Holiday shopping is one step above torture but getting crappy presents is even worse. It’s as if your friends and family don’t know a thing about your hobbies or interests. It’s probably payback because you don’t know a thing about their hobbies, interests or even the names of their children. “Is it Dean or Dan? Dean. Right. Come here and shake your uncle’s hand Dan!”

Someone has to tell you that you’re giving bad gifts. We are that someone. Here are seven holiday gifts you should avoid giving, because you sure as heck wouldn’t want to unwrap them either.



Unless you’re buying them as one of many gifts for YOUR girl because she likes to get down in the candle light, no one needs more candles. Most likely, she’s looking to re-gift the scented candles she got last year. Candles are what body wash gifts sets were in the ’90s. They are a last resort gift and really lame.


Picture frames

Have you been to a thrift store lately? No? Let us enlighten you: they are full of picture frames, still in the original plastic and holding a black and white photo of some couple frozen in a stock photo laugh. It’s the same place your gift will end up.


A personalized star

So this process involves paying someone to rename a sun (not our sun, but a sun of another solar system) Phil or Jezzie (with two Zs). How does this make any sense? How can this company – or you – own the rights to rename a sun?


A mix CD

Apparently people still burn CDs for one another. The only acceptable form of mix media is if you go through the trouble of making a person an actual mix TAPE on a real cassette AND include something insane that the person can play it on (like this awesome cassette player). Any other kind of musical mix you put together is unacceptable.


Engraved stuff

One thing about holiday gifts is that you can return them if you don’t like them but by slapping a name or initials on a flask or snow globe, you’re preventing someone from getting ANYTHING out of the deal. This item is bound to become a dust collector or, like picture frames, destined for thriftville. It will be purgatory in thriftville since someone else’s ID is already stamped on it.


Novelty Books

Any novelty book. Especially this book right here. Look, it was funny the first time around. The third time is not the charm. Who are they going to send these post cards to anyway?

Kay Jewelers

Any jewelry advertised on those atrocious holiday commercials

These commercials are awful, and buying jewelry from a commercial is like giving a woman a Big Mac when she asks for a Kobe beef burger. Unless she points to the TV and specifically says “please buy me that exact ring/necklace/bracelet,” don’t do it. You’re supporting awful commercials for next year, and she’ll sure as hell know where you bought it because the TV reminds her every five minutes. No one but Jared cares that you went to Jared.

Jen A. Miller is author of Book a Week with Jen where she – well, what does it sound like she did? P.S. One of the books is about threesomes.

More From US 103.1 FM