Opinion

6 Clichéd Christmas Gifts Singaporeans are Sick of Receiving

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Joanne Poh

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For many people (mostly those under the age of 12), Christmas is when all your dreams come true, especially if those dreams involve a Nintendo 3DS or a new iPhone.

But as an adult, you can usually forget about getting anything cool for Christmas. Those incredible hauls from Toys ‘R’ Us are now replaced by presents bought by colleagues pressured into buying something for their entire team, hampers from clients and business associates, and generic Secret Santa gifts.

Now, we’re not about to complain about receiving free stuff. But sometimes it gets a little tiring getting the same, clichéd gifts over and over. Here are six of the most repetitive Christmas gifts everyone is sick of receiving.

 

Body Shop bath and body products

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Every Singaporean has received something from The Body Shop for Christmas at some point in their lives. Shower gel tends to be the most popular choice… perhaps there’s a conspiracy to eliminate body odour in hot and humid Singapore? Hand creams and those gift packs containing an assortment of shower gels, moisturising creams and body scrubs are also popular. Occasionally, if you get lucky, your benefactor decides to spoil you by picking a more expensive brand like L’Occitane.

 

Chocolate

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Nobody can say no to chocolate so we’re not really complaining, but there’s no denying that rocking up to NTUC Fairprice and buying a box of Ferrero Rocher or Guylian chocolate is the lazy man’s way to select a gift. Boxes of chocolate are especially popular amongst people who’re forced to participate in Secret Santa gift exchange for colleagues they barely interact with.

 

Cufflinks

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It’s never a good idea to buy clothing items for somebody, just in case they decide to gain 10 kg right before the Christmas party. Cufflinks, on the other hand, will fit any gentleman no matter how willowy or portly. Men who work in the CBD and are more likely to be seen sporting office shirts than tshirts tend to be the chief targets for the gift of cufflinks.

 

Calendars

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The fact that Christmas occurs at the end of the year means that people are accosted by all sorts of calendars when they’re doing their last minute Christmas shopping, from The Chippendales 2017 Calendar to 12 months’ worth of pugs. And that’s why so many recipients of Christmas gifts end up unwrapping their presents to find calendars for the coming year. The problem is that if the gift-giver doesn’t know you well or has bad taste, you could end up having to stare at inspirational quotes or pictures of baby animals for the next 12 months.

 

Coffee mugs

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Coffee mugs are a staple at gift shops… you know, those shops hawking mawkish Precious Moments statues and cheesy greeting cards? Technically, everybody uses mugs, to get water from the office pantry or brew instant coffee at home. But that doesn’t mean everybody appreciates as a gift mugs with cringey slogans like “Keep Calm and Carry On” and “Best Boss Eva” pasted across them.

 

Hipster stationery

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Ever since stationery and novelty giftware shop Typo appeared on the scene, Christmas gift exchanges have been flooded with their hipsterish products, which are in fact painfully on-point. Whether you’re looking for moustache-shaped magnets, faux Moleskine notebooks or pencil sharpeners in the shape of R2D2, you’re sure to find something for that yuppie-hipster hybrid in your life.

Image credits: PAM Pham, Joseph Jayanth, Guy Sie, Dani Jace, mirjam.b, An Unreliable Witness

Have you ever received any of the above gifts? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.