Diwali gifts to avoid

Diwali is almost synonymous with gifts these days. Gifts actually are beautiful. They convey to the receiver that you were on their minds, that they invested time in thinking what you would like and have gone out of their way to buy you what you like. Yes, but most of us would agree that Diwali gifts hardly fall in this bracket. More often than not they range from the clueless to the stupid and even bordering on insulting. So here are some gifts you must absolutely avoid this Diwali:


I know Diwali is synonymous with sweets. But, please do not get those boring and unduly sweet mithai boxes and dump them on hapless people. Seriously get creative! If you have to really gift mithai, stand out from the crowd and find something customized and unique. If you have the talent for it make them yourself or find someone who does with quality ingredients. You know what is easier and better? Chocolates. For adults like me and kids, chocolates are always welcome. And they don’t have a very short shelf life either. There is so much variety in the market these days, utilize it.

Dry fruits

This is the second lame one on the gift list for me. It also shows that you are completely out of ideas. Most of the dry fruits in the box are generally not usable unless you’ve been kind enough to only give the regular eats. Besides, no one will really remember you by your ‘unique’ gift of dry fruits.

Kitschy Trinkets:

Okay, now these are a class apart. I have got small jars, dabbas, plastic boxes etc. as a gift. Maybe, you got a good deal at Big Bazaar and distributed a set of 12 jars to 12 friends! It is very lowbrow and if you are this miserly, I would suggest skipping gifting would be a much better idea. Speaking of low budget — fruits, a potted plant, a book or some homemade eatables would be a much better gift, no? Unless, your main motive in gifting this is to snap ties with the receiver, this is highly avoidable.

Recycled gifts

Okay, we Indians are a thrifty breed so why throw away something useless? Let’s give it away. Not a bad thought if the recycling is at least done intelligently and appropriately. It is quite clear that no one gifts a handbag or a sari which clearly looks out of fashion for Diwali or a children’s book for an age group that you kids don’t belong to. So, please spare each other the agony. Avoid recycled gifts. Give things away to people who you know need, appreciate and will use them. Also, please avoid leaving behind previous gifting evidence in your gifts. That is very embarrassing.

Random home décor:

I have gifted them too and have received a few as well. Some I’ve cherished like a beautiful oil painting, wind chime or a sandalwood statue because they were tasteful. And there are others I have thrown away. So cheap and tacky, I didn’t wish to pass them on to anyone. Plastic flowers are a big no-no and so are run-of-the-mill items which you may have picked up from the roadside. Diwali is not the time to offload your flea-market escapades.The bottomline is not expensive but gifts that speak for the giver.

Yes, gifts are beautiful but don’t give gifts for the sake of it. Trust me, you don’t have to spend a packet for a nice gift. Just use your creativity and do keep the person you are gifting in mind. If still in doubt, ask the person for their preferences. A gift voucher is better than useless gifts for sure.

No matter what you do, don’t gift something you wouldn’t wish to get yourself!



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35 Thoughts on “5 gifts you must avoid giving this Diwali

  1. ohh this post reminds me of the kind of things I got on my wedding…Some useless and ugly cup sets from Big Bazar and some horrible, horrible sarees which I wouldn’t even give my maid! I wonder why people gift just for the sake of gifting..

    Now, I admit I’m not good at coming up with creative gifts but atleast I don’t in
    sult the other person by recycling some old gifts or giving something horrible
    nabanita recently posted…How Depression Becomes A Bad Word But Shouldn’tMy Profile

    • Yeah I know what you are saying. These days giving a gift voucher is a safer option than giving some cheap and ugly stuff that makes the receiver curse you. 🙂

  2. Haha… I know there are those weird gifts that we receive sometimes…in our place relatives come home with a huge amount of junks, snacks and stuffs from a nearby bakery..and yes we stuff them into the fridge.. and try to eat a few in coming days..give it away to less fortunate and a big amount goes through the dump!! I wished they brought in eatables that Atleast had a shelf life…and fruits would have been a better option for me personally as they are healthy at least…
    Gifting for occassions I understand but it is a practice in our place to visit any home with a whole load of bakery items everytime we visit relatives..
    Bilna recently posted…Breast Feeding is not an Easy GameMy Profile

