10 Gifts You Should Never Give

The stress of gift shopping can really dampen the holiday spirit. Coming up with the perfect present for everyone creates a lot of pressure, and a misstep could offend or embarrass your recipient. To be sure you're not the person who spoils the holiday, avoid giving these 10 items as gifts.

  1. Underwear

    Never Give Underwear as Gifts

    They call them "unmentionables" for a reason. Lingerie or underwear might be a sexy gift for a partner, but save it for Valentine's Day. Opening these racy items around family and friends is just plain awkward.

    Related: 15 Gadgets Everyone Wants for Christmas


  2. Souvenirs

    Never Give Souvenirs as Gifts

    You may think it’s nice to show a loved one that you thought about them on a recent vacation. In reality, though, no one wants a souvenir from a trip they didn’t take—especially if it's a kitschy key chain or miniature license plate with their name on it.

    Related: The 20 Best (and Most Unusual) B&Bs in America


  3. Pets

    Never Give Pets as Gifts

    The decision to adopt a pet requires time, thought, and planning. Not everyone is ready for the responsibility, and gifting a pet commits the recipient to years of caring for an animal. 

    Related: 10 House Hacks Every Pet Owner Needs to Know


  4. Clothing

    Never Buy Clothing as Gift

    Every individual has a unique style. Buying clothes for someone else is tricky, and there’s always a risk of choosing the wrong size, which could offend the giftee. 

    Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day


  5. CDs and DVDs

    Never Give CDs and DVDs as Gifts

    A trendy movie or album was once the perfect gift for a pal. But with the growth of streaming services and digital downloads, CDs and DVDs are now obsolete relics that waste storage space.

    Related: The Best 9 Storage Spots You Aren't Already Using


  6. Cash

    Never Give Cash as Gift

    Little kids might get excited about a $20 bill in their stocking, but cash is a tacky present for adults. If you’re really strapped for another idea, muster up a gift card instead.

    Related: 10 Gifts to Get Now Before They’re Gone


  7. Household Basics

    Never Give Household Necessities as Gifts

    The cost of mundane items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and groceries definitely adds up—but this isn’t an excuse to purchase household necessities as "presents." Plus, the recipient may think you're implying that they keep a dirty or poorly managed household. 

    Related: The 50 Hottest Gifts from Home Depot


  8. Candles

    Should I Give Candles as a Gift?

    The gift of a candle says "we're not that close." There's nothing wrong with giving a candle to an acquaintance or coworker, but if you know the person well, consider something more personal.

    Related: 11 Super Simple Ways to Make Your House Smell Fresh


  9. Gym Membership

    Never Give Gym Membership as Gift

    Even if you mean well, signing someone up for a monthly gym membership could have a negative connotation. Plus, aside from its potential for offense, a gym membership serves as an unwelcome reminder that New Year's resolutions are right around the corner.

    Related: 13 Better-Than-Gift-Wrap Ideas for Packaging Presents


  10. Major Purchases

    Things Not to Give as Gifts

    Do you plan to go all-out by purchasing an insanely expensive gift? You may want to reconsider the generous gesture. Chances are, the recipient will want to choose their own car, vacation destination, or major appliance.

    Related: 9 Crazy Gadgets That Cost More Than Your Mortgage


  11. Gifts You Should Definitely Give

    Gifts You Should Definitely Give

    Now that you know the things you should definitely avoid giving, it’s time to figure out the gifts your friends and family actually want. These gadgets are on everyone’s lists, so you can’t go wrong. Or consider these nice (and inexpensive!) decor items from stores that you might have thought were out of your budget. And of course, you can’t go wrong with some fun and clever stocking stuffers!


  12. Don't Miss!


    Even if you've got your heart set on hardwood flooring, it's worth considering the alternatives. Sometimes, materials that only look like wood can be just as good as—or even better than—the real thing. Explore your options now!