Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Frosted cookies, ice sculptures, caroling, and the best part of all: giving gifts to the people you love. Picking out presents to give someone can be incredibly fun or frustrating, depending on how easily you find gift ideas.
No matter who you’re shopping for this year, there are some Christmas gifts that may just be a bad idea. Unless the gift recipient has asked for this and you’ve discussed it with them, think twice before you considering gifting:
A New Pet
Animals are truly amazing, and most everyone enjoys pets. But as a surprise gift? Pets are not so much a great choice for that. A pet is a responsibility; their entire life is in the hands of the owner. Choosing to take care of an animal for its entire lifetime is a fine choice, but it is a choice that people should make for themselves. Beyond even the responsibility, they come with a lot of costs and expenses. Maybe you bought the pet for them, but they’re going to be spending plenty of money on food, veterinary care, habitats, and other requirements. A good piece of advice is: “Skip any gift where you have to punch holes in the box to keep it alive.”
The Newest Model Car
Car manufacturers love to advertise the newest models around Christmas time. After all, what could be a better gift than an improved ride? Turns out a lot of things. Keep in mind that owning, insuring, and maintaining a car is the second biggest expense a person will incur over their lifetime other than a home. A newer model car will mean higher insurance premiums, and those costs are going to fall on the gift recipient. Besides, what kind of car and utilities do they need? Before you drop 30 grand on a surprise gift, consider if the person may be better off choosing their own vehicle.
Now this gift idea is nuanced. Jewelry can be a wonderful present, but personal style goes a long way in how much someone will enjoy the jewels. If you don’t know the style preferences of the recipient well enough, avoid spending a lot of money on something they may not like to wear. A gift is not good just because it’s expensive. However, if you’re feeling confident that the person loves a particular type of jewelry, go for it!
Complex Exercise Equipment
Exercise equipment companies also play the same game as auto manufacturers: promote their products heavily during the holiday season. This does make sense, as Christmas is right before New Year’s resolutions, where many people hope to lose weight or shape up. However, most of us don’t keep these resolutions and exercise equipment ends up sitting around unused. If you really want to go this route, perhaps start with $50 personal dumbbells before you give someone a $1,500 digital work-out mirror
Giving is Good
We aren’t suggesting you never go big for the holidays, because it can be really fun! Just be sure you’re being responsible with your holiday spending and considering how a present could impact the recipient’s life. Good luck with all your gift-giving this year!