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The unwinnable battle of buying Christmas presents

Natalie Clark writes about buying those dreaded Christmas presents. How do you please everyone?

Christmas is close. It is coming. Literally just around the corner.

And have I bought any presents? A few. But I am nowhere near done. I keep putting it off and off. Not because of my dread of the hustling, bustling, stressed out crowds. Not because it is pretty chilly outside and the thought of a day on Oxford Street battling against rain, snow and perhaps a tad of shine is the last thing I want to do. Definitely not because I hate shopping, coz ‘caam on,’ I love shopping.

It is of the fear that whatever I buy for anyone else, will be a total, undeniable, epic fail!

However, I must point out here that my present buying skills aren’t too undesirable. Recently I read Lucy Mangan’s column in Stylist Magazine entitled: “Why Are Men so Difficult to Buy For?” While yes she does make some valid points about the general female not knowing enough about motorbikes or the navy, I find myself heavily disagreeing with her. Boys are easy. Boys I can handle. Being a girl, I find it near on impossible to buy gifts for other girls, and I am positive that there are other ladies out there who absolutely agree.

The chaos on Oxford Street around Christmas

An example. I know my mum better than let’s say a guy mate I met at university last year- obviously, I am her offspring. Yet I would be able with a great amount of ease to swan into a store and pick out a nice jumper, the latest FIFA or COD game or even a funny budget gift for said friend.

For my mother, approaching a department store in the quest for an acceptable present actually makes my stomach turn. Last birthday, she said she wanted a new denim skirt. Perfect, I thought I have been given half the battle on a plate, now just onwards into the Oxford Street jungle. I went into every store. I tried on every skirt that I could find that I thought would suit my mother – not too long, not too short, a great fit and a classic piece. YES, I FOUND YOU.

Come her birthday, she loved it. She put it on straightaway… haven’t seen that skirt since. I have an inkling that it is gathering dust in a Oxfam somewhere in North London.

You see my point?

Women are so much harder to please than our male counterparts, as much we don’t want to be. You can be told exactly what a lady wants, or know that particular girl better than you know yourself, and still get it so astronomically wrong. I myself am no easier, I am one of these women.

Some gifts I have received I know the other party was positive that this was the gift, the jackpot, the holy grail of presents. Yet on opening, I regret to say that I have thought, “Why this?” Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate every single thought, moment and penny that goes into whatever it is we receive. It’s just sometimes, I don’t know when I am going to wear a transparent leotard, or use that bubble bath when I only own a shower. 

So there is my dilemma. I have one day until Christmas arrives and the butterflies in my stomach are starting to feel like boulders. I still have no idea what to get, so if anybody has  any ideas, a head’s up would be the best Christmas present of all.

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