The saying is "it's the thought that counts," and while that's certainly true, it's also true that some gifts are just terrible and you should absolutely never give them to your partner. I mean, totally, absolutely, without a doubt, do not ever give them to your partner. Unless, of course, they ask you specifically for them — then go for it. But otherwise, what you receive in return may be a few nights on the couch or in the dog house.
I mean, while you'd have to be pretty clueless to give some of these things as gifts, some of them might not be so obvious — and some of them even seem like great ideas on the surface. But once you dig a little deeper into the meaning behind or the work involved in all these gifts, you'll see where I'm coming from.
And while we're on the subject, if you want to be a super gift giving god or goddess, there is a totally foolproof (and even a little bit sentimental) strategy that pretty much guarantees a win. Just pay attention to when your partner talks. They'll likely divulge a hobby, memory, or even specific object that would make the perfect gift. And if that doesn't work, you can always just ask the bestie.
1. A Pet
There are so many reasons to avoid giving pets as gifts. So many. They poop. They need a lot of attention. They cost a ton of money in vet bills, food, gear, and toys. And sometimes they end up in shelters. Plus, if you break up, there's that whole pet custody thing. Someone's heart will get broken. And the pet will lose a family member. Also, if you've ever gotten up at 12, 3, 5, and 7 a.m. to take a training puppy outside, you'll know that the feelings of frustration and exhaustion are not a gift.The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends "giving of pets as gifts only to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and the ability to care for it responsibly."
2. A Scale
To quote Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine when her future step-dad bought her mom a scale for Christmas: "Why doesn't he just use a marker to circle all the things on my mom's body that he hates?" There are so many ways to interpret this gift, and most of them come back to "you don't like my body." That's just not OK.
3. Cooking Or Cleaning Equipment
Remember, we're not talking about things she has specifically asked for. If she or he is a chef or neat freak, then a cleaning or cooking gift might be perfect. If they haven't mentioned something they really wants, what you're basically saying is "make me a sandwich and clean something." Plus, it's just not very romantic.
Trips are super freaking awesome! Don't get me wrong. But the dark side of trips is that your partner will have to get time off work, use vacation time (that she may have wanted to use for something else), arrange pet or child care, save money, and rearrange life. Best to save trips for when you can plan them or when you know they'll be easy to pull off. This includes tickets to sporting events.
5. Holiday-Themed Lingerie
Come on now. Everyone knows that this is a gift for you and not really your partner. If you get your loved one to wear it, it will only be for a few minutes anyway. Plus, the more holiday-themed the garment, the less likely she'll be able to wear it on the regular. Get them something that is just for them to enjoy, or have a second gift, as well.
6. Re-Gifts From Old Girlfriends
No matter how amazing, rare, expensive, and beautiful the pearl necklace is that you got your ex, do not ever give it to your new significant other. And if you didn't get it back, don't get a new pearl necklace. Keep it original. Your partner is worth an original gift.
Save these types of gifts for other occasions and stick to something sweet, useful and thoughtful for the holidays.