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Home > Culture and Society

Ten gifts you will give today....

...because you have to buy something but which will be a source of negligable pleasure to the recipient.

25 December 2002

1) Wallace and Gromit socks

2) If you are a grandparent, an electronic present which is a poor substitute for what the kids actually wanted. E.g. a 9.95 'Kidz Komputer' from Woolworth's instead of a Playstation 2. Just watch granny's bemusement as the kids start crying when they realise that instead of Resident Evil, all they can play is a crude version of battleships rendered in grey blocks on a four-inch LCD screen.

3) An art-deco condiment set.

4) A set of banal goods dressed up as a festive present, eg. The Christmas Car Cleaning Set containing Turtlewax, a windscreen scraper, air freshener etc.

5) A basket of tiny soaps which are meant to represent various woodland fragrances but in fact just smell of soap.

6) For Mum, a gift that implies a life of domestic slavery, eg. apron, oven gloves, steam cleaner, Dyson vacuum cleaner, bread maker etc.

7) Any toy that is incompatible with a child's existing collection of related toys. For example, if a child already has a collection of five inch Star Wars figures, a superbly incompatible present is a twelve inch Anakin Skywalker doll that towers incongruously above the others.

8.) Any classic comedy video/DVD collection that leaves the recipient wondering what all the fuss was about, e.g. a boxed set of every episode of The Liver Birds

9) Something they need but is really boring, e.g. a book case.

10) For anyone who 'likes reading', a totally random choice of book, eg. The Satanic Verses, the latest forgettable Martin Amis novel, any 1,900-page tale of six generations of Chinese peasants, a biography of Elvis or a vastly inferior cash-in book based on a TV series, such as 'Christmas With Frasier and Niles'.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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