Not that I’m particularly virtuous but when it comes to presents, I prefer to give than to receive.
As a young lad, I used to enjoy apportioning whatever money I had for gifts to lavish on my family and which of course were mostly useless and a complete waste of money. Such gifts that stick in the memory was a plastic handbag for my mum and most bizarrely, a pineapple for my dad.
This Christmas, Paddy left his present buying very late and made a big announcement that he was heading in to town with his birthday money and that he would most likely need a lift home.
We now live in an age of the Christmas market. Tented villages and individual stalls that spring up overnight like mushrooms; brimming with seasonal stock all of which has the look and feel of craft and individualism but in the main is just tat that has fallen off the back of a container ship from China. And no matter because all shoppers are vulnerable to their charms and allure with promises of ‘out of the ordinary’ gifts; perfect for the person who already has everything, which let’s face it, is most of us these days. Even sage and hardened shoppers can get snared and emerge clutching a bottle of obscure liqueur or a scent diffuser with dubious electrics.
And Paddy Holland was no match for these heavily baited present traps and explains what I received this year from my youngest son.
A wooden goblet is how I would describe it. A cross between a wooden vase and a Viking drinking vessel. Complete with worm holes and the price tag which Paddy decided to leave on since it was so bloody expensive and on this, I like his thinking.
It has little use and no real value and at £30 is a complete rip off – and yet, it is by far my favourite present and one that I will keep forever. Headphones break, gloves and socks get lost but I will always have in my possession my very own wooden goblet.
I asked my dad if he remembered my pineapple debacle and he couldn’t and this strengthened my resolve even more. Forever more I will remember the origins of my goblet. That it was given to me by Paddy for Christmas in my 50th year.
And when I come to pass my worldly possessions will be shared out equally to my four boys – but with the explicit instruction that my treasured goblet is to go to Paddy (if the worms haven't finished it of course) and he can then worry and wonder what the hell to do with it.
And so to borrow the slogan from one of the world's most expensive watchmakers...
You never actually own a wooden goblet,
You just look after it for the next generation.
Happy 2018 everybody...