8 November

Present problems

Today is the day that St Nicholas arrives in the Netherlands by steamboat from Spain.[1]

If you don’t have enough ideas for presents yet, here are some suggestions for generating suggestions:

  • Check out the websites you bookmarked during the year.
  • Ask others: your kids may have good ideas about what their cousins want, for example.[2]
  • Quiz the people themselves! Many people enjoy being asked what they’d like.
  • Get them to initial your catalogues (see 14 October).

And remember that you’re buying to their taste, not yours.[3]

2016-11-08
All I want for Christmas is…

It seems that Gemma has been listening when I’ve been talking about my blog and she offered up a brilliant compromise solution to the office party problem: a wassail bowl. This would be exotic as well as Christmassy and we could probably do it for nearly the same price as beer. I immediately suggested that we add a fruit punch for anyone who wants to stay upright, both ideas were accepted and I am starting to think that we might be able to make this work. (I have seen what a disaster to morale the bungled birthday cake roster was and I am afraid that a bad Christmas party could bring this company to its knees!)

[1] See? I’m not the only one who starts Christmas this early.

[2] And bad ideas too. My son Jeremy has tried to persuade me to buy all kinds of wicked practical jokes for his cousin Jack but I knew my sister Wendy would boomerang it all back to me faster than you could say “whoopee cushion”.

[3] Although I learned not to entirely ignore my own feelings when I gave my brother a record called “Disco Duck” when he was ten. He really wanted it and he was only ten so that doesn’t count against him but I hated it, and had to listen to it five times a day until he finally got sick of it.

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