What do Cellulite cream and a defecating reindeer have in common?

Gifts Gone Bad

They both make really bad gifts…and Australian’s wasted $1 billion on stuff like that last Christmas.

Unwanted gifts reached an estimated $1billion in Australia last year. As Kris Cringle buddies are assigned to family members and work colleagues in the upcoming weeks, please remember that what you think is a good gifts can go badly.

The research tells us that gifts ranged from the mundane to the outright awkward including: hankies, tandoori spice rub for chicken given to a vegetarian, a dog bowl for a dog-less recipient, a brick, cellulite cream and even inappropriate sexual gifts.

The topic of inappropriate gifts has generated keen interest from our RedBalloon Facebook fans, who have shared nearly 100 stories 2 of shock, horror and surprise as a result of being given inappropriate gifts. One entrant talked about receiving a box of tea and undies from a fellow colleague as a Kris Cringle. (see more at the When Gifts Go Bad site)

Unsurprisingly, the giving of inappropriate gifts is also taking place in the workplace, as experience gift experts RedBalloon observed in their reward and recognition survey of 3, 053 employees  RedBalloon asked the employees what was the WORST gift they have received from an employer.

The responses ranged from strange, obvious freebies to creepy. From rubber chickens, a defecating reindeer, baked beans, floral shower caps, CDs that bosses really want for themselves, hand soap and even bath robes. Only 16% of employees have NEVER received a gift they would rate as terrible, leaving the majority of employees exposed to corporate inappropriate gifting blunders.

Gifts should be memorable… for the right reasons! They are about enhancing a relationship, not breaking one.

According to research by eBay, 43 percent of Australians currently store their unwanted gifts in cupboards, and it comes as no surprise that they attempt to hide them away if they are as inappropriate as the responses suggest. There is too much stuff on the planet anyway.

How simple it would be to make people to feel good this Christmas, not look at a gift and think ‘they don’t know me at all’ and let it gather dust in storage. – what people want more than anything is time with the people that are important to them.

What is your tragic tale of a gifting blunder – Do tell us!

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