Gifts: 8 Things To Avoid

November 23, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

With all the talk about about what to give, lets talk about 8 gifts to potentially avoid. But first, I want to share another great shop that I suggest for all of your gift giving needs called Horne. I can imagine owning and cherishing all of their goodies for years to come because they have so many gorgeous things. Here are a few of my favorites, perhaps they will become yours too. And remember, after the photos we’ll get back on topic with important gift considerations that you may want to know about before you hit the stores with your list.


Symmetry Pillow from the Sandor Collection

Signe Vase by Karin Eriksson

Linen Tablecloth – Natural Fog Linen Work (though you want to find out what size your friends table is first.)


Bone China Spoon Set from Caroline Swift

Tine K Home Ceramic Bowl

Roller Skate Door Stop by Harry Allen

Crosses Scotch Glass by Simplemente Blanco (not just for scotch of course – these work for just about any beverage).

So! When it comes to gifts, I always try to match the gift with the person in some way — either something about it reminds me of them, or a time that I spent with them, or I know that it is their taste and it would match perfectly in their home. But there is more I consider… here are a few that I avoid giving:

1. I’m careful to avoid anything with fur (even faux) though I never give real fur anyway or fallen horns (popular this time of year) unless I know for sure it will not offend my friend.

2. I’m not big on giving scented gifts either (candles, perfume, lotion, room spray) because I think this is a very personal gift that you’d only give to someone whom you know very well — and not everyone reacts the same to scent — it’s a tricky gift to give! And of course, some have chemical sensitivities…

3. I also consider pets, children, etc. when I’m selecting a present — will it be practical if they have a cat or a toddler?

4. When it comes to alcohol and food I’m also careful. There could be an addiction problem in the home or perhaps allergies to eggs, gluten, nuts… or your meat eating pal may have changed her diet completely and is not a vegan. I usually avoid giving food and alcohol.

5. Religious icons — some are not keen on having a Buddha or saint in their home no matter how many design stores seem to stock Buddha statues lately (have you noticed?).

6. I also avoid plants because they are sensitive little greens and well, they just may not like the light or environment in their new home. Also some plants are poisonous to cats, so if you do gift a plant to a cat owner ask the florist if it’s dangerous to pets. Some plants are flowering ones and again you have to consider allergies… I’m allergic to lilies for instance and didn’t realize it until my friend gave me a potted one. I nearly passed out! Plus, your friend may travel frequently or simply not enjoy plants or have a green thumb.

7. Music can be great to give but only if you know that the person has the CD on their wish list, otherwise I avoid giving music. Most of my friends don’t even cherish a CD like I do, they download everything online. Also some music may trigger bad memories for your friend. A Michael Buble album may make you feel like dancing, but it may be the same one that reminds your friend of their recent break-up. Tread carefully when it comes to tunes.

8. Memberships to things. Most people I already know don’t have time to eat breakfast, the last thing I want to do is give them something else to maintain or attend.

I know — what’s left? This is why so many resort to the good old gift card… but with a little imagination you can give something very special and meaningful to your friend that they will love for years to come.

What do you do to ensure a happy recipient?

(images: horne)