Christmas Present

So my last entry was entitled “Fetish Movie” and shot to the top of my most viewed posts. You’re all a load of perverts, and that’s exactly how I want it to stay.

On a more family-friendly topic, there’s something in the recesses of my fuzzy cold*-ridden brain that wants to be written down, and it’s about Xmas presents.

Earlier tonight I was having a bath – like a 4th century Roman, I seem to be in a bath more than out of one at the moment – and was enjoying the classy fragrance of my new shower gel. As I type, I’m drinking a koskenkorva (another gift) and tonic while wearing new warm and cosy stripey socks. And it  occurred to me that what I really like to receive at Xmas, in a kind of fundamental and uncomplicated ooh-this-is-comfy way, are the presents that have become so clichéd that they’re considered at best unimaginative and at worst inconsiderate and embarrassing.

Socks, booze, toiletries, books, chocolate, and I love receiving every one of these things. Assuming you know me even a little bit, it’ll be really hard to get a gift like this wrong, and you can be pretty certain I’ll get use and pleasure out of each of them. Then I think of the more imaginative or original or expensive gifts I’ve received, many of them are fantastic and thoughtful and clever, but also are more at risk of being un- or under-used.

I might be being a bit blinkered here, and that there’s a bigger tier of tired Christmas novelties that I’d be sad or disappointed to receive. But I can’t think of many. Calendars, maybe? Unless they’re unique, or personal, or beautiful, or even fill a functional void. I did give a calendar this year, and perhaps I’m proving my own point by the fact that I’d have been very happy to receive it myself. Ties? I was given one by the in-laws and it’s a subtle, beautiful thing. Um, golf gifts? Unless they’re ugly novelties, they’ll at least serve a purpose. Ugly novelty golf gifts for someone with no arms? I’m stretching a bit here.

Each year, I agonise more than is healthy about buying (and it always is buying, despite more and more of my friends putting real physical effort and love into making things, which always makes me feeling a bit guilty and superficial) presents that will make the recipient gasp with impressed joy. Each year, the significant majority end up falling into the category of at-best-uninspired. But maybe I’m not alone in my feelings, and that bottle of wine or cookbook or 1-wood cover shaped like a todger will be truly enjoyed or appreciated. If I’m anything to go by, there’s hope for me yet.

*my brother, who’s a Proper Doctor, says there’s a good chance it could be swine flu. Not man, swine. How about that.

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