It’s finally November and the Christmas Countdown has officially begun. It won’t be long now before you’re unable get through a work-day without hearing a rendition of “Fairytale of New York”, either on the radio or from a tone-deaf colleague. Give it another few weeks and you’ll be adding “Stop the Cavalry” to the list of songs you never want to hear again — and don’t even get me started on Mariah.
Let’s face it, Christmas is a curious time of year — the very mention of it can fill a soul with both excitement and dread, for with it comes the greatest of expectations. I don’t know about you but I’ve already started planning my gift-giving. I have an iPhone app that lets me list recipients in groups, ranking them by importance and value. I can tick off the various stages of the deed from the moment I’ve decided on the gift, through to purchasing the gift, wrapping the gift and finally, delivering the gift. The shame.
I’m both a wonderful and terrible gift-giver, I take immense joy and satisfaction from tailoring friends’ and family’s gifts perfectly. I deliberate over the ideal present to suit an individual’s personality and meticulously shop to be sure that I also score the best bargains available. This is something that can’t be entered into lightly — it takes careful consideration, planning, and stealthy research. The joy of giving is something that I take very seriously indeed.
I sound great right? You’d want to receive a present from me, wouldn’t you? Well, actually no, no you probably wouldn’t. You see, the flip-side to all this wonderful giving is that the poor recipient has to live up to my expectations in the same way that I want my gift to exceed theirs. If I so much as detect a hint of indifference or ungratefulness toward the fruits of my labour… well, let’s just say, I’d make an awesome Mafioso, horse’s head or no horse’s head.
But don’t let me put you off, I’m sure you’re far more likely to occupy the sane, middle-ground than I am when it comes to treating your loved ones this Christmas. There are many joys to giving the right presents to your loved ones and many giggles that can be had from gifting the wrong ones too! I’m slowly learning that you don’t need to spend big money on flash gifts, I have a brother who loves nothing more than receiving home-baked cinnamon rolls that cost pennies to make and a friend who is always delighted to receive a jar full of I.O.Us in exchange for future baby-sitting sessions.
It’s important not to lose sight of what’s important. You’re not trying to outdo anyone with your splendiferous pressie-wrapping skills, it doesn’t matter if someone else buys Grandma the same pair of fleece-lined slippers, and above all else, people show pleasure in many different ways. Some… less obviously than others. If all else fails, come join the dark-side with me and we’ll just have to keep on practising the art of giving graciously… I’m sure I can find you a space in the Christmas Cosa Nostra.
I’ll be featuring some of my favourite Christmas gifts on the shelves during the run-up to Christmas, stick around… you might just make yourself popular with the most awesomest of pressies!