Back in 2010, a shopping website suggested holiday gifts that nobody really wants. Here area few samples:
- Microphone Tongs – So you can sing while serving your salad?
- A Pet Petter – for those who love their pets but don’t have time to actually spend time with them
- A Bed Bug stuffed animal – oh joy…
- A LifeGem Memorial Diamond (created as the by-product of a recently deceased pet. Horrors!)
- Inflatable Fruitcake
Now I’m not crazy about regular fruitcake, so I certainly wouldn’t enjoy an inflatable one! (But if one of you have a fruitcake recipe that tastes nothing like fruitcake, let me know!)
They say that when it comes to gifts, “it’s the thought that counts,” but I really wonder what people would be thinking when it comes to some of those gifts. LOL!
Here are some thoughts on Some Normally Unwelcome Gifts:
(1) Don’t give a “final sale” item unless you know it will absolutely please or absolutely fit.
(2) Be careful with re-gifting unless you have memorized re-gifting etiquette: Be sure the person you are gifting would actually like the gift; be sure the gift is not dated or old (unless you can somehow freshen it up or the recipient truly loves antiques); and be sure you pass it along to someone who didn’t give it to you in the first place!
(3) Closely related to this … if you got something “for free” with another purchase, count on someone else knowing. They probably saw the same offer. They might have even made the same purchase! Freebies do not normally impress others as Christmas gifts.
(4) Duplicating. It’s also not a good idea to get everyone the same thing. I have to admit that I’m guilty of this one. I tend to think: (A) If so-and-so sees this, they’ll want it too, or (B) This sure does make shopping easier. One of my friends says this kind of shopping saves time and stress. “Make one year a sweater year,” she says, “and another year the bathrobes year.” Actually, that’s not a bad idea, but it’s not a good idea to get everyone the same sweater or the same bathrobe. We need to give it more thought than that!
(5) It’s not the best idea to give self-help books for Christmas (especially if they have to do with losing weight). Christmas isn’t the best time to drop hints about relationships and life-style changes. The book might be helpful and even “spiritual,” but it’s likely going to offend as a gift rather than bless. Similar to this gift is the “You oughtta…” gift. You know ~ the gift designed to help your family member of friend change a habit or get-with-it in some area. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. Do you really want a “You oughtta…” gift?
(6) Another sometimes unwelcome gift is the run-of-the mill offering. You know … you wrap up some from-the-mix sugar cookies or some other generic treat and hope they’ll think it’s homemade. And fruitcake fits here, too… so unoriginal!
(7) Think simple, not hard-to-use. Especially for the techno-challenged, avoid gadgets and high-tech gifts that require an engineering degree to figure out how to use. Good rule of thumb: If you’re puzzled with how it works in the store, what makes you think others will find it easy to use?
ALL THAT SAID …
If YOU receive a non-returnable final sale item, an improperly re-gifted present, a “freebie,” a look-alike gift, a self-help book, a “You oughtta…” gift, a run-of-the-mill gift, or a hard-to-use gift …
- Please be gracious and kind. Smile and say “Thank you.”
- Give your expectations (and disappointments) to God. Remember that Christmas is about God the Eternal Giver, not any one person’s temporary gift.
- If you receive a self-help or “You oughtta…” gift, ask God for the lesson in the gift (even if it is only to forgive your well-meaning friend. LOL!).
- Remember the millions who would love any kind of gift for Christmas.
- Look beyond the gift to the giver ~ some people are just lousy gift-givers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you or care about you.
- Resolve to communicate more. Help the person get to know you better so they will anticipate what you would love to receive next year.
And while we are talking about unwelcome gifts, remember that many around you don’t appreciate or don’t want to receive the gift of eternal life in Christ. To them, the Father’s indescribable gift of the Son (2 Corinthians 9:15) is an unwelcome gift … until they see their desperate need for it.
They may misunderstand the meaning of the gift or its value ~ what it cost. They may be cherishing other things in their hearts; they have no room for God’s gift. They may be hurting, confused, frustrated, bitter ~ the enemy blinding them to the beauty of the gift of God, the transformation the Father longs to begin.
Pray for these people during this Christmas season. Pray that God will open their eyes and change their hearts. Pray they will welcome and receive His gift ~ ask God for the right opportunity to invite them to receive it. Without this gift there is no life, no lasting peace or joy.