Awful Holiday Gifts; 2012 Edition

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in America, I hope you had a good time? We sure did!

And now Cranky Fitness would like to officially welcome you all back from bountiful feasts and subsequent comas with a "Happy Black Friday" celebration... all about gift giving!

Photo: Plan 59

Holiday gifts can be a wonderful excuse to show off show affection and appreciation for people you care about. And they're fun to get!  Research says that both giving generously and feeling gratitude lead to more happiness, so we can even pretend this post has something to do with health and wellness.

But there's a downside to the holiday gift exchange. Have you ever given or gotten a really sucky gift?

(And isn't it strange that so many people have received awful presents yet so few have ever given them?  There must be just a handful of incredibly prolific shitty gift givers out there hell-bent on spreading disappointment throughout the land).

Of course you always give wonderful gifts.  But if there is someone in your life who could use some assistance, consider sharing this post under the guise that it was something you came across that has absolutely nothing to do with them!

So here is an illustrated guide to the Ten Worst Holiday Gift ideas I could find... followed by one Pleasant Alternative.

(Note: old timers at the blog may recall there is a pre-2012 post featuring even more dumb holiday gift ideas in the archives, in the form of a multiple choice quiz).

So, in no particular order:

Worst Holiday Gift Ideas I Could Find for 2012:


1. "Novelty" Items And Gag Gifts



Or, well, perhaps I just need to do more research on the care and feeding of heterosexual couples.   Are His and Hers Beards one of those "gotta have" items?

But in general, gag gifts do not count as real gifts.  If you've been under the illusion that cracking yourself up by proffering a useless item is a gesture that is warmly appreciated during the holidays?  You may be mistaken.

2. Gifts With A Subtle Agenda

If you have single friends and relatives?  Perhaps you should mind your own business and back the f-ck off.


3. Painful and Insulting Grooming Products

Because nothing says "honey, I don't even notice your moustache" quite like a device designed to scrape along your face and grab those supposedly invisible hairs and rip them out at the roots.

Skymall, naturally.

(Even if she ASKS I would stick with a gift certificate and let her make the actual purchase. You do not want to be foremost on her mind every time she employs this new toy).

4. Inappropriately Expensive Gifts

Personally, if someone is going to fork over $100,000 so I can have fresh eggs in the morning? Take me out to brunch and hand me a check for $99,975.  I'll even cross the road for it.


5. Gifts That Imply You Think Your Girlfriend is Flat-Chested, While Simultaneously Getting Her Drunk

And yes, it's designed to expand an "A" cup to a "D" and enable you to sneak alcohol into sporting events.  Brilliant. Dude, your girlfriend will LOVE IT!

6. Items Purchased at Library Book Sales:

Well actually, if you choose carefully, the 25 cent table can yield some real treasures.  However, if your recipient has never heard the term "camp" used outside of an actual tent pitched in the wilderness, then you should probably go the retail route. 


7. Sad Gifts

Oh dear, could someone hand me some Kleenex?


 (Sorry, if you wanted one: couldn't find original source).


8. Mitt Romney Bobble-Head:


(Because I didn't know which general category of Awful to put this in: Political Gifts; Rubbing It In; or As Seen on TV.)

9.  Intimate Apparel For Men


Unless you know your man really, really well.

Note: you need to specify how big a pouch he needs; do you really wanna have the conversation that follows if you guess wrong?

10. Gross Gifts

Poop on a pencil. How did you ever live without that?


But coincidentally, the poop pencil retails for $3.99 which is the same price as the...

Less Unpleasant Alternative Gift Suggestion!

You saw this one coming, didn't you?

Buy Crabby a wonderful gift by purchasing her new ebook Cranky Fitness: Exercise Your Ass Off!


Feel Free to Click On This, No Worries, We'll Wait!

(Note: YOU get the book, but Crabby gets a far greater gift. Seriously, she will be ridiculously elated and grateful if anyone at all buys this thing.  And an amazon review, blog link, tweet, Pin, FB share, etc would put her over the moon.  She is somewhat pathetically hoping to be discovered among 974,568,321,201 other ebook authors out there and sell more than 3 copies. Wish her luck!).

Need more persuading? In addition to groveling, I can actually come up with a few reasons to spring for one, other than as a huge favor to me.

1.  The book does not actually suck! I have to confess I worked pretty hard on putting it together.  I did a lot of editing, updating, tossing out boring things and creating new less-boring content so that it would read more like a real book and not an odd random collection of musty blog posts. While it's not a comprehensive encyclopedia of all the latest research of every aspect of fitness, it's a fun, funny (I hope) easy read that nonetheless sneaks in some helpful exercise information. It's designed both for folks who are just getting started but also has material for the more advanced and fool-hardy. Plus it's got motivational brainwashing, the usual silliness, and a few tricks you may not already know.

2. It could be a good alternative self-splurge during the hectic holiday season, with better long-term consequences than were to you purchase your splurge in the form of eggnog, Sees candy etc.

3. You can give this as a "stocking" stuffer type gift to those who might benefit from more exercise who would be turned off by traditional books that are too pushy and perky.   It's a totally deniable "you need to exercise" hint, because it's a "funny" book, not an exercise manual! I believe Amazon allows you to give it as a gift and print off a physical certificate or deliver one via email.

4.  Support the gals and the non-entrepreneurial! HyperInk is expanding their blog-to-book offerings, and has some other favorite female fitness bloggers teeing up some titles before too long (hint!).  But I worry that their core audience seems to go for start-up advice and hi-tech stuff and macho fitness approaches, and seems pretty heavy on male authors.  We don't want to confirm their suspicions by letting the guys do all the buying, right?  Gals, exercise that female purchasing power!  By buying this ebook, you can improve the climate for ebooks aimed at both genders, not just dudes.

5. New to eBooks? Discover how easy they are! You don't need a gadget, you can just order a PDF and read it on your home computer, or you can even download kindle software for free and order those other kindle titles you've been curious about!

6.  If you buy this Cranky Fitness eBook, there will be more to come!  Er, wait, that might not actually be much of an inducement.


OK, book-whoring aside, what are some of the worst holiday gifts you've seen or even received? Or how was your thanksgiving!  Am hoping not EVERYONE is at the mall today.

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