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Don’t You Dare Spend Money On These Things This Holiday Season

Darren December 8, 2023

The Holiday season is a time of year when many people around the world simply go wild. Suddenly, we’re all panicking as we purchase last-minute gifts for impossible people. Meanwhile, there’s pressure to buy a liquor store’s worth of alcohol and more gifts than Santa’s Grotto. It’s easy to waste money on pointless, expensive purchases.

Today we’ll look at some of the most wasteful things to buy during the holiday season. Yes, it’s tempting but think before wasting those hard-earned dollars on these expensive, pointless items. Check them out now because they could change everything!

Holiday Inflatables

Depending on where you live, there’s always one house – or even many more – in the neighborhood with ludicrous Christmas decorations. It’s entertaining to see them and it’s a sure sign that the holiday season is here. But that’s their business, not anybody else’s. It’s going without saying that you shouldn’t be tempted to buy inflatable yard decorations because they’re one of the dumbest purchases ever.

Victoria News

First off, they’re expensive to buy and bulky to store. Then there’s the amount of electricity they consume. But the worst part is that everybody thinks those people try too hard. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating but sometimes these people go over the top and it’s obnoxious for their neighbors (via i News).

Real Trees

Why would anybody do this to themselves? Buying a real Christmas tree is one of the biggest mistakes of the holiday season. Firstly, it’s a massive effort to procure one. They’re not cheap or easy to transport so this is a big problem. But it gets worse from here because there’s another major issue.

Home Depot

Real evergreen trees shed their needles and this is bad news. They provide joy for a few days but we spend most of the time sweeping up underneath them. Nobody needs that kind of effort and that’s why it’s better to buy an artificial tree. Just stick it in the attic and forget it until the holiday season again (via Real Simple).

Holiday-Themed Candy

Enough is going on during the holiday season without buying Christmas-themed candy. Everyone is sick of eating heavy desserts and delicious succulent meals. They don’t need to chow down on sugar canes or Santa-shaped lollipops. This is the definition of an impulse buy because no one needs them.

Crosswalk

The story goes that candy canes are a German invention. But then Hollywood popularized them because the red-and-white aesthetic is striking in Christmas movies. However, there’s a massive problem here: nobody likes eating them. This is a common theme with holiday food (via Yummy Bazaar).

Exercise Equipment

Here’s another thing people buy with great intentions during the holiday season. But the reality is that it backfires before they know what has happened. Don’t buy exercise equipment for other people unless they explicitly ask for it. Otherwise, they may interpret it incorrectly and it can be unkind.

Harvard Health

Another issue is that people buy equipment that they inevitably never use. Now they have a treadmill stuck in their living room because they thought it was a good idea. It’s so common that it’s a cliche. At least a gym membership doesn’t take up valuable space inside someone’s house (via Fitness Town).

Jewelry

There are two good reasons why we shouldn’t buy jewelry during the holiday season. First, it’s a lazy gift that men opt for because they can’t think of anything else. They’ll panic at the last minute when they realize that they forgot to buy something meaningful for their partner.

New York Times

Then they buy something that their partner never wears or is the wrong size. Another issue is that it will probably to buy the jewelry a few weeks later during the New Year sales. Maybe it’s not as special as surprising someone on the big day, but the difference can be substantial (via CEO Magazine).

Cleaning Appliances

Never buy cleaning appliances during the holiday season. Firstly, they make a garbage gift unless somebody specifically requests a new Dyson. People will think that everyone says their house is filthy or that they don’t do enough work. It’s one of the worst things that a man can get for their female partner.

Real Simple

Meanwhile, there’s the cost. Why buy them now when they’ll be cheaper in a couple of weeks? It’s always the way when it comes to this type of thing but people don’t learn. Yes, it’s nice to buy the ideal item for Christmas or whatever holiday. But unless it’s for children, they should be able to wait (via Electro Dry).

Panettone

Do you know anybody ever eaten Panettone bread? This Italian delicacy is a holiday staple but it seems like it just sits in its box for weeks. Sometimes people buy one because they’re not thinking properly. A little bit of Pannetone is nice but the bread quickly dries out and people waste most of it.

