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We’ve all had bad Christmas presents in the past. Whether it was from Grandma (who thought you’d love to save money with a US Treasury Bond that would be worth $20 in 10 years) to that uncle with inappropriate facial hair (who almost died laughing when you opened the little box of fake dog doo when you were 25), we’ve all had to force a smile and say, “Thanks” through clenched teeth. Sure it’s easy to come up with the things that most people want, like diamonds, video games, and perfect children, but it’s hard to come up with a list of the gifts you definitely need to avoid at Christmas. So, for your benefit and wellbeing, these are the gifts you don’t want to give this Christmas (that is, if you want to live to see next Christmas, in some cases).

  1. Cleaning Supplies: I know your wife has been saying that she wants a new mop, but Christmas is not the time to give it to her. Giving cleaning supplies is like saying, “Our house is a mess, please clean it up—then make me some dinner. Now, woman! Now!” I’m speaking from experience; she won’t appreciate it, and she’ll tell you exactly where you can stick that mop.
  2. Anything Related to Weight Loss: A gym membership, a year’s supply of diet shakes, a girdle—all gifts to avoid at Christmas. If you want to make someone’s girth painfully obvious to everyone gathered about the Christmas tree, you’re probably the kind of person who is looking forward to sleeping on the couch until New Years.
  3. A Christmas Sweater: I know it’s Christmas, and we should all get into the spirit, but Christmas sweaters don’t look good on anyone. No, really. There are no exceptions. There is never an excuse to wear a Christmas sweater. Ever. End of discussion.
  4. A Picture of You: Yes, you are awesome. You light up a room whenever you enter. In fact, your light is so bright when you enter a room that everyone else usually leaves. Christmas is a time for thinking of others, not of thinking about yourself. So, unless you are George Clooney or Angelina Jolie, giving away a picture of yourself at Christmas is probably a no-no.
  5. Liposuction: Really? Do you really want to give your loved one liposuction for Christmas? Unless you are looking to sever that relationship forever, this is not a good idea.
  6. A Hermit Crab: Maybe your nephew is into science and nature and all that brainy stuff, but that doesn’t give you leave to buy him a useless animal with the personality of a—well—crustacean. Besides it will probably die in a week or two anyway. Do you want to be responsible for that heartbreak? I didn’t think so.
  7. Self-Help Books: It’s great that you want to help the person but I think a copy of “Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul” wouldn’t go over so well with your wayward sibling.
  8. Lightly Used Underwear: In this economy it pays to be thrifty—but not that thrifty.
  9. Snooki’s Debut CD: Did you know Snooki, from “Jersey Shore,” is cutting her debut album and that it is going to rocket her singing career into the stratosphere? It worked for Kevin Federline, didn’t it? Nobody wants this.
  10. Dental Work: Nothing says Christmas like braces! Seriously, if you want to avoid paying for intensive therapy sessions for your children in the future. Don’t give them the gift of orthodontia for Christmas this year.
Posted 10:51 AM

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