On Christmas lists and presents

I’ve started to be asked what I would like for Christmas. Given that my birthday follows rapidly behind it, I know I am a pain to buy for. I don’t know how many joint presents I got given growing up, which was awful. Imagine giving a child a joint present for their birthday in April or September, you just wouldn’t do it, so please don’t do it to children born in December or January because it is easier for you – it just sends children the message that they aren’t worth thinking about.

The only exception to this should be a large or more valuable present, that usually I helped save up towards as well. For example, the pair of binoculars that I got one year, which started out as a telescope, but was useless as it had no counter-weight to balance it, one touch and ping went thousands of miles in space. It went back to the shop for a refund and a happy afternoon was then spent in a camera shop with my Dad in Hailsham, peering through binoculars at the church clock down the high-street to choose a set to replace the telescope. I still use them now.

I also know that because I can’t eat most things you can buy off the shelf, that curtails a lot of goody packs. I also can’t use a lot of smellies because they make my skin react with contact dermatitis. I remember one year being given nothing but shower gel, moisturiser, soap sets from Boots, that all had to be returned because the perfume in them made me itch. Ranging from Exclamation (yuck, check out the price to assess the quality) to Oil of Evening Primrose (I was in my late teens, early twenties) to My Little Pony (my Great-Aunt was a bit batty).

I have made no secret about my struggles with Christmas. I seem to be at my most fragile over the festive period, which is why this year I have made a concerted effort to prepare as best I can to ensure I’m not flustered and frazzled over the break. I know that dates only have power over you if you let them, but I think because emotions are also so linked with objects, I struggle to disassociate from the whole shebang completely. Certainly living in Australia now helps, as it does not feel like Christmas. It is summer; so the cold, dark nights with lights and candles are a moot point, (don’t get me started on external Christmas lights, I can go on for hours). I don’t want Peanut to grow up with bad feelings about the day, hence me laying the ground-work to get through the holidays this year with a smile on my face. Also knowing that my Mum will be flying out in January will help too!

So instead of repeating another post about what I don’t like about it, this post will hopefully help guide people who are stuck for presents. While knowing that I don’t expect to receive anything, ok?!:

· Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily or Black Pepper shower gel.

· Vera Wang Bouquet perfume, alas now discontinued and only found on StrawberryNet.

· I’m also looking for a bookcase for my reading nook, or a low table as I found a lovely basket dumped outside a charity shop. I shoved $5 through the letterbox and picked up the basket, it is low, square and flat, so would hold my reading list and notebooks easily.

· Cotton blanket for said reading nook.

· Notebooks. I can never have enough stationery. No really, I can’t.

· Anything from my Kindle Wish List.

· A Mecca Cosmetics or Myers voucher.

· This bag.

· Or this one.

OK, that should be more than enough to keep friends and family going. I’m now about to forward this on to Hubs so he can send it on to people who ask him ‘What does she want for Christmas?’.

Ho ho ho.

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