What “not” to give for Christmas!

We’re all been there! Either we received a gift we didn’t like or we gave a gift to someone…and were surprised he or she didn’t like it! Here are some tips to help you navigate the Christmas gift giving season.

– Pets! Believe it or not…people give real pets to loved ones as a gift. What a surprise. Can you imagine a sweet puppy in a box, whimpering, and looking up at you with admiration? Don’t do it! The only way to give such a responsibility- heavy gift is that you’ve already received permission to do so!

This is a no brainer…don’t give socks or underwear. My husband, however, said his grandmother always bought him underwear…because you can never have enough. If my husband buys me underwear, they better be satin with a bow!

Picture frames…not a cool gift unless there’s a cute photo inside. The only exception is a wedding where the bride has registered for a particularly expensive frame for her wedding photos.

Also pass on diet books or calendars. Who really wants dieting advice? I don’t! And, I already have 2-3 2015 calendars on my hall table. I don’t need any more!

Towels — brown ones. Yes, reader, I did “gift” someone in the office with brown towels. She didn’t like them at all, and I never forgot it. Don’t make the same mistake.

Fruit cakes…most people don’t like them; although, my dad was the exception. He truly liked them, and we used to buy them for him. Although one of his favorite food gifts was a box of chocolates I bought in Paris. He said…hey, can you buy those again this year?

Christmas sweaters. Need I say more? I recall shopping for one of my brothers for Christmas, and picking out the cutest beige sweater, which had reindeers jumping across the front. I don’t think he ever wore it…unless ugly winter sweaters were big in the 80s.

This is a general guide…if someone is an expert in something, don’t buy a gift in that arena. True story, our stockbroker was a General in the army. I bought an extra copy of Bill O’Riley’s book, Killing Patton, and gave it to him. The next day he thanked me and said…”I am playing golf with Gen. Patton’s grandson next week. I will ask him if he’s read the book.”

When in doubt…Ask your loved one to make a Christmas list or start shopping early by listening. Chances are, you will hear your someone mention something he or she covets. Then, shop away!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!