Gift with purchase
Another thing to watch out for in the shops at Christmas is the gift with purchase deal: if you buy a shirt at the usual price, you’ll get a cap for free. (Or you buy moisturiser and get a free sponge bag. Or whatever.)
The retailers are trying to lure you into your favourite shop to buy something for yourself with the bait of getting a present for a loved one at the same time. This works for you if you needed the shirt (or the moisturiser), if it’s a good price, if you know someone who’d like the cap (or the sponge bag) and if that will save you getting them another present. If not, it’s a false bargain.
Two-for-one deals are equally problematic: if you genuinely needed two and if the “one” price is reasonable, jump in. But if you only need one or if the price they’re asking is what it would cost you to buy two elsewhere, avoid it.k
Todd came round again tonight to knit. It seems he started the secret jacket when his wife was away at a conference and has been working diligently at it on Thursday nights when she goes to yoga but then she injured a muscle and gave up yoga for a few weeks and that put him behind.
“I suggested she take up lawn bowls while she recuperated,” said Todd, “But I found out that you should never say that to anyone who dyes their grey hair. It doesn’t go down well.”
 My tall nephew-in-law Chris also watches out for low-hanging tinsel.
 A decade ago, you could get a five litre tin of jellybeans if you bought enough paint to cover your bedroom. This was an exciting, magical, generous offer which got people skipping home from the hardware shop, but I can tell you there’s not a person alive who stays interested in jellybeans after the first litre.
 With the exception of socks.
 And consider saying “No” to a paint tin full of jellybeans unless you have lots of friends.