Dec 18, 2014

‘Tis the season to be horrified – by Jen Millard

Yes, that’s right, horrified. By the bad Christmas present.

As we get older terrible Christmas gifts seem to happen to us more often. When you’re a kid you can make anything work. An ugly sweater from Grandma gets “lost” at school. The hockey stick you wouldn’t be caught dead using outside is okay for playing in the basement with your useless booger of a little brother.

There are a few reasons bad gifts happen to good people. Despite good intentions, many of us just overreach or run out of time. Let’s face it, the holidays make us all a little crazy. We get desperate. We fall victim to seasonal packaging. We convince ourselves that even though we’ve never seen our best friend drink tea, this “holiday pack” of herbals in the Christmas tree-shaped tin is PERFECT for her.

Ergo, we’ve compiled our Top Ten list of questionable Christmas gifts. Those of you with a twisted sense of humour will use it as a shopping guide. Those of you with souls will treat it as a cautionary tale. The choice is yours.


1. Mensch on a Bench. Not even for the Jewish colleague who’s begging for more about the exploits of your Elf on the Shelf.


2. Tea cozy. Not even for the aunt / landlady / mother-in-law you have an inexplicable simmering rage towards. We firmly believe that nothing says “I passive-aggressively dislike you” like a tea cozy masquerading as a beehive. You’re not fooling anyone, tea cozy.

bath-and-bodyworks-gift-set-Christmas-20113. Bath & Body Works gift sets. Not even for the lady in Accounting whose name you pulled for secret Santa. But if you’re trying to give the gift that screams “I don’t like you enough to try that hard” then by all means.


4. This hand-blown glass vase resembling a goose that died playing paint ball. Not even for the person you’re secretly dying to impress with your knowledge of “art.”

Whiskey-Stone-Ice-500x5005. Whiskey Stones. Not even for the Dad who loves Scotch on the rocks. Whiskey Stones have officially replaced the tie as the go-to, trying to be original but failing miserably gift. I know this hurts, but just trust us.


6. Kirkland fruitcake (or anything edible from Costco). Not even for your boss, unless you’re quitting in January.


7. The glitter capsules that make your poop sparkle. (It’s a thing. Google it.) Not even for your best friend unless one of you is a unicorn, in which case this gift is TOTALLY appropriate.


8. Coasters. Not even for the new home-owner. We don’t care if they’re carved from the bones of the Canadian settlers or hand-painted by rescue ferrets, coasters are always a terrible idea.


9. Boxed DVD sets of old television shows. Not even for … anyone, because if you’ve never heard of Netflix or iTunes giving someone Season Four of The West Wing is not going to significantly improve your quality of life.


10. Subscription to a print magazine. Not even for the one person you know who might actually enjoy a year’s worth of Mopar Muscle. Remember, this is probably the same dude who’s creating ransom notes in his basement. And even he’s using the internet now.