    • Yes, I remember that happening in our home. Getting loads of mithai and namkeen boxes and struggling hard to find people who would take these or finish them. Now, I don’t bother. I can’t stuff things in my tummy. Whatever we like eating, we eat, the rest I give away. 🙂

      Why not gift considerately, I feel?
      Rachna recently posted…5 gifts you must avoid giving this DiwaliMy Profile

  3. ha ha.. good read… we have a set of glasses in original box, that has been to almost 50 %o of households in last decade or so in our neighborhood….
    Prasad Np recently posted…Loi Krathong Festival ThailandMy Profile

  4. LOL Rachna, it sounds like you’ve definitely been at the receiving end of all of these ;). Absolutely agree, gifting should be thoughtfully done, or not at all. In fact, in the these over-indulgent times, there are many other creative ways to great lovely memories.

  5. I would gift myself some peace and quiet for Diwali. But I think relatives and neighbors will get offended if I gift them the same 😛

  6. Ahh the gifts, I have been breaking my head over it as I will be going home after more than 2 years. To find thoughtful gifts for everyone … I totally agree with your last point. Never gift something that you won’t wish to receive.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Of Headstands & FogMy Profile

  7. Thankfully here in UK I dont have to get into all this 🙂 but I dont mind a scotch bottle gifted any time of the year .. 🙂
    Bikram recently posted…Punjab – 2015.My Profile

  8. I admit most of the people lack of creative ideas in giving gifts. and you nicely pointed it out here.
    Meera recently posted…Any Monsters Under My Bed?! : Calvin And Me – IIIMy Profile

  9. You nailed it. These gifts are so annoying, but very very common. I would rather not get any gifts, than get these. Unless the sweets are home-made. That is an exception to the rule. Oh and yes, chocolates. 🙂
    Shantala recently posted…Diwali in USA | A normal Diwali, our festivities, and keeping India alive in AmericaMy Profile

  10. lol good one. Sometimes you end up getting the same gift after it got exchanged few times.
    Arun recently posted…Happy DiwaliMy Profile

  11. Spot on, Rachna! Completely agree with you..either you gift someone with the right intention behind it or don’t gift anything at all.

    Oh yes chocolates are welcome anyday anytim! 🙂

  12. Ouch ouch ouch.. I had some of those on my list. 😛 Sweets specially. Now you’re making me think. Will think about Chocolates/Cookies/Fruit juices from Paper Boat??? What say? At least people can space out their consumption.

    • Oh, I still do gift sweets especially the nice ones like the Bengali sweets or kaju katli. I completely dislike barfis etc. so avoid giving those. And then chocolates are better, no? Paper Boat juices — now that is unique. Exactly, at least they get breathing space to consume. 😉

  13. I think that last line sums it up. ‘Don’t gift anything you wouldn’t want to receive yourself’ 🙂
    Hope you had a great Diwali with your family and loved ones, Rachna!
    Sid recently posted…Can I confess?My Profile

  14. Haha. Havent we all received such gifts at some point of time or the other. For me, it’s the thought that counts and If someone remembered me well enough to gift me something, I’d accept it whatever it is, but yea this is a good reference list 🙂
    Ashwini CN recently posted…Festive Spirit – Here, There and EverywhereMy Profile

  15. Or shop for what you REALLY want and dedicate the purchase to your friends and family and ask them to do the same!
    Purba recently posted…We Are The Champions of Tolerance!My Profile

  16. This is a radical idea – how about no gifts?! Do we really need to spend all that money on something no one actually cares for and maybe even forgetting to send someone else a gift and offending them?! Instead, why not just celebrate together, have all the mithai and fruit and other stuff at the party and be done with it?!
    Roshni recently posted…Making Indian sweets is a piece of cake!My Profile

  17. I heard somebody say never gift Sweets, no matter what – people just hate them these days! Better gift Biscuits; and now we do that quite often.
    Alok Singhal recently posted…Sachin, Warne, and other legends in Cricket All-Stars at New York!My Profile

  18. hehehe. this diwali i found too many random sweets. some home decoration gift. first i found i love to take a gift and than i find out what i am gonna do with it. there is nothing in gift for used.

     Susila Raman recently posted…Tips to Improve IQ Levels of Kids

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