It takes commitment and a freakish inattention to detail to give baby gifts that are so bad, it’s epic. Basically, it takes effort to be this dumb. I know this because I gave bad baby gifts for years, and I didn’t realize quite how talented I was at this until I had a baby of my own.
Here’s how you can confuse and disappoint the expectant and new parents in your life:
1. Go off the registry. Going rogue is the best way to make sure you get a present the recipients don’t need or want. Instead, purchase something “unique” and “quirky” that perfectly represents your own style at a children’s boutique near your house but not theirs. Do not include a gift receipt.
2. Don’t “register” the gift. In other words, if you do choose something on the registry list, don’t let the store know you have purchased it so they can record it in their system. This ensures that the couple will receive multiples of the item, even if they aren’t having multiples. Don’t ask for a gift receipt.
3. Buy only newborn clothing. Get swept away in the tiny-ness of these itsy-bitsy pieces of cloth. In fact, put a onesie on your hand, hold it up so everyone in the store can see, then exclaim, “This barely fits on my hand!” Purchase several of these in a state of awe. Of course, the baby will only be that small for about four minutes. Again, don’t bother with a gift receipt.
4. Get the season wrong. For example, if the child is born in June, buy a cute, frilly bathing suit, size six months, that will fit the baby perfectly in…November. Do not do this if the family is prone to taking cruises, or quick jaunts to sunnier climates, because then the gift will be actually be good. Don’t even think about getting a gift receipt.
5. Get the gender wrong. Do this either because you aren’t paying attention or because you prefer to go with your gut on these kinds of things. If the couple isn’t finding out the gender before the birth, don’t go neutral with yellow duckies. Instead, pick a step-stool labeled, “COWBOY” or something with sparkly butterfly wings. Skip the gift receipt.
6. Forget to include a bottle of champagne, wine, or a six pack of quality ale. After all, alcohol is the only way the new parents are going to survive the first few months. On the other hand, if they don’t drink, go ahead and include some alcohol, proving that not only will you never know their offspring that well, you don’t know them very well either. Don’t include a gift receipt because that would be… well… weird.
7. Fail to give a gift all together. What you’re saying here is, hey, I know this is one of the most significant things that has ever happened to you and that your life is changing exponentially, but this does not affect me one iota. Whether this is a matter of forgetfulness or you simply don’t care, the message is loud and clear. Then again, the parents will be so exhausted and inundated with good baby gifts they probably won’t notice. If you want to really create some awkwardness and maximum confusion, though, go ahead and give them a gift receipt for something really awesome.
Good luck and happy gifting.
by Jocelyn Jane Cox
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