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Avoid: The most obscure gifts out there

I try to keep my blog a source of joy and inspiration, encouraging people to embrace gifting in all its shapes and forms, from budget presents under a fiver to high-end designer items. But I just have to share the other side of gifting with you – the greedy merchants from gift shops who want to flog horrendous stuff.

My local shopping centre has just rented an empty spot to a store called Petals: For Gift Lovers – promising, right? I walked straight in, curious and a bit excited to see what’s inside.

This truly was the first time I saw so much tacky stuff together in one space! Just take a look at these 🙂

Duo of drinking glasses: one for beer and one for wine. I suppose it’s meant to be a Valentine’s gift. Even as a prank this is seriously cringeworthy. Take the cheapest glasses you can find, put a rude sticker on top (don’t bother to make it straight) and voilà – ready to be sold to someone with obvious humour issues. “Grumpy old man”? “Miserable old woman”? Are they implying that the only way a couple can stay together is by drinking heavily?!

wine and beer glasses

Next up – tea towels with a kid’s drawing and a little note “Mums like drinking wine, it makes them smiley happy”. What?! Let me just get this straight – a poor kid supposedly lives with a very unhappy mother who is only ever jolly when she’s had a glass of Chardonnay? Better to call child protection services than to get this, in my opinion… Can you think of anyone you’d give this to?

drinking tea towels

If the lucky receiver of your gift happens not to like alcohol that much, there’s another option – a head massager. I thought these creepy things that look like an egg whisk disappeared from shop shelves years ago after a short craze. But no, owners of this store still sell them as gifts for stressed individuals. Honestly, unless it’s a spa trip, don’t bother solving anyone’s stress problems.

head massages aka egg whisk

Back to the food/drink theme – toothpick holders. Yep, TOOTHPICK HOLDERS. Fine, I can think of occasions when a toothpick is a good idea, but I seriously can’t think of one occasion where it would be appropriate to gift a box of toothpicks to someone. “Thoughtfully” available in red and blue (my guess would be “for girls” and “for boys”), I’m adding these to my list of the “top worst gifts”.

toothpicks in boy girl colours

Remember my post about stationery gifts and how to please those pen-loving friends? This shop has a solution too! And it’s personalised. Check it out – the attentive creators of these pens authoritatively state that guys named Adam are “reliable and positive” (OK, kind of works), and that Dorothys are “imaginative and dependable” (also quite complimentary).

pen adam

You wonder what happens if you carry a non-British name? Well, in this case you’re grouped by letter. And not only that, it’s a vocabulary exercise too, as apparently everyone whose names begin with K are “kind and knowledgeable”. I didn’t find a letter I, but I imagine it’d be something like “intelligent and intuitive”.

pen letter k

Anyhow, this level of creativity belongs in the same category as those astrological paperbacks that describe your character based on your name and Zodiac sign. In short: avoid at all costs.

Are you still with me? I’ve saved the best bit to the end. My favourite “worst” gift of all time – photo frames. If there was a stat out there, photo frames would probably take the top spot as the most re-gifted present in the world. In this shop, to make matters even worse, they morph into jewelled monsters – just look at the photo below. I don’t think any commentary is necessary.

crystal photo frame

I wonder now, what was the worst gift you’ve ever received? Who gave it you, on what occasion and most importantly, what did you do with it? Tweet me.

Stay tuned,

Ilona x


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