This year, the year I/we lost our minds, has been a real re-set. And not necessarily in a good way. It has hastened the falling of the scales from my eyes in terms of consumerism in that I see now, very clearly, that none of it will help. When the shit really hits the fan who cares if you’ve got a Celine bag?
All I want for Christmas? NO PANDEMIC.
So I’m not in a good place to write about what you ought to request for Christmas, but oftentimes the way I’m feeling is the way you’re feeling and perhaps we can muddle through this together.
Perhaps it’s the lack of certainty that’s such a buzzkill. To that end, it has occurred to me that it might be a super idea to ask for gift cards. In years gone by if I had been handed a gift card I would have handed it straight back with a Princess Margaret face on. There’s something about the miserable £5.40 leftover from anything you buy, or the necessary £10 top-up to get the thing you want that strikes me as unfestive. But this year … I don’t know, this year has got “gift card” written all over it.
I, personally, am pretty sure I will be asking for a Trinny London gift card . The more I know about this brand the more I think it’s the one for me. They’ve just got me where I live with the compelling practicality of their unscrewable stack of product, plus all their products are so great. I don’t need to tell you – you’re already big fans.
And then of course there is the one and only Net a Porter – a gift card for NAP now strikes me as an incredibly good idea. The absolute thing that you want often comes to you at a strange moment and how wonderful then to be able to dial it up on NAP and treat yourself to their Premier delivery service where a lovely man arrives with your stuff the next day. More pertinent is that you can use your gift card at a time when things are more certain, when there might be a party to go to, a holiday to plan for, or someone to actually see your new Roxanne Assoulin alphabet bracelets.
If you’ve got something against Net A Porter, there is also the indomitable Selfridges, whose online service is getting much better, (it used to be awful, taking weeks to arrive and a real faff to return), and there really is everything you could want there that isn’t offered by NAP.
Of course, getting only a gift card is a bit meh, no matter how much is loaded onto it, so alongside this, your “big” present, your husband/wife/other ought to also be getting you a small clutch of stocking-filler type things to represent, in cash terms, how much they appreciate all that fucking cooking you did in lockdown.
1 Hay’You Beauty restorer. My friend MC who knows about these things says that this works and she lives to call bullshit on stuff. I know when I use my cut-price rose-quartz face roller it does something.
2 Cashmere socks, obviously. What’s better than a fresh pair?
3 A trinket from Margot & Mila. I am such a big fan of Lucy, who runs this small brand from Somerset. She’s an actual person and is very open to – and likes – bespoke commissions, (possibly not do-able in time for Christmas but bear her in mind in the future), and otherwise sells simple, well-crafted and unusual pieces. She has designed and made all sorts of signifiant things for Spikers this year with grace and charm and that counts for an awful lot. I particularly like these at the moment. Because Lucy is so great she is offering a 15% discount to Spikers on any full-price product, just enter DEARHUSBAND15 at checkout.
4 Olverum. This stuff is CHRISTMAS. We are huge, huge fans in our house and a single, small bottle will last absolutely ages, you only need a tiny drop in your bath to fill the house with the most glorious scent of zesty eucalyptus, pine and I’m sure loads of other wonderful stuff. Like Badedas but a billion times better.
5 I am really into discovery sets – little testers of bigger products and brands are really wise now that this is a great idea to suck people in. I like this Sarah Chapman one from CultBeauty, but Net a Porter also have a range, just type in “discovery” and all sorts of things pop up that will make you stop and go “oooo”.
6 A good book. I normally scream and claw the furniture when anyone mentions giving books as a gift (I CAN BUY THEM MYSELF THANK YOU, FUCK YOU) but alongside other thoughtful (i.e. expensive) gifts, books are very Christmassy. I recommend if you haven’t already read:
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – not new but by gum it’s really terrific
- One Two Three Four by Craig Brown – I couldn’t care less about The Beatles but Craig Brown makes everything funny and interesting
7 Babyliss large barrel curling tong – the best hair tool for creating waves, ever – and I’ve tried them all. Whenever I do my hair with this, actual rays of celestial joy radiate from my head: FACT.
Oh no wait, having said I can’t think what big gift to ask for, I’ve now just remembered that you probably do definitely need a pair of AirPods Pro, and a Dyson hairdryer (I’m afraid I believe the hype).
How about you? What are you asking for this year, other than a successful roll-out of the vaccine?