You really shouldn't have: Which Christmas presents have made you smile?
Have you any howlers you'd like to share?
In 20 years of journalism, one of my favourite pieces of work remains a women's magazine picture story where I shared the shocking revelation that my mum once bought me a big pair of knickers for Christmas.
Okay, it's not a shocking revelation at all, when you consider how well those sturdy pants served me. I probably couldn't fit one thigh in them now. But at the time at a sveltish (for me) 10 stone I was mortified to think my mum had plumped for a pantigirdle.
The not so magic knickers were accompanied by a cookery book packed with meals for one. Cheers Mum. I love you too.
The thought of me holding up the offending underwear and exaggerating a grimace for the camera as my mum looked on proudly still makes me smile.
This wasn't the only gift giving disaster that has become the stuff of legend in our family. Once when my dad bought me perfume, he decided to let slip that's what it was before I unwrapped it.
"Thanks Dad, just so long as it isn't Poison," I replied. "I spilled some in my room a few weeks ago and it really gives me a headache."
Predictably my poor dad was crestfallen and I cursed myself as I unwrapped my new bottle of my least favourite scent.
My own misdemeanours in the gift giving stakes haven't gone unnoticed. One year I thoughtfully chose champagne and glasses for my sister in law and a selection of jams for my granddad. Lovely.
But I got them the wrong way round and as they were unwrapped together, awkward giggles ensued.
My granddad refused to swap back. My brother was divorced some months later. I'm not sure if these events are connected.
But of course having children brings any present giving faux pas to a whole new level.
My girls were born nearly six weeks early, in October, so you can imagine our excitement when we approached our first Christmas with two tiny babies.
My brother in law shared our excitement and bought them some Maltesers. When we pointed out they couldn't possibly eat them, he bought jelly babies instead. He's now the father of two girls too so we don't tire of reminding him of his erstwhile well-meaning but way off the mark gesture.
I'm sure there are plenty more examples of presents that have caused a stir in our family, but these are the ones that still make me smile.
How about you? What have been your most memorable presents for the wrong reasons? I'd love to know.
Some better ideas
Post a comment
You must be signed in to post to Ready for Ten.
Haven’t registered? It’s really quick and simple.