Socks And Shampoo: An End To Naff Gifts

Chocolate-covered strawberries decorated like footballs
Creating sweets relating to their hobby is a fun gift. Photo via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
No more socks for Christmas
Make their birthday or another special occasion memorable with a unique present! Photo by asenat29 (CC BY 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Naff is slang for uncool or not stylish. Few of us like receiving socks and shampoo as gifts. And yet, when we’re stuck for ideas for a friend or family member, many of us can be guilty of buying these generic gift items. Sure, it’s the thought that counts – but how much thought really goes into a bottle of shampoo? Let’s bring an end to these shoddy gifts once and for all. Even if you’re strapped for cash, here are just a few gift ideas that are far more exciting.

Personalize it

Personalizing a gift makes it more unique, no matter how small that present is. Many chocolate shops and online companies can allow you to choose candy with a personalized message. Meanwhile, those looking for personalized or monogrammed clothing can find it at Makaboo and other specialist online retailers. Those with a little more money to spend could even consider engraved gifts such as jewelry and phone cases.

Hand-craft your present this year
Can you crochet a blanket? It makes a personalized gift they will remember. Pixabay (CC0).

Get crafty

If you can crochet blankets or make necklaces or bake a cake, these DIY skills could make for the perfect gift. The time and effort spent hand-crafting the gift is sure to be appreciated more than simply buying something from the shop.

Share memories

Embracing memories that the two of you have shared will strengthen your bond with that person. This could be an album full of photographs or a photo collage made using a program such as Be Funky. You could even consider a private joke such as a souvenir reminder of a humorous holiday event.

Chocolate-covered strawberries decorated like footballs
Creating sweets relating to their hobby is a fun gift. Photo via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Feed their interests

Sometimes people with obsessive hobbies can be the hardest people to buy for. Someone that is a keen sports fan may already have scarves and hats and memorabilia. Alternatively, fueling their hobby may be expensive – for example, if they like collecting guitars. Creatively shaped sweets or chocolates related to their hobby can be a fun gift that embraces their interest without being too pricey. This could be a chocolate spanner or sports-themed sweets. You can find such gifts usually by trawling Amazon.

Buy them an experience

For the person that already has everything, buying an experience can be the best option. This could be a theater showing or a meal out or a spa day. Experiences can be expensive, so shop around for discounts and promotions online. Companies such as Virgin Experience Days specialize in these kind of gifts.

Save money with a joint present

For those big gifts, you can lower costs by getting other people to chip in. The more of you that share the cost, the less you’ll each have to pay. This can be a great way of buying a costly meaningful gift such as a games console or a luxury handbag or a musical instrument or even an experience package.


  1. Cool ideas! I could have a lot of fun with Be Funky.
    I once got socks as a gift, but I loved them because they were SmartWool, very high quality stuff. You might know the brand, being from BC 🙂

  2. All great ideas, Christy! I like the chip in prospect. I love cooking, so the friends can chip in for the wine and food. I’ll do it all up for the guest of honor. Good friends and a great meal are a winner in my books!

  3. You’re absolutely right, Christy. Gifts of socks, soap or shampoo etcetera can be really boring and so impersonal. You’re also right in saying that many of us resort to such presents when pushed for time (or inspiration). Your ideas for personalising them are lovely and, as you say, they can make any gift much more memorable.

  4. Great suggestions, Christy. Sometimes we look for the easy way out when shopping for that hard to buy for person (mostly men – my guys always give gift suggestions and then go out and buy what they want before the occasion),

  5. Fantastic ideas Christy. I’ve always stayed away from the ‘generic’ gift. I try to put thought into all gifts. As a person who likes to ‘do unto others . . .’ I know I don’t feel any love when someone gives me a thoughtless gift, lol. 🙂 xoxo

  6. I think my favorite gift is socks. That or scarves. My now sister in law started the trend when my husband and I were just dating. It was Christmas and she had no clue what to get me. She ended up giving me fluffy socks and a scarf, both in my favorite color. I wear them ALL the time. And it’s become our thing. Every birthday and Christmas she finds these awesome socks or scarf to match what I like. I think if you can somewhat personalize the “thoughtless gift” it’s no longer a thoughtless gift.

  7. Great tips, Christy, especially since I’m already thinking ahead to the holidays. I have my husband’s birthday, our anniversary, as well as (Christmas?!) coming up in the next few months. Last year, I gave my husband, who is a motorcycle enthusiast, a Hallmark Harley Davidson ornament as a gag gift. He actually loved it and took it to work to display in his office. Just goes to show, sometimes the thought really counts.

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