The Perfect Present?

It’s quite easy to chose a present for someone’s birthday be it for a friend or family because you have the time to look around for something they would really like.

Come Christmas it is a different story altogether. The list of people we have to give a present to becomes longer each year especially if your children bring home a boy/girl friend.

So the list varies from year to year. It is hard to remember who likes what. Think soap or shower cream and the recipient tries to look pleased. They have received so many that their bathroom cupboard is already full up. So that is a no no!

Raking your brain for presents means that you usually end up thinking of buying the same thing that you bought everyone last year. But that wouldn’t go down too well so off you go with a list of people coming to celebrate Christmas.

Chocolates are easy to buy but you are in difficulties as so many people are on a diet nowadays that makes their present completely redundant never mind that you bought the best you could find.

Joke presents are a mine field of “Disaaaaaaaaaaaster Darling” to coin a well known celebrity. Some will love them others, don’t get the humour at all since you bought something that made you laugh but not them.

Choosing presents for a husband or partner is almost impossible. You can almost hear the disguised groans as they open yet another gift of a tie or socks. Those get shoved firmly to the back of the drawer as soon as possible. If you give them anything to do with the sport they play or support you are definitely going to get a kiss. For those who don’t do sports the right aftershave does go down quite well. Just make sure it is the one he uses by checking the bathroom cabinet!

Gift vouchers are very easy to buy but are an unwanted present as you have forgotten you gave one to the same person last year. They will probably keep them tucked away until the sell by date is over.

Children are the worst. They don’t bother to even try and appear pleased. Whatever you bought them they will already have or they have grown out of the phase when they played with everything. Don’t even think of buying a CD – they probably have the same one at home. But fair play to them they are only being honest! Unfortunately it is down to you to keep a list of the presents they received so that you can make them write a thank you letter.

And for couples? Do you buy one present for both of them or one each? I find myself wandering around stores grasping a list of people who have to have presents. An imagination is needed here, and also a budget otherwise you are in for a huge overdraft in January.

There are some who re-cycle the presents they receive and don’t want. They are stashed away and wrapped up for the next Christmas. I suppose they must put stickers on each gift so they remember who gave them what. Shame on them.

I always keep a couple of bottles of wine and chocolates, all wrapped and hidden away in case someone arrives unexpectedly and you are caught empty handed.

I shall not go on about these unwanted gifts but now stick labels on them so I know who gave me what. I have occasionally forgotten to place one of the unwanted gifts on the mantelpiece only to find that when the donor visits she will ask where her present has gone. Sorry kids I have told a fib and say that it sadly broke. But my heart sinks knowing full well she will buy another one next year, and what excuse will I come up with this time?

My cousins have got it right – all presents must be cost £5 or less. It is such fun finding their gifts and I love their tradition but if I tried it on my family I would probably be hung, drawn and quartered.

As for the presents I receive at Christmas – well I adore the ones given to me by my children. They usually make something special and I treasure them.

As for my husband, it has been proved by surveys that men buying presents for their wives or girlfriends nearly always buy lingerie, usually red for some reason. The poor sales assistants always ask the chap what size they want. The men don’t have a clue so after Christmas it is definitely a trip back to the shop, not only to get the right size but also in a different colour.

So I roll on Christmas I am ready with presents and lots of mulled wine!


Written by: Jane Buckle

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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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