Early Christmas Gifts For Yourself

Christopher Fowler
A1g02-w81DL._SL1500_ The nature of present-giving at Christmas is changing. My friends are moving out of London. Quite a few of us now go away for the extended break. The purchase and delivery of gifts is now almost an ordeal. My brother has a connection to a farm but doesn't live nearby, and one Christmas found our gift exchange involving the transfer of meat in a frozen car park. It was like something out of Fargo. Take children out of the equation and gift-giving suddenly seems pointless, so this year I may just give myself these; 1. I always spend a third of every summer evening attempting to relight outdoor candles when we've got friends over. Don't buy a church candle with a fake light in it, try this neat little thing (above). It's a cork with an LED that floodlights your bottle while you're drinking, and it can be recharged from any computer. A tenner online, less in shops. Unknown 2. Buy them a book! Watch their faces sink as they realise you're going to try and make them read! Especially if you've bought them JJ Abrams' novel 'S', possibly the least readable novel ever assembled! My last two superb reads have been the debut novel 'A Bright Moon For Fools' by Jasper Gibson, about a Falstaffian rogue on the run in Venezuela, and 'Alone in Berlin', about a house coping with Gestapo intrusion, by Hans Fallada. The paperbacks are prettier than the e-editions, but harder to hold; 'Alone in Berlin' is over 600 pages. 3. It's on trend but that shouldn't automatically mean you don't want one - a selfie-stick (or Monopod). They're awkward to carry around but dammit, you'll find yourself using it more than you ever meant to, and really it's no less valid as a photographic tool than a tripod. Make sure you get an extendable one. 4. Gloves - ah, but not just any gloves. The latest come with conductive threads woven into them so that you can use your touch-screen devices without taking the gloves off - keep surfing, stay warm - what's not to love? 625x465_1568661_1982205_1389785063 5. These lights have been mathematically designed to throw perfect shapes. Check out the Shapeways site for many more designs, some of which are stunning, and prices are low. Shapeways is also selling all sorts of 3D printed stuff, including a tiny, tiny sad Keanu Reeves you can take anywhere! 625x465_364717_144315_1390531903


Helen Martin (not verified) Fri, 31/10/2014 - 19:22

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Have Keanu Reeves join the fuzzy green plane, the fuzzy yellow bee and the fuzzy black (?) with the white stetson (and where is my fuzzy black lamb?) on my computer screen to give him something to be sad about.
Hallowe'en note: a scary place advertised here is the Judge Dee adventure in the Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden. Warning: do not bring your children. Almost tempted to go but it's going to be damp and we're expecting trick or treaters.
I do like those shape casting lights.

Charles (not verified) Fri, 31/10/2014 - 19:56

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

4: This is one reason why I love my BlackBerry. No need to take off my gloves.

5.1: Wow, that light is neat!

5.2: As a part-time cleaner of an office building, let me tell you now that little trinkets like this drive us cleaners nuts. Dust settles quickly and we're expected to remove it–or else! This means dusting around dozens of little trinkets that all the office staff insist on keeping on and around their desks and computers/monitors, without knocking them over. My genius answer to this: a can of compressed air (works like a charm, unless there's paper around).

Vivienne (not verified) Sat, 01/11/2014 - 13:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have a theory that people give presents that they like themselves. If you can remember what someone gave you last year, it sort of helps the choosing process. But just giving to yourself is certainly simpler. I love those corks, I think quite a lot of people might get them from me - which goes to prove my theory.