Yeah, Shpongle’s still in the ‘pipeline’ but in the meantime here’s a quick post about my least favourite yet most moaned about subject…

* * * *


I know, right? I moan and complain about it so much that you’d think I secretly have a soft spot for it, but I don’t. If what I’ve seen on TV is true, the festive season is already gearing up to full speed despite still being quite a long way away. However, this year, I have a plan! In an ideal world I’d completely blank xmas, but there is still a certain obligation to go along with it for the sake of form amongst family and friends. The plan is to reluctantly acknowledge xmas without handing over an undue amount of my hard-earned money to the businesses who are so enthusiastically telling me that I should do the exact opposite.

This year, everyone who I buy a gift for will be getting a book. That’s all, nothing more, nothing less, just a book. Obviously it will be a different book depending on the recipient, but there will be no token gifts, no gifts for the sake of giving gifts and no sense that some gifts are more significant than others. I like books, as I recently mentioned, and a good book can provide a great many hours of pleasure, so I think it’s something that makes a wonderful gift.

In return, I’m asking everyone who feels under some obligation to buy me a gift to get me a book, nothing more, nothing less, and even more obviously not all the same one, as that would just be silly, but just a book. A decent selection of literature or some interesting factual books will keep me occupied and stimulated for several months, what more could I ask for?

By doing this, I’m hopeful that all parties will receive something that required a little thought but will provide a lot of satisfaction without costing an unnecessary amount of money and without having to ‘play the game’ of xmas. I’ve already discussed the idea with family and some of my friends, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, which suggests that we’re all a bunch of humbug types, which is true! None of us are xians, though none of us are so churlish that we can totally ignore the all-pervasive ‘spirit’ of the festive season, so this feels like the ideal compromise. If it works well, I could imagine it becoming a blueprint for every year, which would be great.

Last year, I bought a friend’s daughter a pop-up version of The Wizard Of Oz, and so enamoured of it was she that she asked for a copy of the original story, not only wanting to read more, but also to preserve the fragility of the pop-up edition. If that’s not enough to prove the positive power of books, I don’t know what is…

* * * *

Yes, and despite my humbuggedness, I’m still working on a xmas card design this year, for the 26th year in a row, but I think I’m going to be particularly pleased with this year’s intriguingly multicultural edition, and if it works out as well as I hope, I’ll be posting it on here with suitably muted season’s greetings as well as making some hard copies to send out to my nearest and dearest. I can’t be too grumpy, can I? 😉

Next time, probably Shpongle, but not necessarily. It’s not possible to expect the unexpected…

Until then… ses x