Virtually there - December 09
Do you know what I really love about Christmas? I love cheesy Xmas songs, streaming non-stop from XmasMelody.com
. I love plastering the kitchen and the children with icing sugar and lollies in pursuit of the perfect little gingerbread house
. I love making fudge to bestow on all and sundry. (Important aside: after decades of taste tests I can confirm there is none better than Jo Seagarís Fabulous Fudge
, and if you make it everyone will love you forever.)
I love decorating the tree. I love planning a menu for Christmas Day Ė this year Iím inspired by Nigellaís gravlax and party poussins at the BBCís Christmas food site. This site also has a very handy calculator that lets you work out how much turkey and ham youíre going to need to get you through till everyone goes home, but I digress. I love hearing the Salvation Army band playing on the corner (donate right now, because they need it). I love collecting tiny treats and knick-knacks to put in a home-made advent calendar. But what I really love is buying presents.
And not just any old presents. In my philosophy of festive gift giving, little grasshopper, presents donít have to be expensive or better than anyone elseís, but they do have to show thought. Appropriateness maybe. Or just be enough to make everyone laugh. With laughter in mind, and practicality too, Iíve bought Ladybag pocket urinals and Shewee stand-up urination devices for all my girlfriends. You may snigger, but I think theyíll prove very handy.
Handy too is the Talking Wireless BBQ/Oven Thermometer. Simply programme in the type of meat and preferred doneness level (is doneness a word?), stick in the probe and wander off with the pager. The gadget can say ďItís nearly doneĒ in five languages from 100m away (and surely the TV is less than 100m away from the grill in your house). Itís not cheap, but the lucky recipient will be the envy of the impromptu BBQ and Beer Drinkers Association that lurks around your pool on summer evenings when thereís no cricket on Sky.
Iím customising this Christmas as well. Lego lets you custom-design a Lego kit for your favorite Lego fiend. MyPrint.co.nz lets you personalise T-shirts with your own uploaded photos and slogans. And, if T-shirts arenít the garment of choice, there is no grandparent in the whole wide universe who wouldnít like an apron emblazoned with a photo of them baking with their mokopuna.
Have you seen the new iPod Shuffle? The 2GB version is smaller than a stick of gum, holds 500 songs, comes in a range of fashion colours and is as cute as a bugís ear. Buy one from the Apple store for $99, with free shipping and free engraved name or message, and fill it with your loved oneís favourite songs via iTunes.
And donít forget to add the most sentimental Christmas song ever Ė Bing Crosby singing The Littlest Angel. Now I know thereís a lot of competition in the saccharine seasonal song category, but I defy even the most bah humbug among you to remain unmoved by this one. Every time I hear it I am simultaneously nauseated by the trite tale and unable to stop weeping. If you want to see a grown woman cry just play this in my hearing. In my defence, I also cry during childrenís charity infomercials, weddings, preschool nativity plays and the sad bits in Disney animated movies. And when people unwrap their presents and it turns out to be just the right thing. I really do love Christmas.
Story: Kim Rutter