I am busy writing out my Christmas shopping list and it gets more difficult each year to think of what to buy family and friends. The choice is greater too as the stores have a greater variety of lovely gifts to choose from. It was easier when only Woollies had prettily packaged, affordable smellies!
As I sat here thinking of ideas I recall some of the best gifts that I have received and a couple of the worst!
When I was around 6 I was overjoyed to receive a play shop with tiny scales, miniature boxes of cereal and washing powder,tiny tins of soup and petite plastic fruit. It came with toy money to complete the shopping experience and perhaps that's where my addiction to retail therapy has its origins! It was an even better gift because my sisters and I had been hunting for our Christmas gifts and Julia had found this one and was convinced it was hers - It wasn't! Sorry Julia - Santa left it for me!!!
It wasn't so many years later that I opened my Christmas stocking to find an encyclopedia, a full length long sleeved winceyette nightie more suited to an 80 year old and a pair of antique plaid bunnies (that's what we called our slippers in our family). I think this was my parents attempt to kill any passion that may have been coursing through my teenage veins!
Of course when my children where younger I received amazing gifts that were ludicrously kitsch. Shoulder length earrings, copper plaques and perfume that smelt of ....... and that was only from their father! All were excitedly received however bazaar and brought out on 'special' occasions.
One of the weirdest Christmas gifts I received was a piece of fish! Yes! A friend delivered it wrapped in tin foil with instructions to place it immediately into the freezer to be opened on Christmas Day. Thank goodness I followed her instructions as we may have had to evacuate the house before Christmas Day had I placed it under the tree and let it rot there for a week! I also once received a home made wooden box with a hole in the top that looked like an enormous egg cup or miniature commode but upon discreet enquiry I was told that it was a toilet brush holder.
Weird but wonderful was the Dalmatian money box given me to by my book club friends - it's hard to describe so I took a photograph (above). They saw it at a trade show and admired it through fits of giggles wandering who on earth would want a Dalmatian in high heels and a Christmas hat sporting long curly eyelashes - the rest is history and she sits prettily in my family room and makes me smile every time I look at it!
The very best Christmas gifts was to be home with my new born son - born on 23 December. We arrived home on Christmas Eve to be met at the door by his three excited brothers - That takes some beating as far as gifts go!
There are only so many hand creams, soaps, chocolates and rose shaped scented candles that you can squeal with delight over. So my question to you is this 'Is it really the thought that counts or is the gift the most important part of giving?
Ps. Feel free to buy me anything you feel inclined to - I love being spoiled!