Possibly the most asked question of the moment is 'What do you want for Christmas?'.
And possibly the most usual reply is 'Nothing'.
Amongst the presents I gave last year were an Apple tree, a large bag of bird seed, a mushrooming penknife, and some things specifically asked-for that have never been used. With the two boys joining us again this year, no doubt our focus will be on them.
I have already decided on my gift for Lady Magnon, it is simply a matter of buying and bringing home.
For the others I really am at a loss.
This year, especially, excessive spending seems almost immoral. Maybe rather than giving lots of expensive and unwanted gifts, we should simply be grateful for our good health. The world's problems are far from over, so maybe the best gift might be something specific to the pandemic.
For years I gave people 'scratch cards' in with their Christmas or Birthday cards. The idea that someone could win a Million quid always appealed to me (one person did win €100); this year it might be more relevant to give a voucher for a Covid-19 vaccine jab.
Anyway, the important thing is to have a good Christmas. A pleasant lunch, one or two welcome gifts, and no hangover. As usual, I'm really looking forward to it.
N.B. Yesterday I was pruning the Wisteria on our 'tower'. I had leaned a ladder against the wall which the boys soon discovered to be the 'toy of the century'. Up and down they went (whilst being surveyed) and had a wonderful time.
Why buy a £200 X Box (I have no idea how much these things actually cost) when you can go up and down a ladder for nothing!