A Consumer’s survey has revealed that only 4% of the presents opened on Christmas day were exactly what the recipient wanted or asked for. All the rest were either slightly but irritatingly wrong or actually be so completely inappropriate or misjudged that it would have been better to buy nothing at all.
‘The crassest errors were made by parents buying technical presents for their teenage children’ said the editor of ‘Which?’ magazine; ‘Kids that asked for an iPhone were bought an iPod Touch by mistake. Or an O2 phone which their dumb parents thought was the same thing. That’s why grown-ups say it is better to give than receive. Because receiving is either disappointing or really annoying.’
Another classic error is to ‘the book with the tenuous link’; ‘I go jogging before work in the morning’ said one Derbyshire housewife, ‘So my husband bought me the history of jogging. What the hell do I want that for? It’s bad enough having to do it without bloody reading about it as well.’ It is estimated that over a million books with tenuous links to the recipient were given all over Britain yesterday; illustrated guides of places where a wife casually suggested they might go on holiday one day, or dull biographies of actors who were in a film they recently saw together.
Other presents that were just ‘a bit wrong’ were the classic wrong size clothing, the same thing that you bought last year or the deeply irritating starter kit for a hobby that will never be taken up. ‘I got a set of watercolours last year’ said one Nottingham man. ‘And some chisels for woodcarving, and a computer programme and DVD about how to research my family tree.’ I have no intention of ever using any of them. My hobby is drinking beer and watching television.’
But perhaps the most misjudged present was the inappropriate and slightly offensive sex toy. ‘My husband just gave me some pink fluffy handcuffs, a leather basque and KY jelly,’ confessed one London woman. ‘I said to him, really George, that’s never really been our scene has it? He went red and said, ‘Sorry, you’ve opened my present to your mother…’’
26th December 2008