Christmas Presents

It is the season of goodwill to all people and many of us express our love by giving gifts. The gifts that I have had suggest that I am not only much loved, but those doing the gifting have given very thoughtful gifts that reflect who I am. Let me share some of those with you now.

Beer – This is a regular and reliable present from one of my brothers, four bottles of strong dark ale, cost around a fiver, the optimum cost of a present and far more useful than some of the presents I have had from him in the past.

Tee Shirt – We had our honeymoon in Havana, Cuba. I loved it despite, or perhaps because of the lack of retail opportunity, but did manage to come away with a Che Guevara T shirt which I have worn in and then out over the last 15 years but finally went to the great rag bag in the garage. The present was a new Che T shirt which I wear while I dream of a socialist utopia.

Socks – We have a wild creature that lives in the depths of the washing machine and eats the socks, but never a pair at a time, leaving always one odd sock. Often I wonder why we ware matching socks as in reality only we see or look at the socks that we are wearing. I am too mean to throw both socks away when one has a hole, so I discard one and put the other back in the system hoping that the wild thing will eat it rather than one of a pair.

Peanuts – Some of my presents are incoming household items that that only I consume, so by wrapping them I get a warm feeling that I have plenty of stocks of goodies and utilities.

Cable Ties – see above, although I feel that perhaps I have reached the optimum number of cable ties, being able to tie down our home in the event of hurricane winds. Suggest that we now move on to cross-head screws.

Torch – see above. It steadfastly hands in the utility room, next to the fuse boards, under the emergency lights that will come on if the power goes down.

Hand cream – another of the everyday items that protects my hands from the extremes of wind and rain, handling hard, dry logs, nets and kindling as I go about my daily work. Formulated for North Sea fisherfolk, we affectionately refer to it as ‘Fisherman’s Friend.’

Book on Social Enterprise – A thoughtful book from my dad which looks at case studies from around the world where folk have turned their attentions to looking for a better way to tackle social needs through working together and working smart for the common good rather than individual gain.

Coffee Table Book on Wood in Architecture – Again, a present from my dad that he picked up at the Sculpture Park up north. A thoughtful present, designed to inspire at what wonderful structures that can be made from wood.

New Internationalist Calendar from mum – a long standing family tradition, ever since we as a family returned from living in West Africa in the 70’s there has been a copy of the New Internationist magazine around and a copy of the calendar on the wall to remind us that we are all equal under the sun.

This Laptop – Often inspired to share my rambling thoughts on life and my experiences living on the Welsh Hillside but cannot actually get to the desktop computer as our ten-year-old daughter is checking out life in care through the eyes of the CBBC programme ‘Dumping Ground.’ Not sure if this is in preparation to running away or whether it gives her an inkling that not all are as fortunate as she is. Anyway, here I am on said laptop sharing my thoughts on Christmas presents.

A review of Christmas presents that I have received would not be complete without a nod to the presents that I myself gave. I am sorry to say that I have been hopeless with presents and that actually most of the Woodcutter’s Wife’s presents were in fact chosen by her, although I did manage to wrap them! Still it will be different next year as I will carefully choose presents over the course of the year, although I do remember saying that last year…….