A stocking filled to the brim with gifts is a wonderful sight to behold on Christmas morning. It isn't until the stocking is emptied that you discover exactly how great — or potentially awful — the contents are.
Show your loved ones how much you (don't) care with this list of the worst stocking stuffers:
Nothing says "I put no thought into this gift" quite like a pack of pencils in your stocking. Not only are they completely useless without a sharpener (which no one has), but a pack of holiday-themed pencils really has no purpose after Dec. 25.
2. Non-peppermint candy canes
Everyone knows that although we may not eat them (ever), candy canes are at least a passable stocking stuffer — unless, of course, they don't taste like candy canes. Giving someone a non-peppermint candy cane is a truly horrible gift, since the chances that the recipient will actually consume it go from about 15 percent to zero.
Nothing destroys the warm feelings conjured by gift-giving like a value pack of white socks.
Really want to be the worst? Give them a cherry-flavored candy cane that looks like a normal one.
Oral hygiene products are always a bad stocking-stuffer idea (although many seem to forget). I don't know a single adult that would be happy to receive a toothbrush for Christmas. Perhaps children would be excited by a cool, new Dora the Explorer toothbrush, although I'm pretty sure they are equally unimpressed.
4. Tree-shaped car air freshener
They cost less than a buck each and come in such wonderful scents as "Black Ice" and "Cinna-Berry" — how can you not buy a car air freshener as a stocking stuffer? These tree-shaped fresheners are a truly wonderful way of indicating to any recipient that you
know think hope they own a car and that it probably smells bad.
This unassuming "can of nuts" is not as harmless as it seems. Give this gift to anyone on your holiday list and be forever shunned (with reason). Okay, so you scared your friend when a spring loaded snake popped out in his or her face.
Congratulations on humiliating your pals in front of their loved ones on Christmas — with a terrible gift that isn't even a gift, no less.
6. Children's card game
Giving someone any kind of children-specific card game (Crazy 8's, Old Maid, Go Fish) in his or her stocking is sure to put you on the recipient's bad list. When a game is listed as "For ages 5+" and is decorated with Hello Kitty, you really need to skip it when gifting to anyone over 10.
7. Anything that doesn't fit in the stocking
The entire notion of the stocking is that presents go inside it, but this somehow proves to be a difficult concept for some. Trying to stuff a football into a stocking is not using it for what it's designed for, so stick to presents that will fit and wrap the larger gifts (like you know you are supposed to!).
8. Any fragrance from the drugstore
This should be an obvious one, but buying any fragrance from your local drugstore as a gift is a huge mistake. You need to accept that you have no idea how your loved ones choose to smell, and you certainly shouldn't assume that just because your daughter loves Beyoncé that she'll love a $15 gift set of her perfume, too.
Nothing destroys the warm feelings conjured by gift-giving like a value pack of white socks. Why did you have to give socks as a gift in the first place?
A gift is supposed to be something you want, not something you need. More important, did you really have to go with the value pack? It must be important to let your loved one know that not only did you save two dollars, but you got him or her 10 pairs of socks while doing it.
If you hadn't already thought of it, the absolute worst stocking stuffer idea is a bag of coal candy with something about how bad you are (i.e., "You've been naughty") written on the bag. For years, parents have been giving this to their children as a "joke" (a la the "can of nuts") and will, for whatever reason, always think it's hilarious.
So I tell you this: do not, under any circumstances, give this to anyone as a stocking stuffer unless you would like them to think you are the worst gifter of all time (you really would be).
So use this list of the worst stocking stuffers however you like. We hope you opt to skip all of these presents entirely, but if you really want to disappoint someone on Christmas morning, then go right ahead and gift them all.