Oh, God. It’s already December, and as usual, I’ve forgotten that Christmas isn’t just an orgy of vulgar and empty consumerism. It’s an orgy of vulgar and empty consumerism I have to make happen, by buying stuff. And I haven’t even started thinking about what I’m going to get my friends and family, let alone hammered the old Amazon one-click express.
Well, that’s not quite accurate. I know what I’m going to get them, and so do they. Books. It’s the only thing I know. Some people specialise in clothes (my friend Jess is able to spot a rare chic cardi from across a high-street mosh-pit like the Attenborough of H&M). Some specialise in homeware (my sister somehow knows I need a crêpe pan before I do). And some specialise in super-long silk-mix thermals (mum). I do books. I read all the reviews (in lieu of having time to read the actual books themselves) and I’m pretty good at matchmaking unexpected author-reader chemistry (oh the risky triumph when Claire met Dumas!), so I can usually come up with something a bit different to prod people out of their comfort zone.
But even such an apparently benign present category is socially fraught.