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How to Successfully Give a Thoughtful Yet Entirely Useless Gift

By Ananya Mandrekar Note: this guide is most useful when gifting to soon-to-be estranged family members and almost-ex-friends


  1. One of the first steps in gifting uselessly is to find out your giftee’s hobbies or something they are very passionate about. Be sure that they are currently involved in the activity. This helps to show the effort taken when gifting. It’s important to include something the recipient is interested in and will spark their curiosity. You have to show that you’ve tried to put some thought behind the gift.

  2. The next step is researching. Look for gifts that display their hobby. Take care to skip through the first couple of ideas that come up when you Google search. It's important that your gift is a total surprise. 

  3. The main part of the process is finding a present; invest most of your energy here. Stick to common, yet impractical, objects. Some ideas include socks, blankets, and shirts that the person would never wear. The best gifts are those that the person would have never bought for themselves and would have never hoped to receive. Make sure that the gift isn’t too pointless. The key to gifting is to be passive-aggressive, not deliberately annoying.

  4. After finding the gift, the process is far from complete. Your next step is to wrap it with care, using as many bows and gift bags as Party City offers. This helps to accentuate your thoughtfulness and make the gift look very inviting.

  5. The last step is to send a sincere message to the person. It is advisable that you include fond memories and hopes of meeting again in the note. This makes you look considerate, even after giving such a terrible gift, and it will preserve the relationship. This is arguably the most important step. You have to be kind and considerate, at least on paper.


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