Five Christmas gifts no one wants

December 22, 2015
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Christmas is a time of giving, but more importantly a time of receiving… right? As a student, presents are unwrapped with the same ferocity as a toddler. Unfortunately we aren’t as easy to buy for. Many of the gifts we receive as a twenty-something-year-old are merely afterthoughts; he’s studying law, he must have everything, let’s get him a packet of underwear that lists each day on the band. We’re not that organised. All this does is make laundry day even more complex. Here are five gifts no one wants this Christmas.

The LYNX spray and shower gel set  

We like to smell nice, sure. But when a can of LYNX sells for under $5 at your local supermarket and lasts half a semester, no colourful pack can increase its worth. Has anyone ever used the additional shower gel? Do I smell bad? Do older relatives see the LYNX advertisements where a young buck is flocked by gorgeous females after one spray and think I’m in need? It’s the perennial stocking-stuffer, and nobody argues against LYNX Africa, but no student wants the set this Christmas.   

Gift cards

Telling students how to live or what to spend money on is a Christmas guarantee, but don’t increase the dictation with a gift card. Someone who gets an iTunes gift card yearly is generally the tech-savvy IT student who lives within an age of free downloads and Netflix. It’s a rectangular contract we don’t want to sign.

But it isn’t just where to spend. Gift cards ensure you’ll need to use your own money at some point to get the full worth from the prepaid piece of plastic. Oh, the trickery. I haven’t shopped at Jay Jays since I was 16. Pass. Money talks but gift cards stay in the wallet for 12 months.

Hand cream/soaps/candles

The female version of the Lynx gift, usually presented as an assortment of the title. By now, we know what smells we like attached to our body. We’re selective. No aunt needs to package a set of colourful toiletries to know their studying niece doesn’t reek like an overbearing foot in the lecture room. We may not be the richest lot as yet, but hygiene is still at the top of the list. And candles? That’s more of a fire hazard to the preoccupied. Perhaps a fire extinguisher next year?  

Home décor

We students move around; we’re free spirits seeking cheap rent in the big cities. Items get lost or broken during the constant change in household arrangements - baggage isn’t a desired commodity. Nice homely decorations will be enjoyed when we settle in, purchasing a house later in life. For now, less is more - especially the less our house mates can steal from us. If it isn’t necessary, it’s redundant. Novelty-sized clocks, pillows with your faces on them, fragile ornaments… save them for the older folks.

And the most unpredictable gift of them all: clothes

Clothes, unlike the rest of the list, are a requirement that can be appreciated as a gift. But we are very particular. T-shirts for males, tops for females; unless the sizing fits our preference, the colour is ideal, the brand is spot on, and the style is in line with the rest of the wardrobe, they’ll be thrown in a pile beneath the bed. Believe me, nobody wants to go under the bed to retrieve those items. We appreciate the generosity, we really do, but we’ve chosen a needs-based environment, and Rivers doesn’t cut it.

So when you’re shopping for the student in your family, think money, food and technology. Fellow students: when you receive a gift from dear old Nan or Uncle Bob with the lazy eye, mask your disappointment. Our answers aren’t always in a neatly wrapped gift. 

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton is studying a Master of Communication having completed a Bachelor of Communication last year, majoring in journalism and creative writing. He enjoys writing freelance and travelling abroad.

Image: LYNX official Facebook page