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15 worst gifts for women

Shopping for that special lady in your life? While no two people are alike, there are some gifts worth skipping.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 13, 2012 3:42PM

This post comes from Amanda Geronikos at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News logoIt should go without saying that not everyone has the same idea of the perfect gift. There are men hoping for cologne and women longing for power tools.


But that won't stop us from having some fun with potentially horrible gifts for the woman in your life. Here's our tongue-in-cheek list of the 15 worst gifts:

1. Any appliance she didn't ask for

Unless she specifically asked for a waffle maker or blender, don't buy her one. Even women who enjoy cooking don't want to feel it's expected.


2. Clothes

Clothes are a no-no for several reasons. There's the size issue: If you get her something too big, she'll probably be offended; if you get her something too small, she might feel bad about herself.


There's also the issue of style. If a wardrobe makeover is what she wants, make a nice card promising to take her on a shopping spree with your cash.


3.  A framed picture of yourself

This "gift" is strangely common, based on personal experience and its presence on almost every "worst gifts" list out there. Nothing says you're self-absorbed like a framed photo of yourself posing like a model. And the picture of you when you were 6 years old? That's not cute either. A picture of the two of you doing something memorable is a much better gift idea.


4. Anything that can't be easily exchanged

If your significant other absolutely hates the expensive gift you bought her, be sure you can exchange it, for her sake and yours.


5. Diet or fitness products

Unless you're looking for trouble, don't buy her anything related to losing weight. The implication is that you're not satisfied with her the way she is.


6. Gifts for yourself

Buying her the new flat-screen TV you want and calling it a gift because she'll use it too doesn't work. Give her something she can appreciate and enjoy.


Image: Cage fighters © Mike Kemp, Tetra images, Getty Images7.  Tickets to sporting events

Your significant other might tolerate, or even like, baseball or football. But unless she's a die-hard fan, skip the tickets to sports events. Tickets to the ballet or a Broadway musical (unless, of course, she hates those things) are a better option, and you'll get bonus points if you go with her. Choose something you might not normally attend, and she'll appreciate it even more.


8. Tacky novelties

She's not going to be as amused by that singing coffee cup as you were when you spotted it at the store. Unless there's an inside joke behind the novelty gift, and it's in addition to a larger gift, this is a bad idea.


9. Perfume

If she asked for Elizabeth Arden's newest fragrance, by all means, buy it. Otherwise, stay away from the perfume counter. She might hate the fragrance you choose, or worse, she might be allergic to it.


10. Cash

Remember the "Seinfeld" episode in which Jerry gave Elaine cash for Christmas? Elaine got mad, as will the lady in your life if you give her this thoughtless gift.


11.  Cosmetics (including wrinkle cream)

It's almost unbelievable that men buy women wrinkle cream as a gift. I once heard about a woman who received wrinkle cream from her boyfriend when she was 22. It's also weird to buy a woman makeup. Just stay away from the cosmetics department.


12. Alcohol

A bottle of wine is nice for a housewarming party, but it's not quite as classy when you give it to a woman as a holiday, birthday or anniversary gift.


13. Flowers

Flowers are appropriate at certain times, but the holidays call for something more thoughtful and longer-lasting.


14.  Last year's gift

She loved the one-hour massage you bought her last year, but she's expecting something different this year. Even if you have a hard time remembering the details of last year's gift, chances are she hasn't forgotten.


15. Candy

Many women love chocolate,  but it's just not a sufficient gift at the holidays. Use it as a stocking stuffer, and put some more thought into a larger gift she'll appreciate.

More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
Dec 13, 2012 4:31PM
I don't know one woman who would get mad if her man gave her cash for Xmas!
Dec 13, 2012 6:43PM
i am a woman and this advice is to women. if  you want your guy to get you a nice gift do something radical and TELL HIM EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT!  dont say surprise me or the ever favorite you should know what i like. men are not mind readers. just tell him id like this or this and that. or anything from (blank) store if you have a favorite shop.  that way your guaranteed you'll like your gift.
Dec 13, 2012 6:34PM
What if you gave her 50,000.00 in cash. Would that be ok?

Dec 13, 2012 5:23PM
I hate to say it, but I agree w/ #9, but with a caveat.  If you see it on her counter and she's running low, go for it.  If you don't see it, stay far, far away.  I have received perfume that I am allergic to and was bummed because it smelled good.  The giver felt absolutely horrible when they found out.  I've told my husband that if he wants to buy me perfume or scented lotion, stick with what I already have since I know it won't make me break out in a horrible rash.  So far, so good!
Dec 13, 2012 7:06PM
How about this....nothing!  I finally convinced my hubby to skip buying gifts for each other and it has been much more pleasant for Christmas and birthdays.  I only wish I could convince my Mom and his Mom of the same thing so that I don't have so many items to give away in January to friends or Goodwill.  Christmas needs to be about what you do, not what you get or give!
Dec 13, 2012 7:41PM

Best male gift given by my brother in law to my sister: a new coach wallet stuffed with gift cards to her favorite stores, gift card to a restuarant,  gift card to her favorite spa, cash and a "gift certificate" for a Saturday off from being mom to be able to use her gift cards. She was in 7th heaven! 

