Things to ask for. Things to get them. Things to fantasise about.
We've included THINGS and memories/experiences you can treasure over THINGS and some silly ones here and there.
On a serious note, Christmas can be an emotionally loaded time. For some, it can be a wonderful and exciting time of year. For others, not so much. So we'd like to emphasise that having these things/being able to afford these things doesn't mean anything and Christmas certainly doesn't need to be about spending lots of money.
If you're finding this time of year difficult because of other personal reasons, try not to feel bad for not "feeling chrismassy", that's okay; take care of yourself the best way you know how.
Onwards! There are 5 sections:
- Fantasy Presents
- Memories Not Stuff
- Quality Trinkets
- For Her
- Food & Drink
Part 1. FANTASY
Can Someone Give Me This Please (along with a hamper of cheese and a holiday amongst trees? Thanks)
Ok, so this is really really fantasy. It’s so chunky! I love chunk. Polestar was Volvo’s electric programme, that they’ve made a standalone now. My god they’re my cup of tea.
If you would kindly buy a few (lot) more jackets I could baz about in one of these. I’d even keep it clean, unlike my current hunk of boring junk. Plus, electric! Yea!
Because We Both Know You're Really Into Jackets & If You're Into Jackets, You're Into This
I can’t not mention our most wanted jacket, which has become an icon for us. I’m so proud of it. But don’t trust me, read the reviews.
Or just imagine those shiny fireman’s clasps click clacking away as you open and close it obsessively… Mmm, click clack....
Escape. Freedom. Grilled Meats. Sausage For Breakfast. Culture. Mountains. Etc.
I’m a fairly ‘serious’ cyclist. But I don’t take my cycling seriously. I don’t measure watts, or calories. I have no computers. I ride for pleasure. The ultimate pleasure is riding across a beautiful country, at leisure.
I have many fantasy touring trips I hope to tick off my bucket list: Japan, Catalonia, Canada, Norway, Korea… This one is easy and accessible - Riding across Germany, with all it’s beauty, reliability and amazing cycle network.
You can stop off for kaffee und kuchen anywhere you like, stuff your face with tender meats, stare at the incredible forest canopies. I miss Germany. Actually, I miss going anywhere really!
Part 2. MEMORIES INSTEAD OF THINGS
Things are transient. Memories stick. Emmalou gets me things to do these days, rather than items. They have a lifetime of value, as skills & memories.
A Cookery Course
Noya’s Kitchen / Any Chef’s Course
I adore Vietnamese food. It was the one thing I missed, having left London (though I do still get Korean food pangs). When the bonkers charismatic Noya opened up her restaurant in Bath, I could have cried.
Emmalou has bought me a number of her personal cookery courses, which I apply regularly at home. Get cooking, learn knife skills, fillet a fish! Grab a course near you.
Get Into Nature
Many of my greatest memories are centred around experiences with wild animals around the world. Badgers, eagles, elephants, whales… This year we went dolphin spotting off Jersey on a high speed rib. It was awesome. I feel such calm on the sea, around animals, in nature.
I return to these moments in times of stress. Floating. We went with Jersey Seafaris, who were freakin' awesome.
Here's me & Millar on my 48th birthday. I thought I’d fall off constantly. To my amazement it was far more fun & relaxing than I expected. I fell in once. I’ve never seen my 8 year old son more chilled. He didn’t bat an eyelid. Never fell in.
Push your/their comfort zone. Do it. You'll get wet. Wet is fun. Especially when its 27c (see above, ahem).
Part 3. HIGH QUALITY TRINKETS FOR HIM
Something They'll Use For Absolutely Yonks
Finest local reared and tanned butt leather (the best for belts, and not cheap) with a chunky stainless steel clasp, with chunky Chicago Bolts. Nothing fancy-looking or over-adorned, just a very very (very) good, simple belt you can pair with anything, for…ever?
Something To Stick In Your Little Workshirt Pen Pocket
Beautiful pens - modernised classics. I met the founder Chris at a talk we were both giving, once, and was hugely impressed.
And you can stick one in the chest pen pocket of your Workshirt! Shiny.
The He'll Wear It So Much You'll Have To Render Him Unconscious To Wash It Shirt
One of those rock solid purchases for a man. This is a denim shirt made far more comfortable, through cut & stretch.
It even has hand pockets. I live in mine. I'm in one as I write this, damn it.
A Proper Scarf, Not A Meh Scarf
Cashmere - the best. A practical accessory that can be used for many years, whether for work or hiking.
Go for bright as a statement, or grey to go with anything.
Part 4. FOR HER
It's not all about blokes' stuff on here. You need help, admit it. Hell, I need help. I'm terrified of getting it wrong. Present buying, arghh! So terrifying, I only came up with two options. Bloody hell. But they're rock solid!
Quirky Yet Risk Free
Clouds! Fun stuff! Colour! Exclamation marks! Fun but adult jewellery that isn’t as intimidating or expensive to choose as valuables.
Different, but not too different. Emmalou swears by them. Which is why I buy, and she actually wears, a gazillion of them.
Yes But Seriously, This Is The Best One
The greatest present, because it’s often the hardest resource to get hold of, is time. Give her a break, literally.
Take the kids for the weekend. Send her to a wee AirBnB in the hills. Book her a night off with an old friend. These are the things that count.
FYI, I've been a househusband. This applies equally to knackered male child rearers as female, of course!
Part 5. THINGS TO PUT IN YOUR FACEBeer Without The Brain Wobbles
Lucky Saint are a staple in our house. So when we found out about their interest in improving mental health, like us, we loved them more. They brew specifically for alcohol free taste, which shows.
Booze is a depressant - I’m not teetotal, but with a beer like this, I’m near as damn it. You can the psychological relaxation cues, without the woozy tiredness and ‘down’ of alcohol. Yes please.
Posh Present, Low Fear
When in doubt, HAMPER! They look dead posh, have lots of exciting new things in, and you can spend what you want. I love hampers. Get a hamper.
I rate Harvey Nichols as the best for range, ease of delivery & presentation. (FYI, nobody ever gets me a hamper. I want a hamper).
Herbal Tea For Manly Men (though quite why what you drink reflects on your masculinity, I do not know, but heh, social mores)
The best easily available herbal tea (yep, I’m really into not drinking at the moment, it's a huge life improver). I find other teas are too processed and make me gag.
Tea Pigs’s gear in very clean and natural. They’re a cut above. (Full disclosure, the founder happens to wear FRAHM).
I hope you enjoyed that, even if you don't click on anything. Lists are fun. They're little escapist fantasies. Maybe even something that'll actually happen... There's a thought...
*by "World Famous", we mean "not famous"