I’m sure you have all been in the following situation; a gift giving occasion is rapidly approaching. You’re racking your brains for what to get your family/friends but keep drawing a blank. You ask them if there is anything they want and they look back at you with vacant expressions stating that they haven’t really thought about it. Not very helpful.
I’ve stopped asking my Dad what he wants because the answer is always, without fail, pyjamas. The only possible reason I can think of for this is that there is a pyjama thief at large in Gloucestershire, as no human can organically plough through as many as he has been gifted over the years.
Panic starts to creep in as the occasion draws nearer. You aimlessly trawl through page after page of internet results without the first idea of what you’re looking for. To your horror you realise you have been looking at YouTube videos of baby monkeys riding on the back of pigs for an hour.
As the panic reaches fever pitch you dash into town, gambolling from shop to shop like a deer in the headlights, until you end up buying a set of stick-on moustaches and a knitted phone cover to bestow upon the hopeful recipient.
You dread the moment when the present opening ceremony begins. The anticipation and excitement on their faces is unbearable. They open the rubbish you’ve wrapped up and had the audacity to call a present and, crestfallen, sympathetically feign enthusiasm for your gift, making you all the more ashamed that you haven’t produced something more thoughtful for them.
I have been in this exact position more times than I care to remember, the mortification of which will stay with me forever. I have therefore taken a vow to only ever give personalised, meaningful presents that will bring a genuine smile to the faces of my loved ones as opposed to one that has taken years of bad presents and practise to perfect.