What’s the worst gift you could give over the holidays? We’re not talking gag gifts, but the kind of things many people routinely pick in a pinch or give with a perfectly straight face. In Consumer Reports latest holiday poll, we asked Americans to rank from a list of fairly common presents the worst gifts possible—those that they would least want to receive.

Topping the list of worst gifts (again) was booze. Hard liquor like rum, vodka, or whiskey, was given a “thumbs down” by 20 percent of respondents. Next came flowers, reviled by 16 percent of those surveyed; anything that was clearly re-gifted (cited by 12 percent); home décor items like picture frames or candles (11 percent); and lottery tickets (10 percent).


Check Consumer Reports' 2015 Holiday Guide for our picks of the best gifts, details on the latest deals, time-saving tips, and much more. And see our countdown calendar for top gift ideas for everyone on your list.
 

Five percent of those surveyed identified gift cards or gift certificates as the worst gifts possible.  Wine, books, food, kitchen items, socks, each were singled out as worst gifts by 4 percent of Americans. Four percent also cited clothes. That, perhaps, is unfortunate since an earlier Consumer Reports poll revealed that clothes was the one item Black Friday weekend shoppers planned to buy as a holiday gift.

Our poll revealed other gift-related insights as well. The vast majority—80 percent—of respondents said they’d prefer to receive a practical present this year than some fancy, luxury bauble. Cash, it turns out, is also still king when it comes to giving gifts. Given a choice between money and a gift card, 57 percent opted for cash.

Poll Methodology:

The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the 2015 winter holiday season. In December 2015, ORC International administered the survey via phone to a nationally representative sample of over 1300 randomly selected adult U.S. residents; 80% will be shopping this holiday season. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 3.0% points at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-two percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 45 years old. The earlier poll (conducted in November, 2015) was administered by ORC International via phone to a nationally representative sample of 1007 adults; 77% will be shopping this holiday season. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 3.1% points at the 95% confidence level.