'I’m not being sexist' - Are men terrible at buying Christmas presents?

Are women just more thoughtful about gift giving?
James Wilson
James Wilson

16.57 13 Dec 2023

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'I’m not being sexist' - Are m...

'I’m not being sexist' - Are men terrible at buying Christmas presents?

James Wilson
James Wilson

16.57 13 Dec 2023

Share this article

Why are so many men bad at buying Christmas presents? 

The clock is ticking down to Christmas day and all the gift giving and seasonal joy that comes with it. 

Plenty of people will have their Christmas presents already bought but journalist Justine O’Mahony suspects most of those people will be women.


“I’m not being sexist when I say this,” she told Moncrieff

“But men in general haven’t got it when it comes to present shopping in general but particularly when Christmas shopping. 

“I think it boils down to the fact that they leave it to the last minute.” 


Ms O’Mahony said many men think it is “great craic” to hit the town on Christmas Eve and “pick up whatever dregs are left”. 

It is something she believes hints at a “lack of thought” and is something she has experienced in her own family.  

“My Dad was famous for it,” she said. 

“Every Christmas Eve, without fail, he’d traipse down the town with me and we’d pick out a present.” 

Ms O’Mahony said most of the presents he bought were “rubbish” because there was simply “nothing left”. 

“One year, he bought my mother a foot spa for Christmas,” she said. 

“She brought it up about five years afterwards - an elephant never forgets.” 

'I’ve just given up dropping hint'

After 23 years of marriage, she has concluded her husband takes after his father-in-law.

“He has a lot of good points but present shopping isn’t one of them,” she said. 

“One year he got me diamond earrings - which sounds fabulous - except I don’t have my ears pierced.” 

Her husband simply laughed when she pointed this out. 

“I’ve just given up dropping hints because there’s no point and he doesn’t listen to me anyway - which is probably why we’re still married [after] 23 years,” she said. 

“It just falls on deaf ears, so I’ve gotten to the stage now where I have to tell him outright what I want. 

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll get it but it’s better than nothing.” 

Overall, she believes men have less “reverence” for presents and suspects her husband would not notice if she got him the same thing two years in a row. 

“I think it boils down to thought,” she said. 

“I write him a little Christmas card every Christmas and do our little review of the year and the good points. 

“I don’t even know if he reads it… It’s just not his thing.”

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Main image: Man with girl shopping before Christmas. Picture by: 

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