If you’ve thought about it and really believe the person you’re giving to would like that incredible candle you found, then go for it. In that case, it should look nice as well as smell nice. Otherwise, take a pass and search for something else.

Gifts that convey the wrong message

Perhaps you know of an anti-aging cream that would be great for someone who has mentioned he’s feeling a little older, or you know the perfect product for a young woman who has acne problems. Don’t buy it. These gifts are more likely to make the person receiving them feel more self-conscious than appreciative.

Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University, calls this type of gift a well-meant misfire. “Misfires most often occur when the giver experiences a momentary deficiency of empathy,” she wrote in Time. “They weren’t thinking from the point of view of the recipient, but their own. This sort of mistake is easy to make during the rush and stress of the holidays.”

Clothing can fall into this category. Giving someone an extra-large when they wear a medium, for instance can be interpreted as an insult. Even an extravagant gift like a set of golf clubs can fall flat if you give them to a person was who might now have time to play because they were recently laid off. Avoiding this miscommunication requires being thoughtful about the other person’s point of view.

Gifts that are about you

These gifts, which are more about the giver than the receiver, come in different forms. Yarrow spoke with one woman, for instance, who was unhappy to get diamond earrings from her husband because she knew he gave them to her to impress his parents and compete with his brother. “Those stupid earrings didn’t have a thing to do with me or what I wanted or needed,” she said.

If you happen to really love football, but your spouse doesn’t, don’t give tickets to a football game because you think it will allow you to enjoy it together. Think of what your spouse likes, and get tickets for that instead.

Remember, the point of a gift is to show you’re thinking about the other person. If your gift fails that basic test, then get thinking. For you truly severe procrastinators in need of idea, our Quartz guide on last-minute holiday shopping may help.

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