Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Goats of Christmas Present

When it comes to Christmas shopping, there's nothing worse than asking friends and family what they want and getting the reply 'oh, nothing. Don't worry about me!' It's the sort of thing people say without really considering the impact because they think it will make life easier for you. In reality, it actually means more effort as you struggle to think of a suitable gift. After all, how would they feel if you really DIDN'T bother? I'll admit there's been plenty of times I've been tempted to find out.

When I was healthy, I would spend my time traipsing miserably through the meleĆ©, aimlessly wandering into shops in the hope of finding the perfect gift. For obvious reason, that is no longer an option. The Internet isn't much more helpful - hours spent trawling website to see the same selection of 'humourous' overpriced tat is wearing on even the brightest of brains. Again, for obvious reasons, my poorly brain can't handle the strain of online browsing for very long. 

So to all those who think they are doing me a favour by saying 'don't get me anything', I would like to declare the following:

I know you THINK you are being thoughtful and nice, saving me the effort of shopping for you, but you are wrong. There's no way on earth that I would not get you anything at all. As someone I deem worthy of a gift, I actively WANT to get you something, no matter how small. And because I care about you, I would actually like to get you something you actually want! Funds are limited, my time and energy are severely limited. How nice it would be for you to just tell me exactly what to get you!

All this pretence of not wanting any bother really gets my goat. So much so that, thanks to a brilliant (if flippant) suggestion on Twitter, I have come up with the perfect solution.........

I asked my followers for ideas and jokingly, one of them replied 'a goat!' So that's what I've done. Not a REAL goat, obviously! I'm not completely crackers..... yet. I simply went to the Oxfam Unwrapped website and ordered some goats to be sent out to families in other countries where a goat really does make a difference to their daily lives. You get to choose a card design and enter in a personalised message so that there is still something to open on Christmas morning, as well as the warm fuzzy glow of knowing you are doing something lovely to help people you have never met have a better life (and a goat.) For last-minute shoppers, you can even send your chosen item as an e-card. The best news is that at the time of writing this, goats are half price! That means you can buy twice the amount of goats for that special someone!

The perfect gift for those stubborn goats who refuse to tell you what they want.

Personally, I think this is a great solution to my problem. I'm not so sure the recipients will be so enthused but then it's better than nothing, right? I'm hoping that after a few Christmases of this, they might get the message and actually tell me what to buy them. Until then, they'll keep on getting my goat!

You can buy your own goat, as well as many other great gifts to help those less fortunate, at Oxfam Unwrapped. Other charities may offer similar services.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Enfantillages (these childish things)

I may be pushing 40 but since I have become chronically ill I have found myself regressing into childhood somewhat. An example of this is the reappearance of cuddly toys.

I've always kept a couple of choice favourites from my childhood. They have spent many years growing dusty on a shelf however spending many a bleak night in pain and unable to sleep has meant I have brushed off the dust as what better way to deal with Painsomnia than by cuddling a furry friend?

So dear old Shiny has become my saviour yet again. Years of cuddling has given him his curved posture and the fact he looks as miserable as I feel on these nights makes me feel even more comforted. It's as if Shiny knows my pain and cuddling him close has been a great comfort to me despite the fact I'm supposedly a grown-up.

Me and Shiny on a pain day.

In fact, Shiny has become such a comfort to me when the pain is high and morale is low that the unthinkable is happening. Shiny is beginning to wear out. There's a small hole developing in one of his seams - nothing major and perfectly fixable but he is also starting to get floppy. All my life I have had Shiny by my side. He has always been a lovely firm chunk of fur to hug in times of need but now his arms and legs are getting a little loose. I cannot let Shiny deteriorate - he has been too much of a faithful friend to suffer like this. I have had to face facts that Shiny has to retire! 

Luckily, I have some amazing friends who like to surprise me from time to time with gifts to brighten up my day. Last week I was fortunate enough to receive a parcel that helped to solve this problem. Meet Bunbury, sent to me by the lovely (and naughty) Helen. It's early days but I can already tell that Bunbury is going to be as naughty as the lady who sent him but I'll tell you more about that another time......... 

It was love at first cuddle!