According to research the in-laws are the worst present-givers at Christmas


It’s official – the in-laws are the worst at present-giving, according to a new study.

Despite all the good will in the world, the mother and father in-law have a reputation for giving gifts which either upset, offend or bewilder the rest of the family.

Other common culprits for giving gifts which never get used include work colleagues, aunties and sisters.

One in twenty people even say their PARTNER often fails to get it right, with one in ten falling out with a loved one after they picked a terrible present.

The study of 2,000 adults reveals the top 50 gifts no-one in their right mind would want – which includes knitwear, mug-sets, and bad romance novels.

Oliver Harcourt, Head of Vistaprint UK, which commissioned the study via, said:

“The survey found Brits had received gifts which included a broken toilet brush, an already opened pack of peanuts and an out of date cereal bar!

“But despite receiving some less than desirable presents, overwhelmingly people felt it was the thought that counted.”

Other festive flops include ill-fitting clothes, toiletry kits, socks and bubble bath.

Slogan t-shirts, previously seen movies, pot pourri and soap on a string also made the list of gifts no-one wants to see under the tree.

Adults are stereotypically British when accepting unwanted gifts – a third will graciously and politely say thank you, while 13 per cent feign fanatical excitement and delight.

One in six would rather hide the gift somewhere in the house rather than admit they don’t like it, and a quarter of respondents would re-wrap and re-gift to someone else.

Almost half will take the present to a charity shop so someone else can benefit from their misfortune.

However, a resounding eight in ten adults admit it’s the thought that counts when present giving – truly in the spirit of the season.

Almost six in ten people receive up to five presents each Christmas which they then never use – while just over half receive up to the same number each birthday.

When it comes to best buyers – nearly four in ten people said partners purchase the most impressive presents, while 20 per cent said children choose great gifts.

Clothing, music and personalised gifts made for Brits’ favourite presents, while anything which has sentimental value, jewellery from a favourite store or gift vouchers are always received well.

Fourteen per cent of adults would love tickets to see a favourite band, one in ten are happy with slippers – and one in 20 would be delighted with an engagement ring.

One in six people like a gift with sentimental value, and seven in ten enjoy anything which is handmade.

Oliver Harcourt for Vistaprint added: “ The survey highlighted that personalised gifts were particularly appreciated, ranking far ahead of vouchers and jewellery.

“For years Vistaprint has been providing custom photo-gifts, such as photo-calendars, photobooks and mugs and we’ve heard first hand from our customers how much happiness these gifts can bring.”


1. Ugly clothes

2. Toiletry kits

3. Bath salts /bubble bath

4. Socks

5. Slogan t-shirts

6. Movies you’ve already seen

7. Candles

8. Hankies

9. A scarf

10. Soap on a string

11. Pretentious food/drink

12. Sexy lingerie

13. Knitwear

14. Bad romance novels

15. Pot pourri

16. Calendars

17. Books

18. Jewellery

19. Perfume

20. Address books

21. Cleaning products

22. A tie

23. Mug set

24. Joke books

25. Slippers

26. Photo frames

27. Aftershave

28. Department store vouchers

29. Cufflinks

30. Boxers or pants

31. Anti-aging products

32. Apron

33. Gloves

34. Bottle of booze

35. Football memorabilia

36. Pyjamas

37. Saucepan sets

38. Foot spa

39. Set of jams

40. Diet plan

41. Party games

42. Experience days

43. Stationary

44. A tea pot

45. Umbrella

46. Cookery books

47. Shortbread

48. De-icer

49. Crossword book

50. Dressing gown

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