Hey there! This is TOP episode 123.  Top 10 Worst Christmas Gifts. Vocabulary Booster

My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you and it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

Welcome back to TOP, welcome all TOPeople as well as my new listeners. Hello to you and please accept my thanks to you for showing up for yourself. Your journey to fluency has begun. I’m thrilled for you! 

It’s the 15 of December, and I hope you have all your presents now. I don’t, but I just hope you’re better organised in that field. Umm. Yeah. Today’s episode is not gonna be 100% serious. Top 10 wors Christmas gifts. There are some really bad bad bad gifts on the list for today but really most of them CAN be turned into an exceptional gift but, as always, everything depends on the context. Please wait till the end, because at the end of this episode you’re going to have some practice. You should speak English out loud every day. Repeating sentences out loud is a valid method to improve your speaking so please do it. 

After listening to the whole episode, don’t forget to download the worksheet. It’s waiting for you at teacherola.com/123. If you have little time and prefer to go all-in buy The Worksheet Set. I’ve prepared a set of the first 31 worksheets. The Worksheet Set includes The Speaking English Planner, a great tool for monitoring your progress in speaking English.

And now, my dear listener, I give you Top 10 Worst Christmas Gifts.


A scented candle, made with fragrant oils mixed into the wax, gives off a pleasant aroma when burning. Honestly, I love scented candles. Candles generally. There are many benefits to them. They’re great for warming up our hearts in this dark winter season. But what I mean here are cheap candles. It’s a thoughtless gift frankly speaking. They have a chemical smell, they aren’t burning nicely, evenly. 

I say, buy a nice, luxurious, good quality candle but only if you know that person loves them. End of story. 


Fitness equipment. This is touchy. This kind of gift may be easily misinterpreted. The message is clear. You are fat and should lose weight. Having said that I must admit I like receiving such things. Once I got a yoga mat from my husband. Fantastic gift, one of the best gifts ever. I do also exercise on this mat, it’s not just for yoga. Wait a second, once I got a fitness t-shirt. Sounds terrible but it was a great gift, I still use it. Great quality, made of lightweight, breathable, performance fabric. Still, everything depends on the situation. It can by far be interpreted as a different message.


This is obviously a terrible idea. Who in their right mind would treat animals as objects, as presents. Psychopaths. Truly. Pets are not birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, they’re not gifts. Ok, so this one example of an idea for a gift is genuinely stupid. Cats and dogs that are given as gifts are vastly more likely to end up in a shelter. 

Unlike other gifts, living animals can’t just be returned or exchanged if it turns out to be a bad fit. That is why we should never give pets as Christmas gifts. Pets are a long term commitment. I can’t even! Let’s move on.


Check out the pronunciation. Lingerie. That’s women’s underwear. It can be a good gift theoretically,  but, so many things are wrong here. For starters, how do you know your taste, or shopping assistant’s taste and the person you want to bestow matches? That’s the first issue, but not the only one. It’s a tired cliché that all women like underwear. Some women love it, others feel there’s something presumptuous and even gross to it. Sizes. Oh my god! It’s a whole world of trouble. No. I say no. They’re called ‘unmentionables’ for a reason. Undies as a gift, as a Christmas gift? No, it’s not a go-to gift. Next. 


A knickknack is a small trivial article usually intended for ornament. Tchotchke. Small, worthless objects. Trinkets. We live in a world full of unnecessary stuff and with the decluttering trend full-on, it’s time to rethink that idea.  No more clutter. Useless things are usually bad gifts. I must admit though, if the person you want to give a knickknack is fond of them, collects them, well then go for it. It’ll make them happy.  Probably.


