Before I get into this, let me say up front that I have given each of these things to someone on my Christmas list or as birthday gift. They are items that just seemed like they might be useful or cute at the time I selected them, but now that I look back, what was I thinking?

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    Knick Knacks

    Did you ever notice that the decor items you select would usually look better in your house than in theirs? "I thought these brightly colored cat statues would look great in your earth-toned living room!"
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    Unless the recipient is an actual gardener who relishes the idea of watering, fertilizing and pruning for years to come, a plant is probably a bad idea. When they die, it just makes non-gardeners feel inept. Especially poinsettias and Christmas cactus. You hate to throw away the coffee grinds, how can you throw out a plant? Even it's dead. Why did I give you something that's just going to make you feel bad in a few weeks?

    Mario Villafuerte/ Getty Images News
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    Even though it's cute and you smile when you look at the pictures for the first time, you don't really have a place to hang a wall calendar that has pictures of puppies on it, do you? Besides, you're an adult. What was I thinking?
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    The classic last-minute or "Uh-oh, I forgot to get something so I am re-gifting something out of my closet" gift. With the invention of Glade plug-ins and the whole fire hazard thing, you would have felt safer with something without an open flame around your kids/pets/Christmas tree, wouldn't you? Why didn't I go to to that home Scentsy party?
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    I should have known you'd prefer to select your own wallet. Or I at least could have stuffed it with Powerball tickets! What was I thinking with that penny in the coin part? I must say, though, there's an exception to every rule. Bernie gave me a wallet about ten years ago and it's still the one I use. But she has better taste than I do!