The 5 Worst Holiday Gifts

(And Our Unanimous Choice for Our BEST Gift!)


What are the worst holiday gifts you could possibly receive or give?

worst holiday gifts

Cute? Oh Yeah. BUT ...

To answer that, we here at The Healthy Back Institute first had fun sharing with each other what makes a really great gift.

Here are the Five Great Gift Essentials we came up with:

1) The gift comes from the heart. It is not given because you are obligated, but because you want to … you care!

2) The gift is useful. It may be useful from a functional perspective, or useful from a true “warm the heart” perspective. But it won’t end up stuffed away with so many other gifts in their attic or basement.

3) The gift is unique. This doesn’t mean it has to be one-of-a-kind, but instead that it is not something others are likely to give them, and not something they can easily get themselves at a department store or the like.

4) The gift doesn’t require much effort on the recipient’s part.

5) The gift will bring them real joy … when opening it, when using it long after.


We then had fun brainstorming what products in our own line-up would make the best holiday gifts, and we easily had one unanimous choice.

(Check out that unanimous choice further below!)

Finally, we then had fun sharing what the worst holiday gifts could be, including exchanging some funny personal stories therein.

Below are our top five worst holiday gifts — YES, they may come from the heart, so that is one thing they have going for them. But as you will see, that is quite possibly the only thing!


1) “I Hope You Change” Gifts

These gifts only serve to remind the recipient of something the giver wishes would change about them.

One of our team members was overweight when he was younger, and tells of receiving the un-asked-for gift of fitness club memberships from not one but two different aunts at the same holiday gathering! Not exactly an exciting gift inspiring joy.

Another example is a couple I know who didn’t have any children (because they chose not to or couldn’t was their own business.) The guy in the couple’s mother, apparently wanting them to have children badly, got them a gift subscription to a parenting magazine to “inspire them.”  That one didn’t even get any fake smiles upon opening the gift … just a BIG groan!


2) “Provoking Bad Habits” Gifts

These gifts, even given with the best intentions, may only add to the recipient’s long-term challenge.

We exchanged several tales in this particular worst gift area, including someone giving a Cheesecake Factory gift certificate to someone trying to lose weight, and someone actually gifting a bottle of Dom Perignon to someone trying to quit alcohol!


3) The “Way Too Much Effort Required” Gifts

The most important gift I want to cover in this category is pets.

Now, every holiday season, business for pet stores and shelters increases briskly. Some of this business is indeed parents buying puppies and kittens for their own children, which makes sense as they are aware of the responsibility.

However, some of this business is also friends and family members giving pets to children (and adults) who do not live in the same household … and who never asked for the pet specifically.

I don’t need to tell you that’s bound to be a disaster … for the recipient and probably for the pet, too!

Other gifts in this category include ANYTHING that requires way too much work on the recipient’s part to enjoy or use.

(Do you remember as a child those “Some Assembly Required” gifts that turned out to be SO complicated you never got them assembled?)


4) The “Here Is How I Want to Design Your Home” Gifts

worst gifts

What one may think is a masterpiece, another may think is a ... messy piece!

Taste is a very personal thing. And how people design their homes and offices can be a very personal thing, too

So unless you are absolutely certain of someone’s taste in artwork for their walls, for example — or you have millions to buy them that original Van Gogh as an investment (and hey, if you do, I’d love one too!) — this is an area that is best avoided when it comes to gift giving.

Have you ever received a picture, sculpture, piece of furniture or the like as a gift that isn’t really what you would choose personally? Maybe not even close?

These worst gifts usually end up in one of four places — displayed but only because the recipient feels guilty (and knows the giver will be back in their home); stashed away in the attic with all the other similar gifts; being sold on eBay or at a garage sale; or as a re-gift from them to someone else the following year!


5) The “Don’t You Just Love My Kids and Family!” Gifts

Now wait a second. Everyone here at The Healthy Back Institute agrees that close family members like parents, grandparents, and maybe aunts and uncles typically love those framed pictures of the kids.

However — and I hope I am not breaking bad news to anyone — cousin Bill may fake a smile upon unwrapping that framed photo of his cousin’s son, but he is likely wincing inside!

Maybe some photos are okay as a stocking stuffer for friends and more distant family members, but you’re probably better off getting them even a tie or fruitcake instead of big framed pictures!

(One team member here once received a framed keychain photo of his Tai Kwon Do instructor’s family — engraved with the family’s last name nonetheless! — as a holiday gift. WHAT THE…?)


So Back to Our Unanimous Choice for Our Best Gift…

So what was our unanimous choice for the best possible gift in our own product line-up?

Keep in mind that our choice…

best gift

Click Above to Discover Our Unanimous Choice for Our BEST Holiday Gift (HINT: It's Really Hot!)

  • Certainly shows you care! Check mark on coming from the heart!
  • Is definitely useful as you will see!!! Who doesn’t want the best-in-class with this particular type of product?
  • Is unique. You won’t find THIS one in those department stores or retailer catalogs!
  • Requires almost NO effort. In fact they can enjoy the benefits while laying down and reading or watching TV!
  • Will obviously bring them great joy! This is that one gift they — like you — will use again and again.

Click here now to discover our
unanimous choice for
the best gift you could give!
(including to yourself 🙂 )

It is the HOTTEST gift you could give! Who on your list – you included! – wouldn’t appreciate this?)

And finally, please Share this with others by clicking above and in the comments area tell us — What is one of the worst gives you ever received (or gave!)?



Filed Under: General Interest
Written By:  Updated:
my avatar

Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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2 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Holiday Gifts”

  1. Graham says:

    The worst gift given to me by an aunt & uncle was a PAIR of mice which over the next few years into over 60!

  2. Mic says:

    I completely agree that pets do not make good presents. Even in a welfare case, e.g., a companion animal for an older person, other members of family must be prepared to see to the animal’s upkeep.

    You must also take into account other pet(s) that the recipient may already have. My cat was extremely rundown after being left alone for four days. He went from healthy to aged and weary, so I considered the next time that I had to go away, I should try out a companion for HIM. The biggest disaster of all time ensued. So when I did go away, I had to choose better carers instead.

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