I suppose it is because I have been in discussions with my family about Christmas plans, and have just ordered a goose for Christmas dinner, that my mind turned to present-buying. I am keen not to accumulate too many "things", ior to clutter other people up with them unnecessarily, but there are certain gift ideas that I do like. (These are things that I've enjoyed being given, and will occasionally ask for; I'm noting these rather than gifts I have given to others..)
-Consumables - luxurious food items are nice, including pickles, luxurious, though preferably small, chocolate items, mustards, homemade jam, honeycomb honey, Chinese tea. Homemade jams, truffles and so on are lovely to receive. These are the sort of things which I would not usually buy as part of my everyday shopping, but which it is good to have in stock.
-Toiletries - I know it is a cliched gift, but I really like to be given nice-smelling and beautifully packaged soaps, bath oils and lotions. I think that anything for the face or hair is best avoided, unless specifically asked for, as I think many people have their own preferences about such commonly-used items.
-Tights and socks - I sometimes ask for colourful, luxurious or patterned tights, or extra-soft socks. Sounds odd, but they are items which wear out quickly, so a supply of appealing replacements is always good to have.
-Padded coat hangers - although the plastic ones are serviceable - I have completely purged my wardrobe of the hateful wire ones- padded hangers are much better for jackets and dresses, and give a sense of order to the wardrobe.
-Small kitchen items - again, this may be strange, but I have enjoyed being given tea towels, pastel coloured washing up cloths, unusual washing-up brushes, colourful spatulas, and storage jars.
-Books - I am less keen to receive the latest paperbacks, as I am likely to borrow those I am interested in from the library, but it is always nice to receive: unusual books in a subject of interest, particularly if rather obscure, other books by an author I am keen on, and do not already own.
-A single large gift may be preferable to lots of smaller things; this year, my family are discussing buying one collective present for each member of the family, which they have chosen, or at least offered suggestions for, to simplify matters.
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