10 Gifts You Should Never Give (According to Gen Z)

Young Man Dislikes Coffee Mug as gift

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The tradition of sending gifts is always a good way to remind someone that you care about them, but you might want to reconsider your definition of a “good present” a little more.

According to a survey conducted last Christmas, there are around 53% of people admitted that they have received an unwanted gift during the gift exchange, with Gen Z taking the lead (71%) and followed by Millenials (68%). They also shared some of the items that they do not wish to receive as a gift, and you’ll be surprised to find out the list as they are not actually that bad.

How about these practical gifts instead?

Plush Toys

Stuffed animals are adorable, we all receive at least one as a kid. However, let’s be honest about this: have you ever considered throwing or donating the plushies during spring clean in order to accommodate new things? Yes, it happens all the time especially when the toy does not have a meaning or memory attached to it.


Believe it or not, some people just do not have a liking for chocolates, candies, or chips. While most people agree that they always prefer and enjoy something that is homemade when it comes to food as gifts.


Calendars are office supplies, not fun presents. They can also be highly personal, including what size, theme, or layout works best for each individual and their work style. More often than not, cute calendar gifts are set aside until it’s too late to be used.

Coffee Mug

We know what you’re thinking, “everyone needs to drink, so a mug would never go wrong.” The truth is, if you think your friends are the kind of people who would like a mug, high chances are they already had one and are not up to changing their mugs some time. If you insist on gifting glassware, go for something that speaks to their interest in beverages, like wine, or cocktail glasses.

Picture Frame

A picture frame is certainly a sweet gift if it’s from a young child, but adults should just reconsider it. While a picture frame is not exactly a necessity, it isn’t a luxury either. It’s hard for the giver to guarantee it matches the giftee’s style, or if there’s even a picture to put in it when most people trust their smartphone to do the work.


Clothing, in general, can be tricky, since every individual has a unique style, and there’s always a risk of choosing the wrong size. If you’re buying for someone who is a fan of nothing but apparel, you can always opt for other options like a gift card to a store you know they like so they can stock up on whatever they like and actually need.

Hand Creams

Rather than being the most unwanted gift, hand creams are named the most predictable gift, especially during holiday seasons when numerous cosmetic brands offer varieties of scented hand creams in cute gift boxes. Not to mention that fragrances are highly subjective, that people always prefer picking their own if they really want them.


Socks are necessities for many, but more often than not, people who receive socks as a gift expect something more than just the holiday stocking with Christmas candy canes or gingerbread men printed on them. It always makes a better gift idea when you can put small items like jewelry and gift cards into a pair of socks for wrapping gifts and tying a ribbon around them


If you know someone super well, a book can be a wonderful bonding gift. But the tricky part is that every individual can get their judgment clouded by personal likings or tastes, and you should never think to let the best books of the month decide for you. If your giftees are book worms, you may consider sending them an audiobooks subscription or even a hardcover edition of their favourite book for their collection purpose.


Everyone has a drawer that is overflowing with keychains from foreign countries or places that you didn’t even visit before. It’s always sweet to know that someone has thought of you while traveling, but a keychain will never be the best option for souvenir or gift. The answer is obvious, just ask yourself: how many keychains do we actually need? 


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