Guest Post: The lost art of Novelty christmas presents

The popularity of novelty gifts sways in popularity across years. We’re not just talking about funny-looking socks or singing cards, but some real and sometimes pricey novelty gifts than span across all types of people, not just the working class than the more dismissive amongst us may imply.

If anything, novelty gifts have become top-heavy, with gifts from sites like and selling gifts at prices upwards of £30, but at the same time we’re seeing a decline in the lower-priced novelty gifts. Is there any logic or reason to this change, and what does it mean for Christmas presents to come?

Novelty doesn’t always mean bad

A common misconception is that novelty gifts are, by definition, not useful. To help clear this up we can consult the dictionary condition:

1.  The quality of being new, original, or unusual.

2.  A small and inexpensive toy or ornament.

As you can see, there’s nothing in this description about the items being useless. The biggest clue may even be within the two separate definitions here. It seems as if the consumer market is moving away from the second option and further towards the original and unusual stuff.

Going from the Getting Personal site alone, you can see that a lot of the options are more expensive yet unique ones, such as the custom Champagne bottles with personalised dates, boxes and other features.

Does this mean they’re on the rise?

Novelty gifts are hardly skyrocketing past the rest of the Christmas gifts available, but rather holding their corner quite well. They probably never will dominate the Christmas market as lots of couples and families work together to buy the big expensive gifts such as TVs and computers for each other which don’t have a novelty equivalent.

Are novelty gifts for you?

By you, we mean the recipient you want to give the gift to, and that depends heavily on both of you. If you’re renowned as someone with no sense of humour then people will be a bit surprised if you get them something particularly weird, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. When it comes to the person you’re giving it to, though, they probably won’t appreciate something silly if they aren’t much of a joker themselves. Again, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It depends how nice you’re feeling this year.

This doesn’t affect your present-buying skills

An important thing with buying novelty presents is that a lack of purpose will always make a present bad. This is kind of what the whole article says, but like other presents that aren’t novelty in any way, the best ones have some kind of connection with the person who’s getting the gift.

Novelty presents are perhaps one of the few exceptions to the generally-accepted rule that if the present buyer enjoys a gift, the recipient will too. The weirder a gift is, the further away from someone else’s interests they can be, and if you’re buying presents for someone you probably don’t want to disappoint them.

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