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Receiving unwanted gifts this Christmas: It’s the thought that counts. No, thank you.

by Athena Yap

CHRISTMAS is just around the corner. 38 days left. Are your gifts ready?

We can’t say no to gifts, can we? But it’s bad when we’re forced to smile and say thank you after unwrapping a gift we do not like. It’s also sad to see the reaction of someone who failed appreciate our present.

To prevent such scenarios, we asked random people in Metro Manila to know what presents you should consider not putting under your Christmas tree.

Fake brands

Imagine unwrapping a gift but finding out it’s fake. For some, it’s tolerable, but for others, it’s unacceptable. This is so because the value of gift we give is usually equivalent to the receiver’s importance in our lives.

Better idea: Just purchase from a local start-up business, or buy a hand made product or anything that is not imitating any other brand. This way, you would be able to support the dream of a small business owner and not disappoint your gift’s recipient.

Expired make-up/skincare products

When you give a gift, put yourself in the shoe of the receiver. If you use an expired item, chances are your skin will break out. You definitely don’t want it to happen to you. 

Better idea: Double check everything first before wrapping it and giving it to someone.


We may think that food is the best idea for a gift. However, it could be a bad move especially if the person you are trying to give it to is someone trying to lose weight. Food is everywhere, especially in this time of parties, so it may be best to opt for another gift.

Better idea: Know first if the person is on a diet and if food is of a huge interest to your recipient.


Regardless of how nice it is to see a pair of shoes when you open a gift, some may worry if it will fit their style. Not to mention that there are also some people that have superstitious beliefs that shoes are not supposed to be given as a gift. Some believe that the shoes signify their role or task. It’s like taking the idiomatic expression “step into one’s shoe” to the next level.

Better idea: Check first if the receiver has strong beliefs about superstitions and make sure that you know very well the style and the foot size of the person who will receive the gift.


When you think of a gift, it is definitely something that must be very useful for your monita. Of course, undergarments are a necessity for all. But some may find it uncomfortable to unwrap a gift in front of many people and panties, briefs or a bra will surprise them.

Better idea: If you really want to give something like an undergarment, make sure that there are no people surrounding your recipients when they unwrap your gift. Or just look for a better alternative that is also useful, like a shirt or a towel.


We may want to help our friends to improve their hygiene by giving them deodorant, but Christmas is probably not the best time for that gift.

Better idea:  You could suggest that your friend just purchase deodorant and explain why without sounding too insulting, and just give them other items that you know they will appreciate.


Titas may appreciate a mug, but younger ones will probably not. Besides, it is one of the most predictable presents.

Better idea: If you really want to give a mug, try to have it customized and make it “aesthetic.”

Sex toys/condom

For the conservatives, it’s a sin. And even for some liberals, it may be too personal.

Better Idea: Save that sex toy for a bridal shower or bachelor party.



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