Mansfield People- Christmas Shopping Month- The Problematic Friend

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By Trinderella | Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 11:29

Despite having been Christmas shopping lots in the Mansfield area for the past few weeks, I've yet to really break the back of it. This is partly due to my indecision over what to get people, but also due to the fact I offer to do other people's shopping on their behalf. I love it that much!

Imagine my delight therefore, when I found out that Christmas shopping month on Mansfield People would continue into November.  That's two months of Christmas shopping goodness for me to enjoy… Whoop whoop!!!

As a Christmas shopping fiend, I love to put together little clusters of presents for people. Starting with their 'big one,' (ooh err missus), and supporting them with one, or two, or three littleuns. 

My general rule, is that the 'big one' has to be well thought out and meaningful to the recipient, while the little 'uns just have to either make them laugh, or be comfortingly calorific in order to help get them through the depression of the soaps and the mandatory board games that are forced upon you when you are quite seriously contemplating an afternoon nap.

The 'little 'uns, aren't really a mystery to behold, even my dad manages to achieve the criteria of a good 'little 'un'…thanks by the way for the potato that grew grass as if it was hair.

Holiday classics such as the mechanical singing fish, racing nuns and selection boxes can all be gotten from most local supermarkets and /or department stores. .. failing that, good old Amazon.It's the 'big ones' that require the care and thought. 

This is mind it is my passion for seeking out the perfect 'big one' for people that has led to my compulsion for offering to do other people's shopping. Having witnessed the incompetence of a few of my associates buying such items as patio cleaners, irons and yes (Uncle Bill) a toilet seat for their loved ones, it has become my mission in life to protect my associates, associates from experiencing disappointing 'big ones.'

Having said this, I am realistic in my mission and realise that I cannot offer to do everyone's shopping, much as I would like to. So here are a few of my top tips for getting the perfect 'big one.'

For the next few weeks I shall be focusing on various breeds of gift recipients.

  1. 1)    The problematic one.
  2. 2)    The one who has everything.
  3. 3)     The one who you could buy loads for.
  4. 4)    The collector.

The Problematic One.

For those difficult people who you just can't seem to think of anything for try writing a list of everything they have an interest in. My most difficult friend (Christmas Shopping wise) is a rather fabulous lady named Sharoni (well Sharon but we call her Sharoni). The problem with Sharoni is her practical view of material items. This is a lady who will only buy clothes when she needs them.…A concept I cannot ever begin to understand. 

My approach to obtaining Sharoni's 'big one' therefore is to pay attention to conversations we have throughout the year. Whenever she mentions something that could be construed as a hobby or a hankering for a luxury item… I make a mental note.

Sharoni's mental note page therefore consists of the following:

  • •    Loves the Twilight books (openly admits to being team Edward) 
  • •    Enjoys Tim Burton films
  • •    Adores Molton Brown products
  • •    Loves astronomy and goes to the Sherwood Observatory.

When it comes to translating that list into presents, I do as follows… I try and think outside the box.

For example, by realising she is an established Twilight fan she is likely to have the books and films already. This in mind I try and get something that she wouldn't buy herself but would love. 

So far each time one of the films has been released Mansfield town market stalls tend to become littered with various 'Team Edward' and 'Team Jacob' t-shirts, and since the next film is out on 18th November, it's likely that the same will happen again. Failing that there are loads of E-bay sites available. Which is where I got my Team Edward top from. Unfortunately I ended up keeping this for myself, so I had to keep shopping.

When it comes to Tim Burton films, the premise remains the same If your friend is a true fan of a film or book they are likely to have it. So, it's time to think of a twist. A number of gift shops in the Mansfield and Ashfield area stock some rather lovely Tim Burton figurines. This time of year you'll find an abundance of Jacks from the classic Nightmare Before Christmas. The main shops to stock this type of thing would be the China Basket (Church Street, Mansfield) and The Manor Gift Shop (Idlewells Centre, Sutton-in-Ashfield). However, as it's nearly Halloween places like Clintons can sometimes stock such novelty items, but you'd have to move fast as it's only next Monday!

Molton Brown is expensive wherever you go. A few places sporadically stock it in Mansfield stock it, however it is available online. Or, depending on your dedication to Christmas shopping you could travel the two hours it takes to get to Bicester Shopping Village. Despite being a fair way to travel, I'd recommend a trip down there as it offers a huge amount of savings to be made. 

After discovering this place four years ago it has becomes an annual event for me and my friends to take a Christmas shopping trip down there. Despite the two hour trip, I've found it's been worth it because I have many friends and loved ones who love Molton Brown-esque stuff, so it's saved me many pennies over the years.

… Finally when it comes to astronomy I can, and have sighed a huge sigh of relief. This is when I really think outside the box and create a really personal gift. 

The Mansfield and Sutton Astronomcal Society is right on our doorstep and very well thought of by astronomy enthusiasts. So a nice gift idea has been to find out the dates of their open evenings and create a homemade voucher denoting my intentions to for her to attend. This is a really personal way to create a present and can be done for loads of things. FYI my family and friends…. I love meals out!!!



  • Profile image for Trinderella

    Not too impressed that Miss Sharoni has now furnished me with a list ;o(

    By Trinderella at 12:07 on 27/10/11

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