What women really want for Christmas
Forget ill-fitting lingerie and potent celebrity perfumes, here's the ultimate guide to what gift will get you in the good books this yuletide. By Deirdre Reynolds
Unless you've got evidence to the contrary, I've been a really good girl all year. That's why I'm hoping you'll slip a little something for me in your sack before setting off from the North Pole this December 24.
As a man, I know you've been told that perfume, lingerie and chocolate are the way to a woman's heart. So I've decided to make it easy for you by revealing what women -- or this woman, at least -- really want this Christmas.
Hopefully my alternative gift guide for her will help when you're commissioning the elves to make something special for Mrs Claus too -- just don't blame me if you end up sleeping in the reindeer shed.
It's been voted of the most annoying trends of the year, but I won't be budging out of my onesie this Christmas. After all, what better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord than tucking into the tin of Roses while wearing a giant baby gro.
The good news for guys is that, unlike confusing bra sizes, there's no fear of getting it wrong with a onesie which come in just one size: 'shapeless'. In fact, unlike a lacy red knicker set which suggests you've got an ulterior motive, a onesie is the most selfless of gifts because there isn't a man on planet Earth who finds them sexy.
Certainly, if I were to find myself curled up on the couch in one this yuletide, not even Ryan Gosling himself could urge me to unzip it.
Smelly candles are one of those gifts that men just don't 'get'. You can't drill a hole in the wall with one or wear it to bed and it certainly won't help cook the turkey.
In fact, apart from lending the house a certain eau de Celtic Tiger, they're almost completely impractical. But that's precisely why I'm hoping to find one stuffed in my stocking this Christmas morning. Jo Malone is queen, of course, but at this stage I'd settle for Joe Bloggs.
It's the most divisive of all Christmas gifts, but I'm firmly 'Team Voucher'. Don't get me wrong -- cash is great. Once it goes into the Bermuda Triangle that is my wallet however, it's gone forever without so much as a selection box to show for it.
Generic gift cards for shopping centres are bad because I can never decide where to spend them.
Specific ones such as a prepaid trip to my favourite hair salon, however, are the festive equivalent of finding 50 quid down the back of the couch.
Admittedly, domestic appliances are a bit of a danger zone when it comes to festive gift-giving for her.
However, it's no secret that today's young professional women want to have their cupcake and eat it too. So a fancy mixer, coffee machine or smoothie-maker should be safe enough. But unless you want your chestnuts roasted on an open fire, microwaves, irons, dishwashers or any-thing that smacks more of 'domestic slave' than 'domestic goddess' are a bad idea.
Every girl could do with a little pampering to recover from the carnage of the party season.
But nothing makes you feel less special on Christmas morning than unwrapping regifted bath smellies.
Beauty gift sets really are 10 a penny at this time of year. Personally, I'd much rather receive more of the wrinkle-busting potion that I already use than some celebrity perfume that makes even Brussels sprouts smell good.
Research shows that women have lots of crap. Travel bags, handbags, makeup bags, wash bags, lingerie bags, shoe bags and even sandwich bags are just some of the holdalls I use to carry mine. Needless to say, I'd be thrilled to find any of the aforementioned type of bags -- except maybe the sandwich ones -- under the tree.
As a reasonable woman, I know that even Santa has had to tighten his belt this year. So I'm perfectly willing to settle for a make-up bag and not even dream about asking for the latest €1,400 Mulberry Primrose. Sob!
Now I know what you're thinking: only a dumbbell would give his girlfriend gym gear for Christmas. Given that losing weight is the number one New Year's resolution made by women though, and that women generally love fashion, actually when you really think about it new gym gear is the perfect double whammy of a pressie.
So go on, Santa -- be brave and bring me a pair of schmancy trainers or even a new fitness DVD.
I promise not to take it as, 'Lose some weight, lardarse', but rather 'Wow! You're looking super-fit these days'.
It wouldn't be Christmas without someone getting trollied before breakfast. After govern-ment grinches bumped up the price of alcohol in the Budget, however, visiting the in-laws is an even more sobering prospect this year.
That's why I'm hoping someone will put the 'merry' back into Christmas by gifting me something flammable. Ho-ho-hic!