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The Most Returned Christmas Gifts

By Edited Dec 17, 2015 1 2
bad gifts

If you are having some sort of neurotic breakdown trying to find the right Christmas gifts for people, rest easy. This list is not here to give you easy help, though. This is a guide of what NOT to buy.

This list is compiled from a list of statistics throughout the years that have been compiled by places like Macy's, Walmart, and Target. They monitor returns for a few weeks after the Christmas season and pump out fairly accurate statistics People who want to find good gifts should know what people do not want. There also fairly good reasons why people do not want these things.

So if you think you have all your gifts figured out, you may want to give this list a read before making any purchases.


Clothing is the number one thing returned on all the lists. Most people have learned not to buy clothing as gifts anymore unless they are immediate family. People outside the immediate family should never buy clothing. If you guess the size, you will almost always guess wrong. The alternative will to be asking the person their size, for a husky person this is not a fun event to be approached by.

Another reason clothing is returned other than not being the proper size is because it does not fit the person. The itchy wool sweater with the gigantic ugly looking santa on the front is not a good gift for say...Anyone with some self respect.

Just try to avoid clothing all around.

Home Appliances

Home appliances are returned for a number of reasons. Mostly because the person already has an appliance of the same kind. Why buy people a toaster if every normal person owns a toaster already. Home appliances should only be given if specifically asked for.

Home appliances are also returned if they are given as an inappropriate gift. To better explain this, let us use an example. Say you and your love one are celebrating Christmas just the two of you. It is your first Christmas together as a couple, or maybe your first Christmas after all your kids have left to get on with your life. Giving a toaster is not an appropriate gift. This is a good sign that the love has gone out of your marriage and if it has not, it sure will be soon.


Toys are a popular returns too. Some of them are returned because they are strange and the child does not want to play with them. Sometimes they are returned because they are just plain age inappropriate. You should not give a 14 year old a toy fire truck (unless they are majorly into cars in an obsessive way).

There stereotype in a lot of Christmas media is the loony grandma who thinks your teenager is still just a little baby. Perhaps Grandma has decided to be progressive this year and has done the reverse. Maybe she got your four year old an airsoft gun. Imagine the joy and then pain everyone in the family will suffer when they figure out how to use it.

This is not to say you cannot buy toys for the children on your shopping list, but you may want to give a phone call to their parents first. parents are a helpful tool. They will either give you an item that their child asked for, but they did not get them, or they will give you an idea of what their kid is into. If the kid is into Dora or Elmo, try to stay within those products. There is no shortage of gift to choose from there.

Video Games

There are three reasons video games are returned. The first is because the person already owns the game. If you bought a game for your friend, perhaps you need to communicate more. If the person has been talking about the game, they probably own it already.

The second reason is because it is one of those weird obscure games. Games that are not highly publicized are often highly unbearable. If you are thinking about getting 11 year old Timmy Sudoku Master for the Xbox 360, just go ahead and trash that gift idea because Timmy will not play it.

The last reason is because it is not age appropriate. You may think you are being the cool aunt or uncle by giving your small niece or nephew a Call of Duty game that they barely have the motor skills to play, but your sibling with the children will probably not appreciate it. Most likely they will end up taking it back or trading it in for Fluffy Bunny Town 5.


Owning movies on DVD is slowly going the way of the VHS. Now it is all about digital. Everything from Netflix to renting movies from Zune to the forbidden world of online piracy. Nobody wants to own movies anymore, thus why they are frequently returned.

Bad movies are often the most returned, it is not hard to imagine why. No one wants to own their very own copy of It Came From Planet 9, most people do not even want to watch it. If you really want to get them some sort of movie, give them a gift card to someplace they can watch a movie online.

Stuff People (Generally) Do Not Want

Let us end this list with a series of things people (generally) do not want. Though to be fair, everything that is returned falls under categories of things people do not want.

These things include:

Bath Product Gift Baskets - Gift Baskets full of meat and cheese serve their purpose, bath and body sets sit around their receivers house for years

Perfume - You may like the smell, but the receiver may think it smells like old lady.

Jewelery - Unless you are a person's spouse or dating them, jewelery is ill advised

Socks - Everyone has enough.

Manicure and Pedicure Set - It is kind of like saying 'you have bad nail hygiene, please clean them.'




Nov 10, 2013 4:57am
Great list of things not to buy for Christmas. Also never buy a pet for them unless they specifically say they want one and have the time and patience to look after it. Rated up
Jan 29, 2014 1:20am
Good list.
I like redirecting unwanted gifts to someone else :-)
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