5 Gifts That Aren’t Really Gifts

  • 3 min read

There is a reason, aside from wanting to delight wonderful humans across the globe and make a little bit of money while doing it, that we invented our majestic Mystery Boxes.

Receiving presents has become boring.

Yes, you read that right. Your 10 year old inner child may be recoiling in disgust, but your adult self knows it’s true.

Think back to the best present you ever received. It was when you were little, right? We’re sure you don’t need us to describe the anticipation of waiting for the big reveal, the surprise and joy, the excitement, the weeks of happiness and play that ensued… Why don’t presents for adults generate that sort of zing?

We reckon it’s because of THESE five things. The five grinches who stole the excitement of gifting.

Thou shalt not give people...

1. Cash

Of course, everyone enjoys getting money - because we’re all skint and have bills to pay. What’s the likelihood that said cash is going to get spent on something fun? Extremely low. You just know it’s going to be used for something like a begrudging round of drinks (decent, but NOT a gift), a last minute supermarket shop, or paying for something like getting a dental filling. Treat yourself, goddamnit!

2. Gift cards

Like cash, but worse. Being given a little card in a barely branded envelope and being told that you’re entitled to a £40 spend in Dorothy Perkins, or an equivalent shop that you’ve not set foot in for at least five years - whatever was the first clothes shop your auntie saw when she was out looking for your present - is NOT a gift. It’s an obligation. You can’t even use it to fund that expensive root canal you need. Pointless. Joyless. Nah.

3. “Practical” gifts

Yeah, you “need” a new hoover. And, on some level, you do “want” a new hoover. But not in the way you want a sports car or state of the art wireless headphones or a cashmere sweater or a new phone or a puppy. Much as you might relish in the satisfaction of a dust free floor, nobody wants to be a gifted a chore. That goes double if the gift is super cheap. You can overlook the joylessness of a new dishwasher, but a new ring binder? Hmm…

4. Things they’ve asked for

Unless your name is Santa Claus, you don’t take requests. At least ol’ Saint Nick keeps it a mystery, hinging the probability of your gift dreams coming true on whether or not you’ve been good this year. You can’t just walk up to people and demand stuff. Yeah, we’d like a lifetime supply of chocolate and a basket of kittens delivered to the office, but you can’t just ask somebody for it - besides, where’s the fun in that?

5. Stuff they’ve bought themselves

This just takes the biscuit. Cash is one thing. Asking for a specific gift is another. But buying something yourself and then saying that someone else can ‘give’ it to you? Nonsensical. Talk about missing the point. And, before you say it, it doesn’t matter whether this seedy little exchange involves you giving them the cash for the item, or whether they just say that you can wrap it up and gift it back to them for nothing - it’s wrong and weird.


So what can one do to fight against the above? Simple. Get that difficult-to-buy-for person one of our Mystery Boxes.

Each one is packed full of exciting stuff - none of which they'll be expecting! What an experience. It's fun for you too, as you'll have no idea what's inside either. And here are five varieties to choose from: gadget, unusual, booze, foodie or home, so you're bound to find something they’ll love. It’s basically the perfect present.

Unless they’ve asked for one of them already, in which case abort mission lest you break Rule 4.

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