5 common presents nobody wants for Christmas

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received for Christmas? It’s estimated that over half of Britain’s adults get at least one unwanted item each year. From unfunny gags to boring necessities and accidental insults, it’s all too easy to get it wrong come December 25th

Christmas shopping looks set to be a little different this year while lockdown restrictions remain in place. Thankfully there are still plenty of places to find reliable presents online, like Card Factory.

So if you’re still yet to get started, here are five gift ideas to avoid. 

Novelty socks

Some people may put off buying socks all year just to top up their stocks at Christmas. In that case, a few comfortable, tasteful pairs won’t go amiss. But novelty designs rarely offer any value for anyone.

They’re not suitable for work or going out – and are often too poor quality to get cosy in at home.  

Scented candles

There’s no doubting the appeal of a carefully chosen candle on a cold, dark winters day. But the bargain-bin options that pop up around Christmas time are often inappropriate for what will be a personal choice for most people.

At least check what the other person likes if you want to go down this route. Otherwise, scented candles are destined for the regifting pile.    


Toiletry sets are often associated with distant grandparents or family members that do all their Christmas shopping at the supermarket. Again, items like shampoo, deodorant and facewash are personal items – and most people will prefer to stick to their favourites. 

Cleaning supplies also fall into this category. Who wants to be reminded of their household chores? 

Outdated technology

A fresh stack of DVDs or CDs may have represented a successful Christmas a few years ago. But in the streaming age, these gifts will become little more than clutter for many people. 

One common mistake to avoid is buying video games for an old console – especially with the next generation PlayStation and Xbox both arriving this winter.   

Self-help gifts 

From exercise equipment to low-calorie snacks and motivational literature, self-help items can definitely go down well in the right context. 

But if the recipient isn’t expecting anything along that theme, these supposed gifts could come across as a cutting takedown of their flaws. Unwrapping a present isn’t the best way to identify areas you can improve in, after all. 


Cross these items off your Christmas shopping list to make sure you avoid a present faux-pas. 

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