Sunday, 9 December 2012

Socks of astonishment, the unwisdom of buying...

Right, so it's time for the annual 'Christmas Shopping' post.  My apologies in advance if I get a bit ranty and sweary, you may prefer to view this blog through a copy of 'Miffy By the Sea' or something similiarly innocent, so that your eyeballs remain untainted by the foulness both of language and smell that is bound to issue forth from this blog.

WHY ARE MEN SO BLOODY HARD TO BUY PRESENTS FOR?

There, that's got the first bit of swearitude out of the way.  I should, of course, make it plain that I'm not talking about ALL men here.  Well, obviously not, I don't have to buy presents for all men.  I'm sure there's quite a few that I haven't even met yet, and buying presents for men is hard enough without having to buy for men whose names you don't even know, let alone whether or not they have any interest in bar-billiards or possess a golf handicap.  Moonpig probably wouldn't let you send a card that just said 'Happy Christmas MAN', unless you were, like, a misplaced hippie or something. But anyway.  Men.  Difficult to buy for.  Unless they have a particular hobby, like golf or football or drinking, or are sufficiently metrosexual to be happy with lots of smellies and bath stuff.  I once gave my younger son the Christmas gift of socks, to which his reply was 'How old do you think I am?' (he was about 16, actually, but everyone needs socks, right?  I mean, the younger you are, the more socks you get through...).  So, lesson learned.  No socks.

So, I sit and stare at Amazon, and Amazon stares back, and I flick through DVD's and games and books and things, and realise that I have no idea what to buy, and then flick back to the socks page, because everyone needs socks, and I'm running out of ideas and it's nearly Christmas Eve, and then panic sets in and I find myself in the middle of Marks and Spencer with a basket full of cardigans and cheese, drawn inexplicably towards the sock department as though I'm some sort of attractive metal and socks are magnetic.

With girls, it's so much easier.  Smellies are always welcome, as are nick-nack-type things, jewellery, stationery, hell, they even quite like socks.  But you try giving a man a bunch of nick-nacks and some earrings and see what happens!  And yet, I draw the line at sitting them down for a pre-Christmas chat that includes the words 'tell me what you want for Christmas, and tell me explicitly, with drawings and, prefererably, a link to the page on Amazon, or the actual shop where I can purchase these things'.  Because that just takes all the fun and surprise out of Christmas, don't you think?  And the fun of Christmas is to be surprising, and buy the people in your life goodies that they don't know that they want until they receive them, when they are astonished and delighted.

And I do have to admit that socks are not all that astonishing.

The men might have a point.
Socks are probably the male equivalent of the mini-hoover or the stair carpet - things we women are aware are useful, and, at times, necessary, but they are not the sort of thing we want to find gift-wrapped at the end of the bed on Christmas morning.

HELP.....

7 comments:

kate johnson said...

Oh, I dunno. I love getting socks. With Demon Puppy around I get through quite a few of them.

My mum did once ask for a new frying pan. I drew the line there.

Jane Lovering said...

I do not dispute the value of socks. I, myself, have asked for walking socks for Christmas. I'd just like to be able to think of something else for the men in my life... Why don't men like diamonds? WHY?
Not that I can afford diamonds but it's the principle of the thing.

Ranae Rose said...

Christmas shopping for the men in my life is easy - there's no man in my family who wouldn't be delighted to receive a bottle of whiskey. That's not *all* I give for gifts, but it's always there as a good fallback.

Also, my husband *really* loves to receive socks. Really. LOL

Chris Stovell said...

Give them all signed copies of your books, Jane. Sorted. You could also have some fetching postcards made up for the Corset-Googlers of your most recent signings. And pants... give them pants.

Flowerpot said...

I know I find the same thing. This year it's stuff for the boat though... tricky if he doesnt have a boat.

D.J. Kirkby said...

"Merry Christmas MAN"! *falls about laughing* I quite like getting socks, fluffy ones. And perfume, bath stuff and so on. Just thought I'd mention it in case you haven't quite got round to shopping for my gift yet...

Jane Lovering said...

Thank you for the tips, everyone. Whisky, pants and stuff for a boat we don't have - I shall bear it all in mind. And DJ, be very careful, my gift-giving past contains a large, and inappropriate, flannel.