Thoughtful present ideas you could have had if you were a better person

AN original and imaginative gift shows a loved one how much you care, but you haven’t taken the time or trouble to choose anything like these: 

Something you’ve made yourself

Crafting a gift with your own hands is generosity of spirit in its purest form, and only attainable for people willing to set aside time, money and patience for the sake of others. It doesn’t matter that it would likely be shit. That jar of chutney would have got you laid, if you’d bothered.

Something you’ve had personalised 

An engraved bracelet, an embossed journal, a bottle opener with their initials on: even the most generic gifts become thoughtful when you have ordered them with enough time to have them tailored to the giftee. Scrawling someone’s name on a wine label is nowhere near. And you haven’t even done that.

An object made in a place they love

Sourcing a piece of jewellery, ceramic or clothing from a city or country that your loved one has visited and enjoyed shows such kindness that you wish you’d thought of it. It’s too late now, like it always is.

A book on a topic they’re passionate about

A book on a subject about which they are curious would show not only that you listen to your dear ones, but also that you bother to remember what they have told you. Neither is a possibility for you, in this world or the next.


Cash is a way of indulging someone that works for everyone from the cash-strapped to the greedy rich. Although it may seem impersonal, you do have to get to a cashpoint, and organise a card as well as an envelope in advance to make it truly thoughtful, which is only possible for those who actually care and think about others.

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Independent career woman can't wait to lie on parents' sofa for two weeks

A DRIVEN, self-reliant career woman is looking forward to a fortnight vegging out in her parents’ lounge over Christmas, she has confirmed. 

Carolyn Ryan, known in her office for her professionalism and formidable skill with big-budget corporate clients, is planning to do no more than sit on her arse eating Quality Street two-handed.

Ryan said: “I love my career. I own my own home. I’ve got a boyfriend I’m serious with.

“But what keeps me going through the year is the prospect of two weeks where I go back to mum and dad’s, who are in my support bubble so it’s fine, claim the sofa with a blanket and do f**k all while everyone leaves me alone.

“From the evening of December 23rd to January 5th, all expectations that I feed, clean or clothe myself go out the window. I fully intend to lie in my own filth watching Disney Plus while my dad brings me cups of tea.”

“There’s a reason they call it the most wonderful time of the year.”

She added: “If the office calls they can bugger off. The wifi’s crap here. Also I’ll be covered in mince pie bits and won’t have washed my hair in five days.”