The holiday season is right around the corner and as it rapidly approaches people are beginning to gear up for the flurry of purchasing gifts and wrapping presents that the holidays bring. You may have already decided what you want to get for your family members and significant other, but are the gifts you’re planning to give really what they want, or are you defaulting to stereotypical gift ideas that will work in a pinch but really aren’t all that great? Here’s a list of five of the most overused gift ideas that people buy during the gift-giving season:


1. Watches – The watch is an old standby when it comes to holidays and birthdays, largely because it’s a piece of jewelry that you can buy both men and women. It says, “I want to buy you something nice”, however it also says, “I didn’t want to put a whole lot of thought into this semi-expensive gift”. Unless your significant other specifically asked for a watch, you may want to steer clear of this one.

2. Picture frames – You may think that framed pictures of you and the person you’re buying the gift for tell the person that you are sentimental and appreciate them, but you’re really just saying that you’re too cheap and lazy to actually go out and find a gift that is unique to that person. Save crafting the frame yourself and decorating it, you probably want to skip this gift idea.

3. Ties – Dads tend to get the brunt of bad gifts, with ties and socks being two of the most common gifts. However, nothing says, “I had no idea what to get you” more than another striped tie with a side of socks. Before you default to this generic gift, consider giving Dad the gift of your time and spend some quality one on one time doing something he enjoys together. It’ll be much more meaningful than another tie.

4. Gift cards – Gift cards also fall into the, “I don’t know what to get you” category. Unless you know that the person you’re buying the gift card for will absolutely use it, it’s likely that it will find a place in their wallet and be promptly forgotten about.

5. Useless trinkets – Useless trinkets tend to fill up checkout lines as the holiday season approaches, and their snazzy packaging can lure unsuspecting victims into thinking that it really will make the perfect stocking stuffer. The reality? Most people will never use that trinket and it will end up collecting dust in a drawer or will be sold in the next garage sale instead.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing through your gift list buying a typical, overused gift just so you can finish your shopping early. People can tell when a gift has thought put into it and when it was hastily bought, so get a jump start on your shopping now so that you have plenty of time to pick out unique gifts for each person on your list.

Author Bio

Jack Meyer is a regular contributor for As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.