Friday, 22 December 2017
22. Christmas Presents
No one will listen to my plea to scrap Christmas presents this year, and I simply can't understand it.
I've heard that some people, who manage to maintain an enviously childlike excitement about Christmas, still enjoy giving and receiving presents. But for those of us with poor imagination and male relatives, it's a cruel practice.
First, there's the giving.
When I asked my husband what he wants for Christmas he said that he tends to buy himself things he needs and so by definition a present is something he hasn't realised he needs.
Well, I'm sorry - if he's not privy to his own subconscious desires then surely I can't be expected to know what they are. A good relationship is not sustained by an ability to detect the other person's unrealised taste in shoes or aftershave. At least, I hope not or we're screwed. I refuse to believe my lack of ideas is a bad sign for our future life together. Keep the mystery alive, ay?
The more I think about it, it's frankly discourteous not to come up with at least one gift idea when someone asks you. All my family leave with me with nothing to go on (men - amiright?) and so I'm left scrabbling around the basement of my imagination, and let me tell you, that basement is full of dust.
I went to Selfridges the other day thinking maybe it would be easier to get everything in one go, under one roof. After half an hour I fled, sweat dripping down my back, buffeted by the sharp corners of huge yellow bags. Hell.
Then, there's the receiving.
If we wanted presents we'd be able to think of something to say when we're inevitably asked. Curiously, there's any number of pointless material goods I want throughout the year but as soon as December hits it's agony thinking of anything. I morph into a puritan minimalist - there is precisely NOTHING I want. Eventually I think of something, just to help out the poor sod who's asking, but it turns out that whatever I've said is not the sort of thing that person fancies buying, rendering the whole debacle pointless.
Perhaps I'm just a terrible present buyer which begs the question why anyone makes me continue this expensive endeavour. Let's just give each other an African goat and be done with it. Perhaps they like to watch me suffer?