The Spruce Eats

It’s common for people to forget about it completely and then realize that they have a year-old Pannetone sitting there. Then they replace it with a new one and the vicious cycle continues. There are many weird things about the holiday season but Pannetone is up there with the worst of them (via The Guardian).

Animal-Tested Toiletries

We’re sure many well-meaning parents inadvertently bought animal-tested toiletries for their teenage daughters. It’s a mistake that they’ll never make because there’s a good chance it ruined the holiday season. Congratulations to them because their children think they’re committing environmental genocide.

Tripsavvy

However, the reality is that they are incredibly unethical and there’s no changing this. That’s why customers should check the labels to make sure that everything is acceptable before purchasing them. It’s easy to miss if we’re not careful but the people who value them will be happy (via HSI).

Novelty Socks

Does anybody wear novelty socks? They’re one of the biggest wastes of resources on the planet. Don’t buy them during the holiday season because they will sit in a drawer for the next decade. Nothing says stocking filler like novelty socks because it’s clear that Santa ran out of ideas.

Vogue

However, there’s nothing wrong with getting normal socks for adults. Grown men especially appreciate them because they realize that they haven’t bought new ones since they were children. They might have more holes than a golf course but it doesn’t matter to them (via The Modest Man).

Scented Candles

We should caveat this by saying that scented candles can be a great Christmas present. But it’s crucial not to be a cheapskate because the receiver will know this. If they like scented candles then they’ll know if it’s a good brand or if someone just picked one up from Walmart.

RTE

We’re not sneering at people who can’t afford the best of everything. Times are tough right now so that’s entirely fair. However, it’s about thinking about how we use our money. Cheap scented candles just aren’t the best thing to buy during the holiday season (via Candles2Go).

Brussel Sprouts

Sprouts are one of the weirdest vegetables on the planet. We never see them for most of the year before they suddenly materialize for the holiday season. Who was the evil genius who decided that they should be a traditional Christmas dinner food? They taste disgusting and there’s nothing good about them.

New York Times

They’re like tiny, bitter cabbages but with a more offensive flavor. Why do people constantly waste money on them even though no one likes them? This is the truth about many holiday season foods; we’ll discuss more later. Brussels sprouts are a vile creation and even bacon can’t save them (via Cosmopolitan).

Bathroom Scales

Yes, there are people in this world who thought it was a good idea to buy a bathroom scale as a gift for their partner. It’s hilarious how idiotic this is because it’s one of the poorest taste gifts ever. Instantly, they’re going to believe that their spouse or partner or whomever thinks they’re fat.

Very Well Fit

Some people are so self-destructive that they can’t resist buying such a garbage gift. Anyway, the holiday season is the worst time to be worrying about weight. We should be loading up on food like animals preparing for hibernation. Let’s enjoy life without stressing about these things (via Verywell Fit).

That Fancy Vase

Vases and other large ornaments are awkward items to buy. Take a beat before buying one as a gift for a loved one. It’s very difficult to be sure of other people’s tastes. It’s the sort of thing that could go badly wrong and they stick in their bathroom or in the guest bedroom out of the way.

Fancy Casual

Meanwhile, sometimes we’re tempted to treat ourselves during the holiday season. That’s fine but make sure to finish all of the other shopping first. A fancy vase won’t be very helpful if it means compensating for children’s gifts. It’s a tricky one so weigh up everything before wasting money (via Fancy Casual).

Gym Membership

It’s very tempting to buy a gym membership during the holiday season. They often have sales and offer special rates for new members. Everybody has gorged their weight on turkey and eggnog so guilt is in the air. But joining a gym in the New Year is not the answer because it never goes well.

Nerd Gym

People stick with it for the first couple of weeks before inevitably the guilt wears off. Then they never make full use of it and it’s a massive waste of money. Also, don’t buy a gym membership for a loved one unless they want it because they could take it as an insult too (via Nerd Fitness).

