starYes, it’s that time of year again.  The time when you stop sneering at sad people who buy all their Christmas cards and gifts in the January sales and wish you were one of them.  So alas once more I shall have to brave the high street which will by now be hoaching with other desperate, disorganised shoppers and try to find the perfect presents for family and friends to make up for the way I’ve neglected them for the whole of the rest of the year.  This sometimes works if, like mine, your dear ones are open to a spot of shameless bribery now and then.

Must admit I am very lucky in the presents I receive and nearly always get exactly what I want.  This is because I tell people exactly what I want and where they can buy it.  A simple but effective strategy.  I do have one relative however, an otherwise sane and lovely person, who likes to ‘surprise me’.  This has resulted in some of the most hideously inappropriate gifts imaginable.  The worst was a couple of years ago when he bought me a make-up mirror.  What’s wrong with that you ask?  If you have to ask this question you are either flawlessly beautiful or you’ve never seen a make-up mirror.  Let me explain.

A make-up mirror is not like an ordinary mirror.  For a start the mirror is magnifying.  In the particular model I received to three times normal size.  Also there are lights.  Bright lights. Lots of them. All around the mirror.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  I am no longer as young as I used to be.  In fact I’m not nearly as young as I used to be.  Whilst I don’t want to go into actual numbers I will say that I have a grown up daughter and I wasn’t a child bride.  I am therefore what the French delicately describe as “une femme d’un certain age”.  Now, do I want to see clearly reflected an enlarged, brightly lit image of every wrinkle, sag, pore or blemish on my face?  Do I diddly.

I tried to donate the present to a pretty teenage relative but she recoiled in horror.  Did she want to see every spot, blackhead or blocked pore in bright, enlarged detail?  She so didn’t need to see that.  Take my advice, unless you have female friends and relatives who bear a close resemblance to Helen of Troy give the make-up mirror a miss and think of another gift idea please.

Have you had any awful present experiences you’d like to share with us?  Or even (since it’s Christmas) any perfectly wonderful ones?  If so please please post!

P.S.  If you’re looking for gift ideas there’s a couple of good books I could recommend!

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