They're personal, meaningful and show you've made an effort – but as one poor woman learned, they can also go horribly wrong.
The woman revealed her crafting mishap on Mumsnet yesterday, explaining that she'd planned to make her family a hamper of truffles, soaps, bath bombs and scented candles.
But unfortunately, the candles didn't turn out quite as she'd hoped.
She wrote: "We all love Game of Thrones, so I thought it would be cool to make white candles with a blood red centre, and then carve it to look like one of the weirwood trees.
"I made a lot of red, cinnamon scented wax and poured it into moulds made out of bog roll tubes."
It all seemed to be going okay – until she began to decorate them.
She continued: "The results were a bit lumpen, but not awful, but then I started coating the red wax with the white and now they look like a load of big pink veiny willies.
"Do you think I can salvage them? Or should I just give as is and pretend they're meant to be erotic candles? They smell really nice but look horrible."
The poster shared a snap of her handiwork, which caused quite a stir among other Mumsnet users.
Some seemed to think they were a lost cause, with one commenting: "The only salvaging involves melting and remoulding properly. You cannot give someone a wonky veiny c*** candle."
Others joked: "They look like something off an eating trial on I'm A Celeb," and: "They look like big fat spring rolls."
However, there were a few people who reckoned the woman could still use the candles in her hamper.
One reassured her: "They do look a bit strange but I'm sure [your mother-in-law] would appreciate the trouble you've gone to!"
Another message read: "Could you melt them into nice Kilner jars and tie a festive ribbon around the top?"
It's the thought that counts, right?
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