The un-wanted list: MM’s guide to things not to buy for Christmas

We’ve all been there. Christmas morning and you’re unwrapping your presents and you have to fake a smile and an “Aw, its lovely” as you open something completely useless.

Something you never needed and will never use and have no idea why they got you it.

It happens every year so maybe it’s time to do something about it.

With an economic recession looming and a climate emergency to think about, you should probably think twice before purchasing these gifts for your loved ones.

Save your pennies and save the planet so without sounding ungrateful, here are the top ten things no one wants for Christmas:

1. Any kind of bath and body set – There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes and receiving some sort of packaged gift set for Christmas. These usually involve a body lotion, a shower gel and/or hand cream in a scent you can’t stand. Probably mandarin. You will almost definitely re-use this as a gift for someone else next year and the endless cycle will continue.

2. Decorative ornaments – also known as knick-knacks. Or tat. Tacky and useless and no one wants them. Extra useless if it’s Christmas themed liked a porcelain polar bear or a light-up snowman. Probably won’t put up for display and will be re-used as a gift for someone else so don’t bother buying them.

3. Bath bombs – Don’t even think about it. Bath bombs have had their day and that day is over. Only a miniscule percentage of the population still uses bath bombs so don’t even consider getting this for any of your family and friends. Are you trying to give them an aggressive allergic reaction? If I wanted to dye my bathtub blue, I would.

4. Mugs – Most British people have mountains of mugs in their homes and definitely don’t need any more no matter how cute or funny the one you bought them is. Admittedly, mugs are useful, especially in the cold, winter season when everyone’s drinking hot chocolate by the gallon but honestly can’t you think of something better?

5. Candles – Not everyone likes candles so this is a risky choice. Doubly risky, if the candle is scented with something festive like gingerbread or cinnamon. They never actually smell like what they’re supposed but a rubbish chemical imitation so just leave them alone.

6. Notebooks – Raise your hand if your home is full of thousands of pretty notebooks that you received as gifts and only used the first few pages of. You probably won’t commit to that diary you keep telling yourself you’ll stick to. Very unnecessary. Come on, think of the forests.

7. Make-up- Unless someone specifically asked for a particular eyeshadow palette or foundation in the right shade and make, don’t bother buying someone makeup because they probably won’t use it. Speaking from experience here, there’s only so many lip glosses you go through in one lifetime.

8. Calendar – Another classic gift from the more senior members of society that probably came from the heart but is ultimately useless for most people under the age of 30. Again, if you actually use a calendar, this is a great gift but 1) who still uses calendars anymore and 2) with coronavirus ruining everything, what have you actually got planned? Get real.

9. Hats – Hats are hard to get right and not everyone suits them, so don’t chance it by giving your friend a rogue knitted beanie because chances are it will just get thrown to the back a cupboard never to be seen or worn again. If it’s a novelty hat like a turkey or a chimney that you think is hilarious, maybe sit down and have a word with yourself.

10. Self-help books – These books usually have very aesthetic, pretty covers with not very much inside them. Usually inspirational quotes or empty pages where you can write down things that are bothering you, which is what the Notes App is for. Probably well-intentioned and come from the right place but still feels like a dig. Are you actually being nice or are you a passive-aggressive relative who thinks I’ve let myself go? We’ll find out after a few egg nogs.

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