lol] um, well, you know`what I mean!

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

Posts: 18428 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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