Dec 13, 2012 4:43PM
These are moronic answers that a woman "wouldn't like" numbers 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15. The writer of this article is definitely divorced or single! Horrible answers...
Dec 13, 2012 7:33PM
what ever happened to the gift of love? Don't buy this, Don't buy that...c'mon people, you don't have to buy presents. That is not what christmas is about. And if you have to consult some stupid list on the ins and outs of what to get someone who you supposedly care about, then you probably don't care as much as you think you do. Just doing something nice for someone is always a good idea.
Dec 13, 2012 6:00PM
I have been told that I am a very practical gift giver and receiver.  Cash, gift cards, something I use all the time and love-- bottle of wine, perfume, coffee.  IMO-- all excellent gifts.  Nothing worse than putting all the Christmas gifts in the bag for Goodwill come March.
Dec 13, 2012 8:19PM
As a woman, I'd actually be pretty happy to get hockey tickets for Christmas. Of course, I'd have to settle for college or AHL hockey because the NHL can't seem to resolve the stupid lockout. And if someone bought me tickets to a ballet I'd sell them on eBay because I think ballet is stupid and boring. Broadway tickets might be pretty cool, but it'd depend on what musical they were for. 
Dec 13, 2012 8:56PM
Maybe women shouldn't be so picky and get wrapped up in a gift. I've gotten gifts I don't like before but it wasn't a big deal. Clothes, cologne, and cash, some of which I liked and some of which I didn't. I didn't get all emotional about it. You wonder why guys aren't big on gifts? There is so much pressure to get the "right" thing that it takes absolutely all of the fun out of it.
Dec 13, 2012 7:21PM
I've always found that my lady friends over the years never had a complaint with my favorite gift which is a cruise or a resort in one of the islands ! Try it they love it !
For anyone who would like to hear from the older generation gals. For gifts, why not just ask us?Appliances? Marvelous if we need a new /replacement. Sometimes we're "making do" with an older model or one that's on it's last legs. Gift cards! Please do! They allow us to purchase something we need/want later on. Perfume? Please don't unless we specifically mention we want a particular one. Cosmetics? You're walking on shaky ground there my friend. Best give it a pass unless, again, we've asked for a specific type. Clothes. Wow. There's an explosion waiting to happen. Don't do it unless you absolutely KNOW what size/style/brand she wears. Nothing worse than getting a darling sweater we've been eyeing and finding out it's too small or worse, too big. Remember, different manufacturers means sizing differences. Jewelry is iffy at best. Here's a hint if you just have to get some? Check whether she wears gold, white gold, silver, stainless steel or platinum. Crazy as it sounds, at lot of times, we wear one or the other almost exclusively. Chocolates now, are a safe bet  if you know she eats them but again, she'll have her favs. Best to find out what it is. 
Dec 13, 2012 7:56PM
I think it depends on the nature of your relationship and how long you've been together.  I actually agree with most of the items on this list.  To me it's more that you put some thought and effort into the gift than how much it costs.
Dec 13, 2012 7:16PM

All of the women I know, would love tickets to a sporting event.  Of course, it would have to be a good sport. 

My Mother always gave clothes to her Mother. 


Dec 14, 2012 1:52AM
One of the worst gifts I ever got was... diamond earrings. Seriously.
It was our first Christmas after we got married. We were broke, but he insisted on buying gifts. I love earrings, especially big or unusual ones. I have long hair, so always dangling styles or hoops. I have no interest in whether or not the stones are real, and I don't wear expensive ones because I'm terrified I'll lose one.  And he knew all of this, because I told him.
So he bought me a pair of tiny little diamond studs in gold. Not my style, or metal preference, or "me" in any way. They were what he wanted me to want. Told me they were more age-appropriate than what I usually wore, and that he didn't want me wearing fake stones. It wasn't just that they weren't to my taste, it was that his reasoning was just offensive. And he conveniently lost the receipt.

So my point here is, get to know the person and find out who they are and what they like. You're not buying it for yourself, so don't buy it because you like it. Get what they like, even if you hate it. Don't use a gift as a subtle means of manipulating someone to what you want them to be.

Dec 14, 2012 3:43PM

I fondly remember the year my husband presented me with one wiper blade for my car for Christmas. Yes. Just one. Ahhh...


But you know what? He's a darn fine husband, a hard worker, a great dad, and I'm thrilled that he's mine. We have a lot of happy years together. So what if his gift buying skills are a little off. The presents are not what make the relationship.

Dec 14, 2012 11:29AM
My darling hubby always gives me a gift certificate to my favorite salon for a day of pampering, including hair, nails, massage, facial, etc. My best friend's hubby does the same for her and we go together. Also, he gives me a trip every Christmas - I never know where until the 25th and it is always a grand surprise - this past christmas - a trip to France, Italy and England which we took in May. It's going to be hard to top that!!!! But I am hoping for a trip to Florida or the Caribbean, as he knows I love love love the beach.  :) He puts something sparkly in my stocking (we do not do expensive stocking stuffers - sometimes just a lovely piece of costume jewelry). So nice to know that you will love without reservation the gift a loved one gets you. He gets clothes, tools, and other man things. If someone can give a hint to something more exciting please do tell - he never tells me what he wants - usually buys it himself LOL
Dec 13, 2012 8:29PM
How about a card with a picture of a beach in it and an inscription that says " How about a beach getaway in February My Darling?  How about Jamaica??
Dec 13, 2012 9:10PM
Booze - I'll take a good bottle for Xmas! And don't forget the champagne!
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