Christmas presents – the good, the bad and the ugly

man sitting on the floor about to open a gift

What are you hoping to get on Christmas morning?
Image: 2shrimpS

What’s the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Or the best? What are you buying your dad this year? Everyone has a festive present story to tell, so because we’re feeling Christmassy, we asked some of our favourite bloggers, influencers, and YouTubers of 2019 for their tales of gift giving and receiving. 

From plane tickets to used cricket bats, and from man’s best friend to Gordon the Gopher memorabilia and Santa mankinis, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of Christmas gifts.

What was your worst ever gift?

Stock image of whiskey and glasses near a Christmas tree

Is whisky ever a bad gift? Apparently so…
Image: Ersler Dmitry

Don’t you hate it when people give you a shower gel set for Christmas? Our social media stars do. Giz Edwards, who gave us some great tips for our student guide, and who also runs a brilliant YouTube channel about lucid dreaming, says:

“Gifts are the embodiment of thought. Lynx shower gel sets are, to me, an off hand, thoughtless gift. A last minute gift.”

Men’s lifestyle and fashion blogger, Jack Sultana who helped us with our #Dresslikeyouricon campaign agrees, but it turns out there is something worse than shower gel – receiving your own gift back again. Samuel Windsor menswear aficionado, Beetle Campbell says: “The worst gift I ever received was a bottle of whisky I had previously given to my dad.”

We reckon that’s pretty rough but hey, every cloud has a silver lining – at least Beetle could drown his sorrows.

What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever given someone?

Two gliders flying through the sky

Take to the skies with a stomach-churning glider flight
Image: flightbit

An eclectic bunch, our favourite influencers have given plenty of strange gifts over the years. One of our ‘dynamite dad bloggers’ and part of 2019’s Father’s Day post, Dad Blog UK’s John Adams admits:

“I thought my wife might appreciate a glider flight,” says John. “But somehow I had misjudged her desire to be catapulted in the air in a flimsy, fibreglass aircraft wearing a parachute ‘just in case’.”

In the end, John took the flight – he doesn’t say whether he bought his wife a replacement present – maybe she got to enjoy him going a “strange shade of puce” instead of her.

You can’t beat novelty gifts especially when it’s for a secret santa; nobody will ever know you gave your best friend a…Santa-themed mankini, which is what Jack Sultana did. Still, the tables were turned when Jack’s friend treated him and his mates to a “viewing”.

And then there’s Giz Edwards who bought his girlfriend a teenager’s backpack, complete with skateboard straps. It was, says Giz, a pretty rubbish present, but amazingly, his partner still regularly uses it.

What was your best ever gift?

Photo of Ibiza from The Everyday Man

John Robertson enjoyed winter sun with a plane tickets to Ibiza
Image: The Everyday Man

Plane tickets to Ibiza were the best gift John Robertson of men’s fashion, fitness, and lifestyle blog, The Everyday Man, ever received. For Jack Sultana, it was skiis which, considering he lives in Norway, were a very thoughtful gift, we think you’ll agree.

But there’s nothing quite like those special presents your mum and dad gave you when you were a kid.

For Geordie men’s fashion, lifestyle and grooming blogger, Michael of Michael 84, the Christmas present he remembers most fondly was the original Playstation. It was, he says, “a generation when gaming started to really boom, and I spent countless hours playing on it…” So much so that, when Sony released a classic version of the console last year, Michael just had to grab himself one.

For us, the best present of all has to be the one Beetle Campbell was given one year – his dog. As Beetle says: “You can’t beat a man’s best friend!”

What’s the funniest gift you’ve ever received?

Child trying to get a wrapped Christmas present under a bed

Sneaking look at Christmas presents is never a good idea
Image: glenda

As for your funniest gift of all – Beetle says he once received a 4ft canvas of Prince Harry, who he’s often said to resemble! Check out his Insta feed if you want proof, although to be honest, you’ll probably be more interested in his stunning photography.

Featured in our #dresslikeyouricon article, snappy dresser Gary of Norton of Morton recalls his funniest ever gift as part of a bittersweet memory. In the days leading up to Christmas, he would visit the wardrobe where he knew his present was hidden – and tease away little bits of wrapping paper.

One year, he tore off enough to reveal a box on which he thought was written the word “robot” – a gift he really wanted. Sadly though, when he unwrapped the rest of his gift on Xmas day, it turned out to be a Gordon the Gopher plate, cup, and saucer set:

“I did get a surprise after all. And although I was a massive Gordon the Gopher fan, I’d have much preferred the robot.”

What would you most like to receive this year?

Model 4 wearing a Navy Padded Coat from Samuel Windsor

Stay cosy this winter in a new, warm coat
Featured product: Navy Padded Coat from Samuel Windsor

It turns out that as much as you dislike nasty shower gel/deodorant sets, you love it when someone puts thought into buying your gift. Not that any of us is above letting the odd hint drop here and there – like John Roberston of The Everyday Man who says:

“I love to give. I get much more joy from that than receiving, but if you must, my bottle of fragrance is running low…”

Hmm, very subtle but hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get. Jack Sultana is after a warm jacket for those Nordic winters; Beetle Campbell says he’s after: “The new GoPro Max so I can get some sweeeeet ski footage!”; while Giz Edwards has his eye on something a little more modest: A wallet, perhaps.”

What are you buying your dad?

Closeup of a male lion from Beetle Campbell

Framed photographs always make for a thoughtful gift
Image: Beetle Campbell

No-dig gardening expert Charles Dowding, whose excellent site featured in our retirement blogs roundup, says simply: ‘’I love giving people things – but not out of duty.”

But the pleasure of giving can sometimes be spoiled by the stress of finding the right gift. For many of us, our dads are by far the hardest to buy for because they never really seem to want anything.

Having said that, some of our influencers are planning highly individual and thoughtful gifts for their fathers. Like Beetle Campbell who is framing some of his Africa photos which were featured on BBC Earth.

As for the rest of us – we’re probably like John Roberston of The Everyday Man who says: “Dad is always a tricky one. I generally get him clothes and essentials such as socks. Which is why we’ve come up with a special Christmas gift guide to help you find just the right gift for your difficult-to-buy-for father or father-in-law this Christmas.

Posted in Men's Lifestyle.

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