Crappy store bought gifts -- year after year.

The holidays are here and, as usual, packing the shelves are certain over priced gifts that I wonder if people actually buy year after year.

Like those IMPORTED cookies. All colorfully wrapped individually, packaged like 12 to a cheerful box, made in England or somewhere and costing about $14. They usually, I discovered, taste like something between stale chocolate and cardboard, yet they show up every year.

Then those imported candies. They go like about 12 to a box also and are usually gaily wrapped and cost about $10 and taste like they have been on the shelf since last year.

I still cannot get over those HUGE baskets full of plastic, colorful straw, upon which rests a 1 pound ‘summer sausage’, a wheel of assorted, tiny wedges of soft cheese, a 4 ounce tube of salami, a 1 pound Danish canned ham, 6 hard candies, a 2 ounce brick of cheddar cheese, a 2 ounce brick of SMOKEY cheddar cheese, a cheap cheese knife and cutting board and a pack of GENUINE ENGLISH WATER crackers (which means no flavor) and selling at $14.95. (AFTER Christmas they can be found marked down 6 or 7 times to about $5.) Do any of you ACTUALLY buy those things?

I dearly love the men’s cologne scam. The center aisle has a BIG display of men’s Cologne priced down to $5.00 for a 2 ounce bottle of something or other in a BIG colorful box. Across the store is the same stuff, priced at $9.00 a bottle and in men’s toiletries, it sells at the usual $12.00 a bottle. (Yes, the posted prices all ring up! It depends on what section of the store you buy it in.)

Then the $20 coffee sampler. Four 1 ounce bags of ‘imported’ coffee, two cheap coffee mugs, two tin spoons and a packet of thin wheat crackers. (Wholesale price about $5. Retail total for all items bought separately = $8.50.)

How about fruit cake. THAT stuff NEVER goes bad, not that it is very edible either. It has a bunch of uses, like paper weight, door stop, table decoration, boat anchor, rat killer, tire stop and land fill. I like preserved and dried fruits but whatever treatment they give those fruits which go into those cakes cannot be either safe or legal.

I even read up on an ancient recipe in an ancient cook book about making one of these colorful and worthless cakes. Now, THAT baker had the right idea for into the cement-like mix, he dumped enough rum to float a battleship. Then the finished cake was wrapped in muslin, soaked with MORE rum and stored in a cool shelf in the cool house for around a month – to ‘age.’ Upon bringing out for presentation, the outer layer of cloth was removed and the inner layer soaked with MORE RUM! I figure after the first mouthful, those who actually ate it got too blitzed to know what they were doing.

The leftovers could be cut into chunks, lit on fire and used as pot warmers.

You people seen anything similar to these examples out there, coming back year after year for fools to buy and HAVE you suckers, er…ah… fine people actually BOUGHT any?

Popcorn tins - trio of butter, cheese, and caramel, popped and packed in September.

Oddly shaped glass jars full of stale nuts or bubble bath.

Chia pets/heads/herb gardens.

Nasty cologne and bath salts really make me sick–literally–since I have bad allergies. The worst are botanicals–weed pollen in a bottle-yuk!
Just as bad are those goofy gift books with daily devotionals or “sweet thoughts” That kind of dreck makes me want to hit somebody! Who really reads that pablum???

MY fruitcake is to die for!


Did you mean for or from?

I used to like fruit cake as a kid. Did you know that those sticky red cherries, if held in the approved marble shooting position, will STICK to a wall? Then I grew up and fruit cake is usually used to poison roaches with or throw at the little local thugs or ‘Homeys’ trying to act like gang boyz. I understand that some of them would rather be shot than hit with a wedge of commnercial fruit cake.

I kinda like fruitcake. However, I see why it’s a seasonal item: it’s way too rich to eat too often. Once a year is about right.




Christmas Soaps. I’m sure you’ve seen them. Soaps with poinsettias or other holiday items painted on them. What am I supposed to do with these things? I’m not putting them in my bathroom and they’re too tacky to give someone else.

BTW, I’m going to take the opportunity to vent about a gift I got this week. At a gift exchange I ended up with an absolutely hideous candle wreath. No candle…Just the cheap plastic wreath with sprayed on holly berries. I would’ve thought this was a white elephant but the invitation said “NO white elephants.” So right about now someone is enjoying the nice gift I bought while I have the wreath still in the box. The only good thing out of this is my cat likes the wrapping paper and is laying on it right now.

Whew! I feel better now.

Little gift sets like that are kind of nice, if given to the appropriate person. My husband, for instance, likes the coffee stuff. He drinks more coffee than I do, and I drink alot. Then there’s my best friend, who absolutely adores smelly stuff like bath oils & perfumes.

Some places will “personalize” a gift set for you, i.e. you tell them what you want in it, and they’ll make it up right there. Did that for my mom one year, with Chanel No. 5. She loved it.

I agree, though, that an awful lot of those sets are just really chintzy, and grossly overpriced.

I do like the popcorn tins, though. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget the massive (I think) 5 pound tins of Danish Butter Cookies. There is no possible way to ever eat all of those before they become weird and inedible. Plus, one serving has about 100 grams of fat, so it’s possible to kill yourself trying.

“There’s a snake in my boot!”

Cristi, do your popcorn tins end up with most of the cheese eaten, about half the butter, and maybe an inch off the caramel? That seemed to be the pattern in all the cubicles where I used to work. (we’d get them every from the company)

OMG, Anomoly! I haven’t laughed that hard in a month! What a hoot.

“I should not take bribes and Minister Bal Bahadur KC should not do so either. But if clerks take a bribe of Rs 50-60 after a hard day’s work, it is not an issue.” ----Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Current Prime Minister of Nepal

Gilligan: Nope. We get one of these tins for Christmas every year from my dad (amongst many other things–my dad keeps Christmas well). I scarf the caramel, hubby chows the butter, and we usually nibble at the cheese. My dad gets this thing for us, though, because he knows we’ll actually eat it. :slight_smile:

There’s one good brand of popcorn tin I know of, from northern Ohio, Velvet Creme, I think. Excellent cheese, and the other two flavors are good. Stainless steel tin, no decorations, so it can be used for something after the popcorn’s gone.

I’ll bet your fruitcake is yummy! Never mind the naysayers.

I’ve never met a fruitcake I didn’t like. I guess that puts me somewhere between people that like infomercials (ugh) and those that dig monster truck rallys (double-ugh). People of “special” tastes. :slight_smile:

We get a tin of popcorn from my Mom every year. It’s eaten immediately and the tins, which I’ve saved, are being used to store toys.

The rest of the stuff listed is pretty much the last minute desperation crap that my husband buys on the 23rd of December at 9p.

We’ve already started our yearly argument over this very subject.

I have been known to give a gag gift from time to time and one that came out a winner was a Ginsu knife set ( $10 at the store with no ‘but wait, there’s more’) I gave it to my brother in law long before he married and he says he uses it every day and it is better than any other elite cutlery they put on their wedding list.

I am going to be buying a chia pet ( oh, to decide which one to rescue off the shelves is the conundrum) because our friend in England as never heard of Chia pets.

My question is this: Where do chia pets go after December?

Shirley - they die. They die long, slow horrible deaths, especially when their caretaker - me - does not water them.

We had a funeral for it - and then we buried it in the backyard. Really.

It was sad…this year I’m hoping for the Chia Herb Garden…