An Honest Guide On The Best & Worst Gifts


Don’t get stuck trying to find a good gift for someone – or worse, a gift someone will toss. We’ve asked around the office to get the truth behind what makes the best and the worst presents.

Stuck on what to buy your mum, best friend or colleague? Have a birthday or graduation approaching? Or just frantic at the thought of the festive seasons? We’ve all hurried down to the shops or scrolled through online stores, panicked and hysterical over finding the perfect gift that’s tasteful, fun and overall appreciated.

Gifts are kind of a hit or miss. You either love it or you hate it. There isn’t much of a blurred line. This puts an enormous amount of pressure in the decision making process. Do we buy the cheeseboard or the set of towels? Ermm, maybe the gift card?

We’ve asked staff here at Zanui what were the best and worst gifts they ever received, in an effort to make your decision-making process a lot easier.

Cosmopolitan Bordeaux Wine Glass, 590ml (Set of 6) from Maxwell & Williams.

The raw and honest truth

The Best: I think the best gift I can remember off the top of my head is probably a beach set I got from my boyfriend last Christmas. It included a nice beach bag, beach towel and a bikini that I loved!

The Worst: I always used to get these antique spoons from my grandma when I was little. I guess I was too young to appreciate them and every birthday and Christmas I received a new spoon for the collection. Today I’m very happy for those gifts, but as a little girl spoons were not on the top of my favourites!

  • Senior Buyer, Stina

The Best: I’m a bit of a techy and gamer so I must say my all-time best gift was the Nintendo 64 I received during Christmas when I was 10. My parents had a strict ‘no-gaming, all-study’ policy which took me a lot of pleading and crying to break. I remember I was so obsessed with it.

The Worst: We had a secret Santa gift-giving event at work this year where we got to pick a number out of a hat and select a random present. Needless to say I got something not so great! I mean great idea with the winter beanie and winter gloves but come on! Was size not considered? The presents were great they just didn’t fit.

  • B2B Account Manager, Dan

All Dock Classic 4-Port Charging Station. Shop ALLDOCK online at Zanui.

The Best: It was my birthday a few months ago and my husband gave me a beautiful sapphire necklace. Sapphire is my birthstone, so it was extra thoughtful!

The Worst: I think the worst gift to give is clothes. I’ve had clothes bought for me on multiple occasions and while the thought is nice, it’s always super risky – just steer clear or go with a gift voucher!

  • Senior Content Writer, Kyra

The Best: A surprise holiday to Hawaii!

The Worst: A selfie stick… I hate that thing!

  • Marketing & PR Assistant, Lisa

Nomad Turkish Towel from Atolyia. Shop towels and bathroom accessories for your next holiday!

The Best: Being able to spend my birthday with my sister who I haven’t seen in over 10 years. She made me this dreamcatcher thing, but she actively went out of her way to spend it with me. She doesn’t do that for anyone!

The Worst: My birthday falls on Halloween (I’m American) and when I was younger, my friends would give me candy as a present. I can get free candy from strangers if I go Trick or Treating – why would I want more candy on that day?!

  • Head of Engineering, Sheila

The Best: A ticket to Motley Crue’s last concert.

The Worst: Clothes. Clothes are a more of a base necessity and not something I would enjoy receiving. However, if someone got me a cool t-shirt of a band I like or a festival it would be a bit better.

  • B2B Sales Rep, Rob

Jute Wall Hanging, Black from Amigos De Hoy. Shop wall decor.

The Best: An overnight stay in a 5-star hotel with an eight-course signature tasting meal at a fine dining restaurant.

The Worst: One of those dustbin ashtrays.

  • Customer Service Manager, Fran

The Best: Santa’s were always the best! I grew up in a street where every household had kids around the same age as me so naturally we formed a gang. Every Christmas we would all get the same gifts from Santa that we would be obsessed with until the next year – bikes, scooters, rollerblades and a skateboard in the tomboy phase!

The Worst: A used lipstick. I have a twin sister so basically every gift we buy each other is something that we plan to just steal back. Though one Christmas she just couldn’t wait till I had opened it to use it first!

  • Junior Homewares Buyer, Alanna

The Best: When I was 14, my dad bought me my first Vespa. Other than becoming a weapon to pick up girls and also the fact that a Vespa in Italy is a pretty big deal, for me that moment meant a lot because of what that Vespa represented – my dad acknowledging me becoming an adult, having a sense of responsibility driving around and taking care of my first expensive personal item.

The Worst: So I remember for my confirmation, at 12 or 13 years old, some unknown relatives from somewhere in the south of Italy showed up and as a gift they gave me this very heavy and shining gold necklace that apparently had belonged to some other unknown relative of mine, and they told me that it really meant a lot to them if I would wear it during the ceremony. It was really heavy and bright and horrible, and surely out of proportion compared to my little body – but I ended up wearing it and felt really embarrassed. When I look at the photos I still ask myself, what the hell were we all doing on that day!

  • Product Manager, Filippo


What are your best and worst gifts? We’d love to know!

Natalie Milad is a content and blog writer who studied journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since her graduation in 2016, she has landed a gig at Zanui. Her days not writing are usually filled with DIY projects, floury benchtops and tending to her bunny. Natalie loves animated short films, animals and Christmas. She has experience in script writing, news reading and interviewing. Among her favourites was interning for The Bridal Bazaar.