Is not, in my opinion, the cooking.
It's not the maintaining of an innocent appearance in the face of ruthless interrogation on the reality or otherwise of you know who.
No. It's men's presents in general, and B's present in particular.
It needs to be thoughtful and personal: chosen with real care to reflect how much I love him and how central he is to mine and the children's everything.
I've just ordered it. It is safe to say it is none of the above.
He reads this blog so I can't be specific (think of this as management of expectations) but suffice to say it's something we need and so
because I can't think of anything else I'm buying it now, essentially to save
having to spend money on it later.
How rubbish is that?
It's his fault, obviously. I'm pretty good at presents mostly, but my effort and imagination do, I admit, tend to prioritse birthdays over Christmas. B turned forty earlier this year, and if he hadn't selfishly done so I wouldn't have used up my store of fabulously well thought out presents already.
I did well then, with no false modesty: he got a pretty spectacular party, a weekend away with various bits to go with it, and two maps from thisismymap.com
Now, this isn't a sponsored post (I paid for the maps ages ago), and the lovely people who made them don't even know I'm writing it but the maps are just brilliant.
The pictures on here aren't actually of our ones because B has very gently pointed out that if I stick a whole bunch of personal information (as I did briefly this afternoon) including all our names and significant places online, it might not do much for what remains of my anonymity, but these are very like ours and I hope that Tracy, whose business it is, will forgive me for lifting them off her website. And that everyone else won't mind that I've changed this post slightly from the original version.
I designed them in conjunction with Tracy and they make me smile every time I see them. B loves maps, and we have maps dotted all round the house, but these are different: the one on the left not a map at all, it's a family tree, and the other, the one which looks, counter-intuitively like a tree (and which is what gave me the idea of the family tree above), is all of his favourite things interconnecting, from me and the children to bacon and egg muffins, from our first house to fine wine (it's more specific than that), and from sudoku to the Proclaimers.
They reflect him and us, and his family and friends and everything that is important in his life in two fabulously simple, information packed graphics and he, and I, are delighted with them. The children love them too, of course, because they're on both of them.
If I say it myself, I did well. Then. For now though, I'm just going to have to hope they're good enough to compensate for the new Christmas Hoover...
Ps: As I say, I've not been asked to write this (and it wasn't really the post I intended to write when I started out) but if you're struggling for a present idea, and can't find a good place for a weekend away (we went to the Lake District, it was fab) have a look at the site. I can promise you won't regret it.