They say "it's better to give than to receive" during the most wonderful time of the year but when someone gives you a gift that is just plain awkward, it just adds to the momentum of some instances that are entrenched forever in my mind. The first item on the list is acceptable, but I have some qualms about it.
MONEY: The prospect of receiving cash is welcome in my books, but I truly think the donor should have put more thought as my mantra is carefully selecting gifts that offer a symbolic meaning to the recipient that would make the occasion special in nature.
UGLY SWEATERS: Yes, it is considered a holiday staple. I received one in the past and promptly donated this article of clothing as I felt someone else can use it as this was a perfect example of "paying it forward"

CANDY: More apropos to be given during Halloween and for someone like me who is currently on a diet, I can skip the excess calories.
FRUITCAKE: Nothing like getting a block of this awful confection ready made from the supermarket. Home made is a different story as there were instances I enjoyed a slice with my cup of coffee.
PERSONAL GROOMING PRODUCTS: Seriously, why give me a can of shaving cream and at one point I received a deodorant stick which was the ultimate insult. Plus, at one time, I was the recipient of a nose, hair and beard trimmer (and I don't even have face hair, go figure!)
Perhaps the most dreaded experience I encountered was when a former employer in eastern Connecticut  invited us to participate in a so-called "Secret Santa" exchange back in 2012. it was perplexing to me, that my name was not called during the presentation, only to find my gift wedged behind the Christmas tree and I was "left out" from these festivities. This truly crushed me as NOBODY and I mean NOBODY should ever go through this painful and excruciating episode in life. Guess what? Two months later, I left that workplace and put it behind me, but I never forgot about it.
In closing, put some thought in gift giving as it would add a personal touch in making this an enjoyable practice for all involved.
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