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10 December 2009

Decemberish Déjà Vu

December always feels so repetitive. This time last year, Papa sent me on a mission improbable: finding six presents for six women I've never met (or haven't seen since I was five and "helping" them answer phones and create mood boards) for around £15 in 50 minutes. It was quite tough but I rose to the challenge, the gifts falling into the general categories of: girly book, classy beauty product (times two); pretty stationery; and chic homeware (times two). 

This year, the challenge remains the same. Well, there was one fewer gift to buy and he's obviously feeling the credit crunch as he set the price limit to £10-15 per person (which, in practice, doesn't make too much difference). Of course, there is the added difficulty that given that most of the people receiving the presents will have also got a "Happy Christmas from the boss" gift from me Papa last year, I had to make sure I wasn't being too repetitive. As before, though, the gifts needed to be appropriate for a gifts for a boss to give his admin girls: nothing sexy, no insinuating anyone was fat and/or an alcoholic and/or a slapper, etc. Jewellery and clothing are also a bad idea if you don't know the recipient's taste and style.

I was, however, less tired than last year and as it's a week earlier, the Selfridges crowds were only slightly horrific and as such, I completed the mission in under 40 minutes, which beats last year by five minutes and I even had a few extra ideas that didn't make the final cut (I spent the first 20 minutes taking photos of the possible gifts on my iPhone and then once I'd reached eight ideas, I picked my favourites and went back to buy them all). The winners were: Perfumes: The A to Z Guide (£12.99), Bliss blood orange and white pepper soapy suds (£15), an Ordning & Reda red, jersey clutch bag (£15.50), a Rococo "mixed clutch" gift box (£13.99) and a cuddly toy! No, just kidding; the last gift was a colourful, Scandinavian mug (£14.50, although it has value added because it comes in a smart, black Selfridges box).

I even found three ideas for my own Secret Santa recipient, which had an annoyingly low budget of £5, but I'm not revealing what I chose, just in case! I should really find out how much Papa would have expected to pay if he had contracted the gift choosing and buying. Not because I would charge my father to do his Christmas shopping for him but because next year, perhaps I should pimp my Christmas gift services. I may have a nervous breakdown from too much proximity to Oxford Street in the month of December but I would at least be rich and mad!

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