Help! I thought I was completely organised, but as usual I’ve rifled through all the secret carrier bags stashed under the bed and realised I haven’t cracked Christmas at all.
But in a bid to make everything easy I hit on the idea of buying my extra presents from one shop. And where better than Blacks? The stores sell everything to do with the great outdoors – tents, camping equipment and waterproof clothes.
I’ve been a fan of Blacks since I bought my first pair of walking boots in their Keswick branch – more years ago than I care to remember. I’d just met my one-day-to-be husband and he’d invited me for a weekend in the Lake District. He met me at Penrith station and asked whether I’d brought walking gear with me. “Of course,” I replied jauntily. “I’ve got a pair of plimsolls in my bag.” He was horrified, of course, and insisted that we stopped off en route to buy a sturdy pair of walking boots. They were navy blue, blissfully comfortable and perfect for striding up Catbells. I still wear them to this day.
But back to my Christmas ideas. This is what I came up with. For my coffee-addict husband, a stainless steel mug he can fill with his favourite espresso. He can stick it in the car on long journeys and it will stay piping hot.
For my 21-year-old daughter, who’s studying in Paris this year, this brilliant red sleeping bag. As well as taking it to festivals next summer, it’s just the thing for friends arriving to stay for the weekend (me for one!)
For my 18-year-old son, this brilliant cash capsule. It’s a keyring with a capsule large enough to hold a £10 note – so perfect for emergencies.
And I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t resist this stylish Dad’s Army enamel mug for myself. During the frantic lead-up to Christmas, the message emblazoned across it is very apt. DON’T PANIC!
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