Every year during the festive season we are all facing the same two problems: how to avoid getting someone a bad present and how to not receive a bad present ourselves. If this is the case for your right now, here are three Christmas gift ideas to avoid and three to take into consideration:

Don’t: Make up kits 

We’re not talking about high-end make-up kits that just include lipstick and mascara; instead, we’re talking about huge make-up sets that include lots of multicolored eye shadows, lipsticks, blushes, and bronzers all in one case. This is a situation when quality trumps quantity, and the only people who will be pleased with this present are ten or twelve-year-old girls who have recently developed an interest in cosmetics. For a grown woman, this gift is a no-go. 

Do: A subscription 

There are so many services and companies that you can acquire a subscription for your friend, from traditional entertainment such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime to more interesting and unique options for every taste. Is your friend a coffee lover? Get them a subscription to a coffee club that will send them coffee from all around the world every month. Do they enjoy high-quality alcohol? There’s a membership specifically for that, which will allow customers to taste a wide range of high-end alcoholic beverages. 

Don’t: Cookbooks 

Let’s be honest, how many cookbooks have you read in your life? If you need a recipe these days, you’re probably going to search it up on the internet, which is much faster and easier than going through a book. Only gift a cookbook to a friend who explicitly asked for it, and never give one to a lady you don’t know well, since it may well be misinterpreted. 

Do: Sweater 

A sweater is always a good Christmas present idea, especially for a man in your life, since they are known for not wanting to spend any money on new clothing for themselves. It is comfortable, classy, and perfect for multiple occasions, from Christmas parties to everyday working activities. Get your man an Irish sweater that is made of 100% wool and you will surely see him wearing it all winter. 

Don’t: Gifts for their child instead of themselves

Never give your friends anything for their child and present it as a gift for them, especially if they’ve recently become parents. The fact that they now have a child doesn’t erase the fact that they are human beings with personal interests, hobbies, and preferences, and if you know them long enough and consider yourself a good friend, you could’ve surely gotten them something for themselves. 

Do: A scratch off poster 

These posters, like the subscriptions, come in for a variety of types. Is one of your friends a cinephile? Here’s a scratch-off poster for the 100 greatest films ever made. Do they enjoy visiting different countries? What could be a more thoughtful gift than a scratch-off map of the world or a specific continent?