TJ Maxx sucks. It’s an entire store filled with stuff that I don’t want.

Because a third X would imply that’s there’s something worth seeing inside.

The worst 6 Christmas Gifts sit on a shelf within 3 feet of each other. They’re in a TJ Maxx next to the Boulevard Mall.  I was out standing around while my wife did some Christmas shopping on Wednesday and, by far, the worst store to stand around and wait for your wife to get tired of shopping is TJ Maxx.

Antique barns are cool because they always have an ancient dog lying around waiting to die that I can pet. Wal-Mart has weirdo watching. The Mall has those lotion people who grab you and apply lotion to you. TJ Maxx sucks.

It’s an entire store filled with stuff that I don’t want. I don’t want a gold, sparkly wreath. I don’t want every candle on Earth. I don’t want TJ Maxx food. TJ Maxx offers me nothing. To kill time, I always wander over to that weird shelf that houses cheap electronic helicopters and an endless variety of flashlights. TJ Maxx thinks that the average American is constantly in the dark, in need of green headphones and desperate for laser pointers.

The TJ Maxx electronics shelf is a cornucopia of bad ideas. If you have pulled a winner for Secret Santa, why not ruin their holiday with a selection from this list of awful.

Remote Control Pillow

I’m not that ‘uber-guy’ guy. I don’t know what happens under the hood of a car, but I do know that remote controls need to be built for one thing; speed. Sure, this pillow idea is super cute, but I need to be able to flip from ‘the 5th Element’ to ‘I Survived’ to ‘Love it or List it’ quickly, not cutely. This remote control pillow was invented by a woman… who wanted to ruin Christmas.

Barbeque Grill Light

For, you know, grilling at midnight. Luckily, this barbeque grill light was next to a TJ Maxx compact shovel because I immediately felt the need to dig a hole and lie in it until earthworms processed my still-living body.

Motion Activated Snack Dispenser

Okay, not terrible, until the dog figures out that, every time he sniffs these peanuts, he gets them. Thanks, TJ Maxx! Now, my dog is dead from an unhealthy salt/chocolate/jelly bean intake. Why do you hate dogs, TJ Maxx?

Black socks

To be fair, someone had just set a pair of black socks on the shelf. I don’t think they were supposed to be there. ‘Black socks’ is the kind of gift where you know you’re old when you’re glad to receive them.

Digital Coin Jug


Beverage Warmer

I’m sorry, what? What are you doing? Where are you? Did you just get some coffee? Are you the President of the United States of America? Did you get pulled away from your desk for an hour to sign a bill or something so your coffee got cold? Why didn’t you get coffee and then drink coffee? Do you live in ice? Did you forget you made yourself some coffee? Do you drink coffee that slowly? Do you only drink half and then save half for later? Do you actually cover the mug in cling wrap?

And, why when I Google imaged ‘electronic beverage warmer’ did this image of a can of Pepsi on a beverage warmer appear?

Are people drinking warm Pepsi? Is this a thing? Maybe I don’t know people as well as I thought. I must be a bad judge of Christmas shopping items. Please disregard this list.

I am terrible at giving gifts. In grammar school, they held a little Christmas mall in the St. Theresa’s lower school hall so kids could buy something for their parents. My Dad gave me a dollar, sent me to school, and told me to get something for my Mom. I bought her an Arrowhead necklace for 75 cents. It was uglier than you’re imagining. I’m pretty sure the chain was 4 feet long and was made of a caustic metal.  Dad got peanut brittle every year for a decade because I once heard him say that he loved peanut brittle. My parents call me once every other week to see how my wife is doing.

Greg Bauch is the author of Frank Dates, a gift that will not disappoint.


  1. I love this. I moved to Barre, Vermont from Buffalo for work in the Summer of 2010 and the week that I arrived, a TJ Maxx was opening in town and it was as if they had decided to set an episode of Supermarket Sweep at Fort Knox. Front page news of the local paper, nearly a hundred people waiting for the doors to open for the grand opening, bar patrons discussing it over pints of Long Trail as if it were El Dorado. I just remembered it as that awful place my Mom would make me accompany her to in order to earn the free popcorn at Hills in North Tonawanda.

  2. Oh man I enjoyed that coffee warming rant. Good stuff. But I actually could have used that grill light the other night. Wanted to make some burgers, but didn’t want to deal with pans and dishes and stuff, so I guess grilled up a burger in the pitch black night. Guess grilling is when you GUESS its ready to eat.

  3. One day, Greg Bauch, someone will help you confront your bitterness and you’ll come to understand precisely how you’ve wronged earthworms, ancient dogs and TJMaxx (the TJ stands for Trippin’ Joint, as if you didn’t know.) TJMaxx is a vault of all that is good and nearly cheap (cheap is the Salvation Army next door.) You might be the only customer that stopped and looked at the stuff on the holiday shelf. Word in the employees’ lounge is, they run a pool on which is the craziest item they can put on display, that folks will purchase. Which one did you cave on?

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