Regardless of what the grinches and naysayers might say, there’s only six and a half weeks to go, meaning the Christmas season is upon us. I’ve bought my cards, and started the shopping for the family. But there’s a Writer-shaped snag in my plans.
Because what the hell do you get for the man who has everything?
This isn’t just a Christmas phenomenon: I’m finding it increasingly difficult to shop for any presents for TW. The most successful gift I’ve bought him was for his birthday some three weeks after we met. He’d lost his wallet a week before our first date, and was storing cash in his travel card wallet, which I noticed in the bar (and then, er, the taxi back to his, and, er, when he bought coffee and papers on the Sunday morning. Am hussy). That was easy: the solution was obviously to buy him a nice, new wallet. So off I trotted to Aspinal on Brook Street and had the project done, dusted and gift-wrapped inside half an hour.
But it’s not been quite so easy since.
Last Christmas’ noise-cancelling headphones and book of Christopher Hitchens’ essays seemed to go down quite well. But the birthday J Crew trench coat was a disaster in being far too small, and then not exchangeable because the bigger sizes had all sold out; and the anniversary tie bar – despite my best efforts in trying it against ties in Selfridges – turned out to be far too wide for TW’s narrow ties.
Which leaves me in a pickle as I now have utter paralysis when it comes to his Christmas present.
Clothes are out because shopping for someone who’s the height of your average professional basketball player is essentially impossible. That, and I’m terrified I’ll get it wrong. He knows FAR more about that sort of thing than I do.
Book, game and DVD reviews are part of his job, so he’s sent preview copies of pretty much everything he could want before they hit the shelves anyway. He has an iPad, on which he subscribes to every magazine you’ve ever heard of, and several that you haven’t.
All easy and obvious options out of the window.
So imagine my glee when, over dinner one evening, TW mentioned that he had a meeting about his publication’s upcoming Christmas gift guide.
“Oh, excellent,” I said, seeing the obvious opportunity to find out precisely what it is he’s hankering after. “What are you going to suggest for inclusion?”
“I have no idea yet,” he said. “I don’t really know what I want.”
Well, that makes two people who have no idea what he’ll be getting for Christmas. And one person who will be studying that gift guide closely when it emerges.