Some gifts deserve to get given the heave

December 24, 2009
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(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

Oooh, it’s all happening now, isn’t it.

Just the one sleep to go until Christmas Day, and summer arrived on Tuesday.

That in itself came as a wee bit of a shock to the system, since I’ve only just got over our last burst of summer a couple of weeks ago that left me with some unexpected sunburn.

It’s also just two sleeps until Trade Me’s inundated with a bunch of unwanted gift auctions (in fact, if I remember rightly, last year they started to appear by lunchtime on Christmas Day).

I’m always surprised by two things: just how ungrateful some people are and how bad some gifts are.

There are fewer of those genuine Louis Vuitton unwanted gifts up for grabs on Trade Me these days because the admin dudes and dudettes have got pretty good at spotting and removing fake designer goods from the site, but some of the actual unwanted gifts are pretty scary.

A search just minutes ago revealed a fluffy pink handbag listed in the women’s section that I’m fairly certain any self-respecting 6-year-old wouldn’t want.

There’s also the Zumba collection: you know, one of those awful exercise systems from one of those awful infomercials.  Now, it may or may not be a good system, I don’t know (I didn’t get this ample figure from leaping around the show sweating into my leotard now, did I).

What I do know is this: it is an inappropriate gift. I mean come on, even if the recipient is the size of a small bus it’s still an inappropriate gift.  It’s like saying you’re ugly, here’s a paper bag, Merry Christmas or that is a moustache on a lady, here’s a razor, Merry Christmas.

Gifts should be pleasant. They should be something the recipient wants, not something they’re going to flick off on Trade Me the minute your back’s turned.

Failing that, they should come with an exchange card.

Merry Christmas, hope your day is full of fun and family.

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