Now is the time department stores start sending out their Christmas catalogues.  For the most part, they’re filled with good, if somewhat generic, gift ideas.  However, there are exceptions.  All of the items on this list should, under no circumstances, be bought for anyone you have any sort of affection for.  These are all real gift suggestions, I wish I was making this up:

 

1.  Jimmy Choo Biker Fox Fur & Floral Suede Shoulder Bag- Neiman Marcus

I don’t know which is worse, the front…

 

…Or the back. This thing is ugly coming and going. The only good thing about this purse is that the $5,595 price tag means I won’t have to see it that often.

 

2.  Neiman Marcus Annual Sweet & Salty Popcorn Tin

Does anyone really like the gift of stale popcorn? Does anyone want to spend $50 on stale popcorn?

 

3.  Neiman Marcus Traditional Fruitcake

Look, nobody likes fruitcake. Let’s end this charade now.

 

4.  Donna Karan Control Top Panty Hose- Neiman Marcus

This isn’t a present, it’s a slap in the face. You might as well give her a gift certificate for liposuction. Rude.

 

5.  Tweezerman Pink Crystal Tweezer and Stand- Neiman Marcus

 

Putting aside for a second how ridiculous it is to spend $200 on a pair of tweezers, how uncomfortable would it be to use these? Also, spending that much on tweezers is ridiculous.

 

6.  Fendi 2Jours Stingray Tote Bag- Neiman Marcus

I usually like stingray, but there’s really nothing to like here. Patchwork, Fendi? Really? What a waste of stingray, and if you buy this, what a waste of $7,050.

 

7.  Joy To The World Penn State Football Ornament- Bloomingdale’s

 

Too soon, Bloomingdale’s. Too soon.

 

8.  Kosta Boda Mini Makeup Collection- Bloomingdales

 

So now we’re using fake glass cosmetics as decoration? For a lot less than $50 a piece, you could just use the real thing. Or buy actual decorations that aren’t mind-numbingly stupid.

 

9.  Pandora Bracelet- Bloomingdale’s

Pandora bracelets are the worst thing to happen to jewelry since they started putting those quarter-operated vending machines in front of grocery stores. If someone put this on my arm, I would chew through my own wrist to get it off before anyone saw me wearing it. Oh, and most of those charms, which you have to buy separately, cost $400+.

 

10.  Graphic Image Personalized Leather Atlas-  Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Wow, who doesn’t need a book full of maps? I mean, how else would you be able to plan your trips? It’s not like we have computers, or phones that can tell us where stuff is and how to get there. This is perhaps the most timely, useful gift I have ever seen. Hurry, before it’s sold out.

 

11.  Native Union Pop Phone For iPhone- Bloomingdales

Now, this comes in a lot of ugly colors and patterns, apparently it’s somewhat trendy. Personally, I am old enough to remember talking on phones that had handsets like this. They were uncomfortable and inconvenient. Also, as this is a gift “for her,” am I supposed to believe that we are meant to lug this giant plastic thing around in our purses? There’s a reason cell phones keep getting smaller, people. Buy this for someone and don’t be surprised when they try to choke you with the cord. It’s the only thing this present is good for.

 

12.  Knock Knock Personal Library Kit- Nordstrom

Wow, your very own personal library kit?! Why, with that, you could check out your books to all of your friends! They’ll think you’re so cool and not at all weird. This is basically a $17 way to tell someone in your life, “Hey, I think you’re cheap, and way too anal about people borrowing things from you.” I mean, libraries don’t even use this system anymore. Also, have you heard of the Kindle? iPads? The Nook? So few people are buying actual books nowadays. Buy your friend something else, anything else.

 

13.  Kikkerland Design Biodegradable Straws- Nordstrom

 

Straws? You’re giving someone straws? As a present? I don’t care if they’re biodegradable, they’re straws. That is not a present. You get them for free whenever you get a drink pretty much anywhere.

 

14.  Judith Leiber Pillbox- Bergdorf Goodman

 

I worry about the kind of person that would spend $595 on a container to hold their pills. That’s kind of a red flag. You have a problem.

 

15.  Heritage Hen Mini Farm- Neiman Marcus

Part of their fantasy gift program, this is a $100,000 chicken coop. Putting aside the fact that $100,000 will buy you all of the poultry and eggs you could eat for the rest of your life, you are giving someone the task of cleaning up chicken poop for the foreseeable future.

 

This is one swanky chicken coop. I’m sure the filthy birds will keep it nice and clean, though. They won’t ruin it in the first half hour.

 

I mean, it even has a crystal chandelier. Screw the chickens, I might move into it.

 

Well, there you have my picks for the worst gift ideas of 2012.  Next up I’ll be posting some gift ideas that won’t make the recipients want to hurt you.