‘How to stop being an asshole’, ‘How To Be a Better Friend’. Oh! A self-help book! That’s exactly what I wanted! Or rather: Are you trying to tell me something? It can come across insulting. Self-improvement books are fantastic! Not as gifts! Buy them for yourself because they’re… SELF-help books. Everything depends, you know that! I’m the one to blame as well, I gave that kind of book to my brother, Marcin, cheers! I know, you’re listening! But! He really liked it, ok? I knew it was on his list. By the way, it’s a good guide. The book is titled: ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Alan. Just to make it clear. Books make great gifts. I believe for any occasion, but the receiver must be a reader. If it’s a self-help book, pick something general, not offensive. 

By no means should you buy a book titled ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, you know, nothing that is pointed? 


Somebody’s health is none of your business. Anything connected with diet is a bad idea. Not only exercise gear. Diet plans, diet books, weight loss supplements Nobody is allowed to go there. It is a big no. Supplements, certain food products, cookbooks with low-fat recipes inside, in other words, anything that has to do with dieting is a mistake as a gift. What’s underpinning my strong opinion on this matter? Well, it can be shattering. There’s enough pressure on all of us, there’s enough stress around Christmas time and it’s just so insensitive. So wrong. No. 


Here I admit, I hesitated. I love getting colourful socks. Everything depends. Let me know what you think! Are socs that terrible idea for a gift? Obviously, it can be a super-easy way out. It can be a sort of stock gift if you know what I mean. If you have no idea for a gift, you don’t have time to give that person a thought, that’s when you give socks with a festive motive on them. That’s thoughtless and sad. 


DIY items, sets and kits make a good gift only for a DIY person. If they are not, don’t buy it. Don’t make people become DIY people, ok? Generally, don’t push people into doing things they don’t necessarily want to start doing. Maybe it is a good idea to suggest it, offer it as an idea. And the person has time to think that well, maybe climbing is for me. Maybe I should start climbing. Playing the violin or painting. Just don’t buy them paints, violins or climbing gears. 


Anti-ageing, anti-acne, anti-redness, under eyes bags, age spots, stretch marks, sagging neck, acne scars? No. Stop focusing on people’s skin problems. Surely the only person for whom it is appropriate to buy saggy neck cream is your own self. If you wanna buy a holiday set of cosmetics, first of all, don’t, but if you must then well just you know, have a look at the products inside. Are they supposedly offensive? Leave it. Don’t say disturbing things with gifts. 

Here you have it Top 10 Worst Christmas Gifts. Now time to practice. Listen and repeat 10 sentences out loud. If you have no idea what and why we’re doing here now please tune in to episodes 9 and 76. TOP 9 Boost Your Fluency By Talking to Yourself. TOP 76: Buy A Notebook And Do This For 10 Min A Day. Now, please listen and repeat out loud:

A scented candle, made with fragrant oils mixed into the wax, gives off a pleasant aroma when burning.

This is touchy. 

Who in their right mind would treat animals as objects.

It’s a tired cliché that all women like underwear. 

If the person you want to give a knickknack is fond of them, collects them, well then go for it.

Are you trying to tell me something?

What’s underpinning my strong opinion on this matter?

That’s thoughtless and sad. 

Generally, don’t push people into doing things they don’t necessarily want to start doing. 

Surely the only person for whom it is appropriate to buy saggy neck cream is your own self.

I’m glad you’ve made it! Be proud of yourself. Also! Don’t forget to go to your inbox and grab worksheet 123 in order to test yourself. Complete the worksheet with translations.

If you’re not a member of TOPeople download the worksheet at teacherola.com/123 and become one. It’s free. 

I also have The Worksheet Set. This way you won’t have to download each worksheet separately. It’s gonna be much more convenient to work with this podcast. All the links are in the description below. 

If you think this episode is valuable and worth sharing, please share. Think for a second about that one person, that one friend or colleague, or a family member who needs to boost their English speaking skills and let them know about Teacher Ola Podcast. They will thank you!

It’ll help me grow and spread the message. No matter how big your language blockade is, you can and will overcome it and speak fluently.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to talk about food! Because all I want for Christmas is … food! Till then, take care! Happy learning. Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!