SOURCE: Martin Miller's Gin

October 31, 2007 12:27 ET

Martin Miller's Gin Ponders the Fate of the Worst Fad Holiday Gifts

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - Ever been the victim of a bad holiday fad? Did your best friend decide a pet rock was the perfect present? Your sister think you needed a pair of Santa shorts, or your brother bestow you with a stuffed reindeer -- long after you were out of the playpen?

This holiday season, the makers of Martin Miller's Gin, a brand known for its classic good taste, asked 100 lifestyle editors from across the country to name the fad gifts that displayed the most atrocious sense of style and taste from the past 50 years. Most, it is likely, found their way directly into the trash, the attic or the return counter.

Here are their picks for the most awful holiday fads:

1.  Fruitcake, 20%: Bad taste or just bad tasting? The rumor is that
    there really is only one fruitcake -- and it's been recycled year after
    year after year. It tops the list for worst fad gifts, so don't fall
    into this evergreen trap -- opt for a fabulous chocolate confection
    if you feel compelled to give someone a cake for Christmas.

2.  Christmas Boxers, 10%: Dancing Santa's and laughing reindeer don't
    exactly scream sexy but these embarrassing undergarments are another
    perennial holiday staple. The consensus of this survey: give the guy
    a break this season.

3.  Stuffed Animals and Santa's, 9%: They deck the halls of every card
    shop in town, but the allure of tacky holiday-themed toys fades shortly
    after the wrapping is in the trash.

4.  Chia Pet, 5%: The first Chia ram sprang onto the scene in 1982 and a
    swarm of clay characters covered with gelatinous, green growth followed
    behind. Though the allure of this kitschy clan may be strong when one
    is desperate to fill the last slot on the never-ending gift list, be
    strong and resist. Any local plant store can provide so many more
    attractive growing gifts.

5.  Nut Covered Cheese Ball, 5%: Ah, the sure sign of holiday giving gone
    awry. Bright orange cheese wrapped in crushed nuts is such an obvious
    cop-out. If one must send an edible gift, go for the Moose Munch
    instead. Your giftee will be most appreciative.

6.  Beanie Babies, 4%: When they retired the original nine, launched back
    in 1994, the plan was to get rich as their value went through the roof.
    That plan's moot, so keep these fancy bean bags off your list.

7.  Pet Rock, 4%: The little painted rocks were a flash-in-the-pan fad back
    in the 70s but it's still hard to believe that adults paid $3.95 apiece
    for them. On the other hand, millions pay, well, millions to
    make-believe marketers on Second Life every day. And it's more than
    40 years later.

8.  The Clapper, 3%: Admit it, the lazy beast in us always wanted to try
    one -- What a great invention!  Although it had a long run, it's a good
    thing this fad has been "clapped off." Unless you're gifting someone
    over 80, this is a fad should be put away for good.

9.  Ginsu Knives, 3%: This line of kitchen knives was quite the craze and
    even drew a celebrity following. They cut through almost anything, but
    even for the most dedicated chef, they don't cut it in the gift

10. Big Mouth Billy Bass, 1%:  After its debut on the "Sopranos," the
    talking fish was flying off shelves and copycat marketers even tried
    to clean up with lobsters, rainbow trout and even fish bones.
    Thankfully all have gone to sleep with the, ah, pet rocks.

This holiday season, Martin Miller's suggests sticking with classic gifts that demonstrate one's own sense of style and grasp of lasting value. After all, fads come and go, but good taste never changes.

For classic cocktail recipes, please visit

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