More Alcohol

The holidays are arguably the booziest times of the year. If we’re not drinking alcohol we’re eating it in cakes, chocolates, and other sweet treats. Maybe we’re having wine with every meal and champagne at the New Year. We could be enjoying egg nog, mulled wine, whiskeys, and beer.

Bevvy

There’s a lot of alcohol going around so there’s probably no need to buy more. Save a few bucks and your family’s livers at the same time. It’s not necessary to buy that extra bottle of Fireball just in case. Sometimes we lose the run of ourselves during the holiday season and alcohol is one contributor (via Bevvy).

Walmart Gift Voucher

We’re almost joking by including this but it was on a list of the worst holiday season gifts ever. Some people will accuse us of being elitist but let’s be real. Nobody wants to receive a Walmart gift voucher as their main Christmas present. It’s just not fun and it never will be.

Reuters

Yet gift vouchers can be a great option when we know someone has a specific interest. For example, maybe they love reading but it’s too risky to pick one book in case they already have it. That’s why a voucher is brilliant because it gives them the freedom to make the choice themselves (via Good Housekeeping).

Cheeseboards

Most people love cheeseboards during the holiday season. There’s no denying that they’re delicious and make us feel classy for a few hours until we get too drunk. But the cheese is the biggest problem because then we’re stuck with it for days. Inevitably, we have too much cheese and the novelty wears off quickly.

U.S. Dairy

There’s also always one slightly weirder cheese that nobody likes that much. That one never seems to get smaller while everybody chips away at the others. It just sits there despondently and makes a stink in the fridge until we throw it in the garbage. This is the harsh reality of holiday season cheeseboards (via U.S. Dairy).

A Dog

Dogs are another terrible holiday season gift idea. There’s an old mantra that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas. Incredibly, this hasn’t registered with some people. First, they don’t comprehend that puppies are challenging because they pee everywhere and chew everything.

The Scotsman

Then they get bigger and this means their owner must walk them several times per day. It’s a massive responsibility and one that requires significant preparation. Unfortunately, new owners inundate dog shelters after the holiday season because they want to offload their new canine friends (via The Scotsman).

Christmas Pudding

Some people love Christmas pudding and will react with outrage to this. However, a huge number of holiday season frolickers hate the classic British treat. They contain dried fruits, suet, alcohol like brandy or whiskey as well as fruit peels. It’s traditional but it’s also a bit disgusting (via The Spruce Eats).

BBC

That’s what many young people think anyway and they’re the future. There’s going to be a world where Christmas puddings will be rare and maybe it will be a happier place. So many holiday season ‘delights’ don’t taste that nice. Maybe it’s time to make traditional Christmas Basque cheesecakes.

Board Games

Many families have this romantic vision of sitting in front of the fireplace with a new board game and sharing quality time. They want to do something nice together instead of watching TV or disappearing to do separate things. However, the reality is that nobody actually wants to do this (via Belfast Live).

Belfast Live

Children resent when their parents drag them away from their new video games. Meanwhile, there will always be a fight because it will get too competitive. These are cliches but it’s the way it goes. Save the money for other aspects of the holiday season and there will be fewer tears.

Plants

Before buying plants as a holiday season gift, ask if the intended recipient wants them. Do they favor a minimalist aesthetic with few possessions? Are they the most responsible people in the world? If the answer to these questions is negative, then the plant may be receiving a death sentence.

Modular Walls

Buying gifts is stressful at best of times but it’s good to get things that people will enjoy. Giving a plant to a college student would be like offering beef jerky to a vegan. It’s not going to go down well and it’s a waste of money. The holiday season is awkward but we don’t make the rules (via Modular Walls).

Perfume

Men love buying perfume, jewelry, and chocolates for their partners. They’re get-out-of-jail-free gifts from unimaginative but ultimately well-meaning male partners. Perfume is the trickiest one though because it’s easy to get it very wrong. Men should never buy their wives or girlfriends a new scent without them trying it first.

Aurel Gift

That’s because they may hate it and it will disgust them every time they wear it. Only buy perfumes that they already have because that means they like it. It’s a simple tip but one that will save many people during the holiday season. They don’t want something new but something they already enjoy (via Aurel Singapore).

