There are a lot of resources out there right now telling you what to buy your significant other for the holidays. And the good news is that the internet can be a truly incredible place, full of opportunities for creative gifting and cool presents that will have your special someone singing your praises for months to come. Whether you’re in search of the perfect budget-friendly stocking stuffer for your S.O. or a gift that’s a tad fancier for the techie you love, you can pretty much bet we’ve got your back with our handy holiday gift guides.
But who’s out there raising the red flags on what not to buy? Who’s making sure you’re checking yourself before you hit “purchase” on something that seems really cool to you, but might send the totally wrong message? Who’s protecting you from the pitfalls?
Well, we’re doing that too. Keep scrolling for seven types of gifts that could quite possibly be the worst things for you to give your significant other this holiday season. Consider yourself warned.
1. Anything That Feels Inappropriately Extravagant: Are you in a new-ish relationship? We’re talkin’ to you! We know you want to do something super nice for your first holiday with bae, but going over the top with a big or expensive gift is just not the way to do it. Focus instead on something that feels thoughtful, simple, and sweet. eHarmony‘s Chief of Advice Jeannie Assimos recommends whipping up a batch of homemade baked goods or making a donation in your S.O.’s name to an organization that’s meaningful to them.
2. A Pet: (Cue groans and sighs of disappointment all over the world.) Sorry. We know it’s pretty magical to imagine a fluffy kitten or floppy puppy jumping directly out of a box and into your significant other’s lap on Christmas morning, but gifting a pet is just not the smartest move. “Everybody loves cute animals, and receiving a puppy under the tree sounds so romantic,” says Jonathan Bennett of The Popular Man. “However, animals are ultimately a big investment, and getting one should be a carefully thought-out decision made by the future owner — not a surprise gift.”
3. Anything That Seems Like It’s Meant to Help Them Complete a Chore: While many people love a practical gift, it’s important to toe the line between “practical” and “Hey, when are you going to clean the garage?” Lifestyle blogger McKinzie Brocali wants you to toe that line extra carefully when shopping for your special someone this holiday season. “It’s one thing to give your car enthusiast husband a detailing kit,” she says. “It’s another to give your wife a broom and dustpan set.” Oh no, you didn’t!
4. A Gift Card: Three Matches relationship expert Margaux Cassuto calls impersonal gifts like cash or a gift card a big no-no. “It shows a lack of thought and attention and defeats the very purpose of a gift,” she says. Take the time to figure out what your S.O. would actually buy if you gave them a gift card — then go buy it!
5. Anything Related to One of Your Passions or Interests: It’s one thing to encourage your significant other to test out one of your favorite hobbies with you, but don’t make that the theme of their holiday gift! If bae’s never been golfing before, they shouldn’t be on the receiving end of a new set of golf clubs this year, no matter how much you love the sport. If this sounds like you, Candice Baehr — founder and CEO of gifting company Dashing in the City — recommends that you gift your S.O. with an experience that he or she can enjoy while you’re out golfing (or doing whatever else you love to do). Go for something that will be more their speed, like a trip to the spa or tickets to a show.
6. Anything That Might Feel Mean-Spirited, Even If It’s Given With the Best Intentions: These kinds of gifts are just a recipe for an awkward holiday. Need examples? TopCashback.com consumer affairs expert Natasha Rachel Smith lists diet-related items and self-help books in this category. Stay far, far away!
7. Household Appliances: If you’ve ever seen Father of the Bride — and if you haven’t, you’d better get on that ASAP — you know how this can end (“I thought something for the apartment… maybe a new clock or a cool phone or a great art book or something… but a blender? I mean, what is this? 1958? Give the little wife a blender?”). Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer for BeenVerified, drives this point home, with a few exceptions. “If he or she specifically asks for an item… then by all means, go ahead,” he says. “This may [also] not apply if you are buying for someone who is a hobbyist. They may very much appreciate and look forward to getting a toolbox or the latest cooking gadget for the holidays.”
What’s the worst holiday gift you’ve ever given (or received from) an S.O.? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)