The 5 Gifts You Should Avoid Buying

Consider this the ultimate anti-gift guide.

By Lara Robertson


Consider this the ultimate anti-gift guide.

By Lara Robertson

We’ve been raised to believe “it’s the thought that counts”, but year after year, the same gifts are clogging up our homes, filling up landfill and emptying our wallets. It’s certainly tempting to go for the generic gift when you’re in a rush and can’t decide what to buy but they seldom inspire a genuinely excited response. Here are some simple alternatives to those “here we go again” presents, that ensure being the gift-giver is a little more fun too.  


Another Handcream For Her Bathroom Cabinet

In every woman’s bathroom cabinet there is already a stash of these culprits from last year. They still haven’t been used and you don’t want to imagine your gift joining their ranks. Let’s face it, it’s hard to be super excited about receiving hand cream or the classic combo pack of shower gel and body butter. Unless of course it’s Archipelago’s Oat Milk Body Lotion.


Sculptwear. Enough said

Let your sister-in-law buy her own Spanks! A gift card to Lululemon might be more appreciated instead.


Salted-Caramel Scented Candles

Keep the sweetness for dessert. If it’s named after something you eat like bubblegum or toasted marshmallow the aroma is likely going to be sickly not sultry. Go for fresh or more neutral scents like in Jo Malone’s range or splurge on Diptyque.


That Novelty Gift That Is Funny For Five Minutes

Those plastic knick-knacks will inevitably collect dust or break after a couple of uses. For the sake of the environment, as well as the sanity of the receiver who just doesn’t have the spare shelf space, try to avoid the burning temptation to buy the Donald Trump talking toilet paper roll. If you’re looking for something fun to play after Christmas lunch, philosopher Alain de Botton’s The School of Life Confessions Game is guaranteed to prompt memorable conversation.  


Excruciatingly Loud Toys For OPK (Other People’s Kids)

A metal xylophone or a mini drum kit seems like a great idea when it’s not being bashed upon by an excited three year-old in your living room. To ensure your friends and relatives don’t wince every time they think of you perhaps swap it out with a colourful Wood Intelligence Tetris Brain Puzzle.


A Sixpack Of Hankies

Unless your grandma gives you these, which is the sweetest thing and must not be scoffed at, hankies are the antithesis of an exciting gift. They may be great for the environment, but so is an Urban Greens Micro Herbs Windowsill Grow Kit.