Return the favor: What exactly constitutes a terrible gift?

12/23/14 by Vanessa Evans

Only two days left in the shopping season, and plenty of consumers are going to hit the ground (and mall) running in the next 48 hours looking to either do all of their holiday buying or pick up a few stocking stuffers or last minute gifts.
The latter category is particularly interesting given that last minute gifts typically come as a result of someone else buying you a gift and you having to turn around and return the favor. That usually is a recipe for disaster in the form of the proverbial "bad" gift, the one that you open and instantly realize that you don't want but have to respectfully accept even though it might be low on your list of wants.
Granted, the old adage of "it is the thought that counts" still applies; any gift should be appreciated in some for or fashion but that doesn't mean it has to be considered anything more than adequate at best. So, what exactly is a "bad" gift?

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You can easily point to the obvious to determine the bad. The holidays certainly have their staples. From the ubiquitous tie for dad or that ridiculous sweater that hasn't been fashionable given to you from a distant cousin or aunt, you most likely are going to make December 26th an equally busy shopping day in the form of returns.
Despite the obvious, aforementioned presents like ties, socks, underwear and, yes, that sweater strive to be on the list, but perhaps the worst gifts are the ones that feel like they have nothing behind them in the form of meaning, almost as if you're opening it you realize this person either doesn't know you at all or bought the gifts because they felt obligated.
Let say you haven't worn dress clothes to work in decade, but someone is giving you khaki pants and plenty of other business casual duds as gifts. My dad works in construction and hasn't worn a tie in decades, nor does he own more than one pair of suit pants or that lone blazer; so no, a Men's Wearhouse gift card isn't in his future.
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't love a gift (that is until they open it) but what really can be considered questionable at best in the entire process isn't the actual, tangible product but rather just how truly thoughtful this gift is and the person who is giving it t you.

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