1. Snow Globes--Snow globes are dust collectors that serve no useful function. They're a decoration, but how many do you really need? Too many snow globes scattered throughout your home can look like clutter and there are better alternatives.
A better option: A fresh take on a snow globe would be mercury glass votives or ornaments. Mercury glass is trendy right now and gives a festive glow."
2. Fruitcake--Made of candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and sometimes soaked in spirits, fruitcake is one of the most re-gifted presents each Christmas. There are still some die-hard fruitcake fans, but the younger generations tend to see this as unappetizing and dated.
A better option: A tasty alternative to fruitcake is babkas, a popular Eastern European yeast-leavened cake made of soft brioche-like dough.
3. Christmas Ties--Sure, a man might wear a suit to work each day, but that doesn't mean he enjoys getting holiday ties adorned with reindeer, snowmen and candy canes. Not only are these ties corny, but they can only be enjoyed for a few weeks each year.
A better option: You can still buy the man in your life ties that are unique and playful without being cheesy.
4. Cheap Gift Cards to Expensive Stores--Gift cards can make great gifts, but if you give someone a cheap gift card to a pricey store, it can be more of a hassle than an enjoyable shopping experience.
A better option: If you're going to give someone a gift card, make sure it is for enough money so the recipient can actually buy something useful.
5. Cutesy Pajamas--Many would agree that past the age of seven, cutesy pajamas are just not cool.
A better option: Instead of buying pajamas with cutesy prints, you might want to stick to those with pinstripes, plaid or checkered patterns. Solid-colored pajamas are also a safe bet.
6. Candy Canes--Candy canes may be one of the symbols of Christmas, but does anyone really crave them? These sticky peppermint treats get old quickly and boxes of them pile up in the trash at the end of the holiday season.
A better option: Consider giving your friends and family peppermint bark, a delicious treat that combines regular and white chocolate with peppermint candy bits.
7. Wall Calendars—Wall calendars have been a popular Christmas gift throughout the years. These days, hanging a calendar on the wall seems a bit passé, especially with computerized calendars and scheduling apps for smartphones.
A better option: Get him or her a timepiece. Some interesting ideas include a personalized pocket watch, a personalized photo frame wall clock and a colored iPhone alarm dock that cradles your iPhone and conceals USB wires to transform it into a mid-century modern timepiece.