So, the cake has been made so we're officially in the run up to Christmas. Granted we're still at the marathon stage not the sprint. But still the totting up of budgets is happening, the slow panic is building. Last night Bloke was watching Dave Gorman's new show Modern Life Is Goodish. And he made a brilliant point. There's a difference between Gifts and Presents.
Its quite a simple concept "presents" are things that you would actually buy for your self: books, clothing, perfume etc. "Gifts" are those things that are created especially for giving and are not something you'd not buy for yourself: miniature foods, mini sets of *anything*, the dad centric desk gifts and the myriad of joke presents available in the run up to Christmas. Now I can hear your "But bath sets are useful!" Well yes and no, how many selections of bubble bath are actually used? It really comes down to how familiar you are with the persons bath/shower time habits. I fully admit to buying my husband a nice shower set or posh soap every gifting holiday but I do so knowing that it's something he'll actually use. The same cannot be said for anyone who doesn't share a bathroom with me.
Now, this is not to say that presents will be what the person wants. But there is something far more personal about it. And the whole point of presents is the thought you've put into it.
And presents don't have to be about shopping. I cannot emphasise this enough. I only buy things for a very select few, and honestly most of them are children. Every one else gets food at Christmas. Bloke and I spend a few days making a section of edible goodies. we can't guarantee you'll like them, but you can feed them to any of your guests, we don't even mind if you pretend to your Aunt Mabel that you made them yourself.
And if cooking isn't your thing, don't sweat it. Use your talents! If you want to. This is just a plea against wasting your money because you have to buy some one a gift.
If you can't think of anything, go for the best sort of gift- the charity gift. Oxfam do a wonderful range. How about some Chickens for the animal lover in your life? Or if your budget is a bit bigger you could help a vulnerable child.
So, this isn't a campaign for no gifts ever, just "Let's stop buying pointless crap, yeah?" I promise I'm not a grinch.