Other gifts to avoid: the four A’s

While we’re on the topic of inappropriate gifts, here are some others that are best steered clear of. I call them “The Four A’s to Avoid”:

1. Animals. Living things are a very personal choice, require serious decision making by the eventual owner, and often a lot of care and expense. Even though a pet can be a joy, it’s not your decision to make. If you think a goldfish/guinea pig/golden labrador would be just the ticket, though – check with the person in question first, or their parents.

2. Art. Another very personal choice, and highly subjective. Your taste in art may not be – indeed will not be – the same as the person you’re giving to. Even if your taste is exquisite, the fact remains that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The only exception to giving art is when: you’re very, very sure that the person will love it (e.g., it’s by an artist you know they adore) and/or it’s very small, and doesn’t require major wallspace/display room.

3. Appliances. You have a little more discretion here, as household appliances can certainly be handy – but the item in question may be neither wanted nor needed, plus take up valuable counter or storage space.  Approach with caution. 

4.  Anything ‘big’.  In today’s cluttered houses and micro-sized apartments, small is beautiful, gift-wise.  Any item that requires two people to move it: be very, very sure that it’s exactly what the recipient wants!

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