Expired Calendars

Calendars are another decent stocking filler. Buy a novelty calendar or a themed one with pictures of something the recipient will enjoy. Nothing could go wrong with this because it’s simple enough, right? That’s not true because there’s one potential massive mistake that many people make.

Temu

They mistakenly buy calendars for the previous year because they forget that it’s almost over. Then the calendar goes in the bin because they can’t use it. Sure, nobody uses them these days because we have notifications on our phones. But it’s still nice to have an up-to-date one (via Temu).

Full Turkey

It’s traditional to eat a turkey on Christmas Day. But the reality is that a full bird causes plenty of problems. Don’t buy an entire turkey because it will go forever. It’s also too easy to accidentally make it dry because it’s a notoriously tricky meat to cook. Even better, choose another meat to eat instead!

Delicious

We’ve already had turkey for Thanksgiving so why not try an alternative? Scandinavians typically eat fish for their supper on Christmas Day but there are plenty of other options. Try goose, venison, or even porchetta. The only reason we eat turkey is because they were available and it became common (via Delicious).

Egg Nog

This is a traditional American practice that confuses everybody else around the world. Most international readers probably heard of eggnog because of U.S. movies and TV shows. But they don’t know what’s in it. In short, it contains milk, eggs, cream, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and alcohol.

Delish

Usually, people add bourbon, brandy, or rum to this concoction. We pretend we like it but the reality it’s disgusting and a waste of good liquor. Originally, egg nog emerged from medieval Britain but it should have stayed there. There’s a good reason why nobody in the UK consumes it now (via Sauder’s Eggs).

Self-Help Books

The people who created the ‘Dummies Guides’ are geniuses because they’ve tricked everybody into admitting they’re morons. We constantly buy these books on every subject as we try to understand tricky topics. The reality is that we give up, watch a YouTube video, and the guide sits on a bookshelf forever.

Psychology Today

Meanwhile, other self-help books include motivational guides about how to become a self-made millionaire. There’s only one thing that they need to say: write a successful self-help book. These conmen have a massive influence over society so let’s ignore them during the holiday season (via Psychology Today).

Plane Tickets/Hotel Vouchers

Nobody likes it when people put time constraints on them. That’s the problem with buying plane or hotel tickets for others because it puts them under pressure. Maybe we think that we’re going to give them a break away from the craziness of normal life. But it’s not always a good idea.

KHOU

It’s especially terrible if they have children because they must find somebody to mind them. Unless the giver is willing to take on that responsibility they should be careful. There’s a good chance that they’ll never use those vouchers because they don’t have the time (via KHOU).

Lingerie

Here’s another classic male gift to their loved ones. The problem with this is that it’s more of a present for themselves than their spouse or girlfriend. They’re indulging in an internal fantasy and trying to make it real. We’re not saying that all men are guilty of this but plenty are.

Luvze

First, buying the right size can be a massive problem. Many lingerie store workers have horror stories of trying to identify the correct bra size. Then there’s the style and this can be a dealbreaker. No woman wants to wear something that makes her feel insecure or uncomfortable (via Luvze).

Holiday Cards

Traditionally, many people send greeting cards during the holiday season. It’s a nice idea in theory because it’s good to get in touch with the loved ones in our lives. But then there’s the inevitable problem of receiving one from someone we forget to send it to. This is more stress than anybody needs.

The Pioneer Woman

Then there’s the unfortunate cost to the environment. Most of the time we throw the cards in the garbage after the holiday season. Manufacturers chop down thousands of trees to produce them so it’s not good. Use electronic greeting cards because they don’t have the same impact (via The Pioneer Woman).

A New Car

Nobody’s spouse wants to step outside on Christmas Day and see their partner bought an overpriced car. It’s a gross waste of money that they immediately poured down the drain. This is a classic sign of a midlife crisis and something that happens more often than we expect.

Motortrend

No explanation is going to convince them that it’s a great gift to share. They’re already thinking about the vacations they’re going to miss and their children’s education. This is one of the worst things that anybody can buy during the holiday season so don’t do it (via Motor Trend).

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