The festive season is here, with its little sparkle and the concurrent offloading of money out of your bank. Gulp.

And, as the shopping malls fill up with marauding bargain-hunters, and the kids are let loose from school, I’m starting to feel that all-too-familiar wobble of “what the hell do I get everyone?”

You see - buying gifts for my kid is easy. Shove a toy store catalogue in front of her, or open up our favourite online store’s website and let her loose on that wishlist functionality? Easy.

It’s proving a little more difficult for my significant other. And I am very sure I’m not alone in this one.

We’ve been together for a remarkably long time. He’s stood the test of time when it comes to life’s regular hurdles, and the rather large ones of grieving over my mother’s death.

This year has been a little rocky for us, in a lot of ways, as I’ve fretted through what feels like a million days of worry, and some sunshine along the way. So, what the hell can I get him that is adequate enough to say “thanks for sticking by me this year, you’re lovely and I love you”?

I know too, that he’s battling a bit on this score, so I’m pretty sure he’ll like this column.

I tried the straightforward approach of “Hey Babe, what should Santa pop into your stocking?” It didn’t end well, for me, as everything he would like from the jolly red man is so far out of my budget that we’d be eating beans on toast until next Christmas, just so I could afford it.

I feel like a tiny bit of a failure on that front, as I’m not as rich as I’d like to be (who is, really?)
I tried the “maybe I should scour the online stores for special deals”.

He’s a technology-crazed human, so I thought I’d score some great deal – I have been successful in this manner before. I came up with nothing great, or not too much that he’d find useful.

I could go the “prank gift” route. I could get him silly socks, funny soap or even a gag present from the local adult store.

I know we’d laugh for days over it. I could wrap up a bunch of vouchers for favours of the sexual kind, or I could commit to promising to make him artistic, inspired lunches for a whole year. But none of those ideas fit well, for me.

I could ask his best mates for their advice but, in my experience, men don’t generally talk about what they’d like to get for Christmas.

So, I’m stuck. No grand idea seems to be forthcoming and I’m a little worried now that the Jingle Bells are ringing a little louder each day.

I’d like to propose we make it easy on our significant others this year. Give your partner a list of ten items you’d like to find nestled under the Christmas tree this year and let their selection be the surprise.

Who’s in?

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