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Choosing a Christmas Gift for your loved one, by Jo Simms

Choosing a Christmas Gift for your loved one.

Struggling to find the right gift for your loved one, then Joanne Simms our new feature writer offers some sound advice to avoid disaster.

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Gentlemen, be warned, this is being written by a woman who was once given bags of gravel for Christmas.

It was frosty that Christmas and more so for himself, inside the house, than out in the garden.

Learn from this, guys. It IS the thought that counts, but the thought should also extend to the gift. If you are unsure you have bought the right thing, giving it thoughtfully can mean all the difference.

Meanwhile, back at the gravel: a little box from the jewellers with a silver garden trowel charm on a chain and a gift-card saying the gravel would be delivered would have made me swoon.

The greatest strategists will tell you that time spent in recognisance is never wasted so do you know her favourite perfume? Does she have one of the modern charm bracelets? Is there a theme to the charms? If you are stumped as to what to buy, get a voucher for her favourite store, hairdressers or beauty salon, but attach it to a bottle of her favourite drink. Better still, ‘double-gift’: here’s a salon voucher for you and I’m taking the kids off on an adventure so you can take your time, relax and pamper yourself. Better still arrange for someone else to take them and get her present together.

It’s not ‘Here’s some money go get those shoes you like.’ Instead: ‘I’m taking you to buy some shoes and we’ll have lunch along the way.’ You know that she knows that you hate shoe-shopping but that’s what’s made the present special.


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Ladies, you are not alone, that noise you can hear in the background is countless other women banging their heads off the wall trying to think of what to buy him for Christmas.

If he has a hobby then don’t grumble that it takes up so much of his time during the rest of the year because the chances are there is something he’ll want in the fishing rod, golf club, gym kit, model train or garage department. Why do you think all those sportsmen’s memoirs are published just before Christmas? So you can buy them, of course!

And if he is a foodie, then job done! Or, if he is flexing his culinary muscles, head down the gadget route. (We know that the same job can be done with a sharp knife in half the time and without as much washing up but he’ll be thrilled).

The adventure day/experience gift voucher is a great hit and if you can link-up with another family member or his best pal then that is two women who have just solved their present buying problems! But don’t just hand over the voucher – attach it to a bottle of his favourite malt, or something appropriate, like a pair of driving gloves if it’s a day driving fast sports cars.

If all else fails, go for the big kid inside him. I hold this truth to be self-evident: that no man, regardless of age, race, creed or sexual orientation does not want to own a Swiss Army penknife, a really neat torch or a stunt kite. Trust me.