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02/12/14

Gift Misgivings: Certain 'gifts' should never see light of day

Is there actually such a thing as a bad gift?
Even though everyone enjoys an impromptu present or even a gift that you've been expecting for quite some time, whether you're celebrating a birthday or are counting down the days to an important anniversary, not every gesture can be deemed grandiose or even adequate.
This goes above and beyond the ubiquitous bow tie or pajamas for men and telling that favorite women in your life how much you love her with a set of cookware. No, these are the gifts that, upon opened, fill the room with awkward silence and a feeling that settles over you when you literally can't find anything nice to say.
Instead, you mutter something that sounds like "Thank You," and flash a smile that comes across as more nervousness than actual adulation.
So what exactly constitutes a bad gift?

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For starters, try to stay away of giving seasonal gifts during the actual holiday. Nothing is quite as deflating as someone giving you a set of Christmas dish towels or a wreath for your door during the holidays. That's basically saying go ahead and enjoy this gift right this second but not more than a few days tops.
Not that dish towels that aren't seasonal scream creativity by any means, but steer clear of the ones with pictures of Santa or Christmas Trees on them if you can help it.
And as long as you're keeping your distance from the season aisle, make sure you take a serious detour when you ponder the notion that the gift of fitness is one that will be welcomed with open arms. Weight, dieting and exercise rank as incredibly personal, and handing someone a health club or gym membership is the equivalent of telling them that you think they need to lose weight. Even if the idea of giving this particular gift came directly from the person, it's still a no no. It's up to that person only to determine if and when they want to get fit or implement a diet plan but definitely isn't your call.
Exercise would undoubtedly be classified as work, and so is giving someone a vacuum cleaner, cleaning products or anything else that indirectly tells them they need to get off the couch, stop relaxing and start doing things around the house.
Dad and husbands alike probably would much rather welcome a litany of tube socks before they'd be seen physically embracing a set of instructional DVDs or books on how to remodel a kitchen or making that bathroom shower replacement a snap.
Before handing over that carefully wrapped and thoughtful gift, try to think how you'd feel opening up that present before you finally deem it fit for the recipient. After careful consideration, you may come to the conclusion that the best gift may be the decision not to give one at all.

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