Heading over to the in-laws in the days after Christmas? Perhaps you’re invited to a soiree at the boss’ house. Or then again, maybe you dread the tap at the door that announces the arrival of uninvited guests.
The period between Christmas and New year is rich with awkward occasions for which you probably shouldn’t turn up empty handed. Here’s your guide to getting through Christmas visiting, with gifts guaranteed to please.
The unexpected guest
There’s always an unexpected guest. A son or daughter’s current squeeze, a friend of a friend, a colleague you hadn’t realised you’d invited. Don’t get caught without a standby gift ready-wrapped and within easy reach.
A woollen scarf in plaid or plain colour works best because it’s unisex and one size fits all. Now all you need to do is ask your other half: “Where did we put “Johnny’s” present?” And slip away upstairs to get it.
If you managed to get through Christmas without seeing your in-laws, it’s likely you’ll be making the journey before the New Year starts. Not only will a gift of new slippers for your mother and/or father-in-law show them you care, it could also save you the hassle of a trip to A&E. That’s because worn-out slippers and other inappropriate footwear cause falls, which cause broken bones, especially in the elderly.
Luckily here at Samuel Windsor we have just the thing for your partner’s father – a pair of luxury Churchill slippers. Named after the footwear of choice of the great man, Churchill never got out of bed until he’d breakfasted, dealt with paperwork, and read all the papers. Perhaps a pair for you too?
The boss’ house party
According to the Daily Mail, the fondue set is back with Lakeland claiming to have doubled, and John Lewis saying they’ve tripled sales of the cheese cauldrons. This time, apparently, the recipes are better, and of course now we have easy-clean wood floors rather than shag pile carpet.
Guaranteed to make a ‘bring and share’ party go with a swing, anyone who came of age during the 1970s will remember – with pleasure or perhaps pain, depending on whose tablecloth or carpet it was – dipping chunks of French bread into molten Cheddar or Edam, before trying to eat it without burning their mouth. But forget cheese – bring chocolate for melting and marshmallows for dipping, and your next promotion is assured.
The days of the huge family Christmas gathering are long gone, and you can’t remember the last time your siblings asked to drop in on Boxing Day to toast the season. Don’t do an Obama and respond to the gift of a special pen made from the timbers of a 19th century warship with a DVD collection that, owing to regional differences in technology, wouldn’t play on Gordon Brown’s machine. That’s not a very good way to maintain the “special relationship” between siblings.
Instead, we highly recommend you go for something luxurious, tasteful, and useful. Like a Nordic jumper which, like a Christmas jumper, is decorative and fun, but unlike a Christmas jumper, can be worn more than once a year.
Do you dread opening the front door to be confronted by long lost relatives who, having turned up unannounced, expect to be wined, dined and entertained? When it’s too late to hide, you’d better paint a broad smile on your face and welcome them inside.
Save the embarrassment of finding yourself unable to reciprocate their kind gift of out-of-date biscuits, by having a shell or two in your own armoury. Stock up on woollen scarves, luxury slippers and fondue sets and you’ll never be caught out unawares.
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