As I’m writing this my Christmas spirit is a tad frazzled. You see, with only one day till D-Day…believe it or not I have not yet finished my gift shopping. I have a handful of people to go and these happen to be the most difficult handful. Hint; they are all men.
Without wishing to sound sexist (but not quite worrying if I do) I really find men a hell of a lot more difficult to shop for. With women you have a pretty smooth ride. If I like it, there is a very good chance that “she” likes it too. It could be perfume, clothes, makeup, jewellery or whatever; the options for the ladies are pretty much endless. Could it be because we’re not so fussy and because we are actually happy, as that cliché would have it, with the thought that went behind the gift? Well, much as I would like to go by this explanation, if I’m honest I’ll have to admit that this isn’t likely to be the reason. It’s more that women love (need?) a wide variety of material stuff to make them happy. Which means that the pool of possibilities when buying gifts for a lass is only as limited as her vanity. Which is to say, it’s not limited at all.
Yes, we are vain creatures. Not that men aren’t. It’s just more difficult to gauge their frame of mind. Are they in casual jeans and sneakers mode? If yes, they would definitely love that branded polo shirt wouldn’t they? But perhaps they’ve just gone off that casual mode and are all pretending to be super sophisticated now, with nothing but blazers and shirts making the grade. In that case, your polo shirt will go straight into the bin. The problem with gift-buying for men is that there are no grey areas. Whatever you choose, you will either be spot on and they will love it forever or they will hate it on sight and it will never see the light of day. Quite a tricky one, as you can see.
I do have a few go-to solutions that I’ve perfected over the years, of course. This being Christmas and the season of goodwill, I’ll spill one of my secrets. I have yet to meet a man who doesn’t appreciate a good bottle of booze. The choice of booze depends on the age bracket: Scotch for the older gent, vodka for the party-goer and a good gin (I suggest Bombay Sapphire and I’m not being paid to write this) for those with good taste like me. If the men you’re buying for are teetotallers then they are not really men and your problem does not exist.
Hopefully by now you will find this advice a tad useless because you’re already sorted. Which is not to say that everything’s a smooth ride. In typical sod’s law, this being Christmas eve you can expect either (or all) of the following things to happen:
- You receive a Christmas card from someone to whom you forgot to send one. By now it’s obviously too late to rectify matters. The only solution is to SMS your best wishes, adding that you didn’t send out any cards this year. If you want to be mean add that you can’t justify the destruction of all those trees.
- You get invited to someone’s place at the eleventh hour and you have no suitable gift handy. Just drop in at your nearest sweet shop – a box of something Belgian will always do the trick.
- You run out of wrapping. Now this has happened to me more times than I care to remember. The only solution is to use newspaper and string and pretend that you’re oh-so-creative. If you don’t even have newspapers at home, then you’re well and truly busted.
Whichever it is from the above, don’t allow yourselves to get too stressed out. It’s Christmas time and you deserve to relax and to be at peace with family and friends. May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas
This post appeared on The TV Guide (The Times of Malta).