Christmas presents: the bad, the very bad, and the absolute worst

Christmas presents under tree

As we approach Black Friday, more than 1700 Mumsnet users have revealed some of the most disappointing, disastrous and just plain thoughtless Christmas presents they've ever received.

We're releasing our latest survey just in time to hopefully save gift givers from getting things a little bit wrong this season. Of course it's the thought that counts, but we think these gems might feature near the top of the list when it comes to the all-time worst gifts:

  • A bottle of wine with the meal deal sticker still on it
  • An XXXL see-through chiffon top – “I was a size 10”
  • A doll made out of prunes
  • A Sophie’s Choice DVD
  • Four litres of catering-size ketchup
  • A red PVC thong “from my husband’s auntie”
  • A 500 piece jigsaw (“I was four”)
  • Car cleaning fluid

The most unwanted gifts overall were celebrity autobiographies, with 74% saying they’d regift or give them to a good cause, while 5% say they’d throw them away. Celebrity brand perfumes are also a no-no for most, with 68% saying they’d regift them or give them to a good cause. But although just 1% say they’d like to receive socks over other classic Christmas gifts, 95% would still keep them.

Other popular classic gifts include food hampers, with 94% saying they would keep them, as well as underwear chosen by their spouse or partner (94%), pyjamas (94%) and spa vouchers (83%). Lots of users mentioned money or handbags as their all-time favourite gifts, while for one it was a Daniel Craig calendar. But for most, it’s thoughtful, personal gifts that come out on top, including:

“An iPod preloaded with my favourite tunes. I cried”
“A necklace with my children’s names on”
“A spirograph when I was eight, a marriage proposal when I was 45”

Mumsnet Founder Justine Roberts said: “There are those who would love a gift of Britney-brand scent, those who would be politely grateful for it, and those who would interpret it as a grave insult. If you want to play it safe, it looks as though vouchers or classic perfume are the way to go. If you really do want to insult someone, get them some ketchup.”