I’m currently sobbing in a foetal ball. My condition? Severe P.P. – Prezzie Paranoia. With Santa already harnessing his reindeers, I still haven’t made any purchases. What to buy? It doesn’t help being a chronic dilly-dallier. When my headmaster told me I’d never amount to anything because I procrastinate too much, I replied? “Just you wait!”
And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now – waiting for inspiration. This invariably results in a desperate dash to the shops on Chrissy eve when all that’s left on the shelves are a packet of rectal thermometers.
Clearly I’m not alone. What else could explain some of the presents I’ve received from family over the years? The musical loo roll holder which played “Why Don’t We Do It On The Road?’ by the Beatles; the talking mirror that hollered “Lose weight, heffalump” ; the nose shower gel dispenser – seriously, the gel squirted from each nostril.
A woman’s least favourite presents are functional. Men take note. No gal ever wants to be given a stand up female urinal – a Wee She. Breath freshener and foot odour spray will also go over like Pavarotti over a pole vault. (As I put my foot in my mouth so often, surely one or other would have sufficed?) And don’t even think about gift wrapping a domestic appliance. Give a woman a cooking implement for Christmas, and you can forget about turkey because your goose is well and truly cooked.
Even more annoying are offspring who forget to buy a present for Mums who’ve sweated over every Yuletide detail, from the spraying of pinecones silver to the stuffing of walnuts up tiny bird’s bottoms for the gourmet lunch spectacular. (Neck a bottle of whiskey and try to remember that a child is for life and not just for Christmas.)
But no gift is infinitely better than a wrong one. A girlfriend once gave me a book on surviving infidelity – while I was happily married… Or was I? Another girlfriend was accidentally given a beautiful pen from her husband, engraved with another woman’s name. (His mistress got the pen meant for his wife, so the writing was clearly on the wall for that doofus.)
Living in environmentally sensitive times it’s important to recycle. I recycle everything – plastic, husbands, jokes… But recycled gifts? Never. There’s a certain white elephant that’s done the rounds of my family at least three times. And I mean ‘white elephant’, literally; the chipped pachyderm is made of palest porcelain.
My godmother has a present box which rivals Tutankhamen’s tomb. Each Xmas she just throws in the gifts she’s been given and the next year rewraps them. They are then thrust, willy nilly, at the nearest rello; which at least explains the whiskey decanter she gave me, aged eight.
A survey by Beaverbrooks suggests that many couples struggle to get it right at Christmas – with a shoehorn, toilet seat and tin opener among the most despised presents. Nail clippers, windscreen wipers, a mop and a bag of rice also emerged as gifts mistakenly thought suitable for a beloved.
The study of 2,000 adults found that women are most unhappy receiving cleaning equipment from a partner (52 per cent), or cookery lessons (37 per cent.) Researchers via OnePoll.com found that millions of blokes fall foul of the woman they love after purchasing them clothing a size too small or underwear that would look more at home on the haunches of a vajazzled lap dancer.
The same OnePoll survey revealed that men are equally unimpressed with any gift which suggests they need to hone and tone. Some 25% of men hate getting exercise equipment and 35% resent a gym membership. 15 % of men have ended a relationship with a partner who bought them a terrible gift; no doubt departing with the words, “That’s a wrap.”
In my experience, whatever you’ve so lovingly chosen is bound to be most ungratefully received. “I’m so glad you took me at my word and didn’t go to too much trouble!” they’ll bitch. But surely the most exciting aspect of Christmas is receiving all those presents – which you can’t wait to exchange?
Of course, top of a woman’s Christmas wish list is world peace and climate change reversal … But failing that, boys, you really can’t go wrong with jewellery. Alternatively you could just organise for us to be whisked off to a deserted beach in Bali by Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page…Now, that really would make all our Christmases come at once.
Still, one thing’s for sure; when it comes to buying the wrong presents, guilt is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Of course, books make the best Chrissy pressies – especially novels by certain tongue-in-chic Antipodean authoresses you might know….Hope you find Santa’s grandson (see piccie) in your Christmas stockings this year, girls.
Enjoy a joyful, festive family reunion. After so long separated by closed borders and lockdowns, it’s going to be a very cool Yule. Happy Christmas to all.
What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. Oh, and a good book. If you’re looking for a funny, frivolous yet feisty new read, do slip between my covers. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Here’s a selection of scribblings in which I peel down to my emotional underwear – a psychological striptease that occasionally reveals all.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.