Disastrous Gift-Giving Fails to Avoid

For most of us, gift-giving elicits a special kind of anxiety. What if they don’t like it? What if they already have it? Will it be as good as all the other gifts? No one wants to bring that gift that gets laughed about years down the road, or worse, re-gifted. Luckily, there are some common errors to avoid when it comes to gift-giving. Be sure to steer clear of the below and you should be golden the next time you give a gift. 

Spending Too Much 

Many people feel the need to go above and beyond when it comes to their gift. After all, you want your gift to be the best, right? So why not go over the top? The truth is spending too much on a gift can make the receiver uncomfortable, especially if it’s during a public setting like Secret Santa. You may make the receiver feel as though their gift is the one that isn’t good enough. If there’s an agreed upon spending amount, stick to it.  


Re-gifting is an art. It gets a bad rap when done incorrectly, but if used right, can be a helpful tool. The obvious blunder is re-gifting an item to the same person who gave it to you or to someone who is in that circle. When re-gifting, make sure the you give the item to someone who is far removed from the person who gave it to you. Remember to also remove any cards that came with the gift or name tags that may be on the bag it came in. However, if the gift you received is something you really despised, chances are others won’t like it either.  


Your heart may be in the right place, but the message you’re sending isn’t. Buying someone a self-help book or workout DVD will tell the person you’d like it if they lost a few pounds or that you think their life needs a turnaround. If the person wants to improve themselves, they will. Of course, if they asked for a Jillian Michaels DVD, that’s a different story.  

Not Getting What They Asked For 

This one sometimes falls in line with spending too much. You may feel as though you want to go above someone’s expectations and so you get them something they didn’t ask for – something better. However, if the receiver was expecting a certain item and doesn’t get it, they will be disappointed.  

Giving Something They Need Instead of Want 

It’s actually a mistake to think of someone’s needs before their wants. This one sort of goes hand in hand with the above. If someone specifically tells you they want something (and it’s not too expensive!), why not get it? Sure, they might mention needing new socks, but a gift should be something the person wouldn’t normally get for themselves.

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