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Presents for Mimmo, Miriam, Gaia and Greta: all done. The Christmas table will be decorated in shades of blue. Wrapping paper and cards for presents are ready to be customized. As for the tree and decorations, I don't mess around, they've been brightening up the living room since mid-November. Almost everything should be ready.
Almost everything should be ready. Apart from...
Apart from... Mum and Dad's present. O. M. G. Wasn't Betta meant to be taking care of that?
What went wrong this year? Nothing, it has all gone according to plan.
Every family has its traditions, its dynamics and certain relatives you're stuck with. Like your siblings. Betta is usually the one to take care of Mum and Dad's present, apart from when she wants to annoy you. As usual Gibi isn't a contender, as long as you pull him out of bed in time for Christmas lunch. So, this year It's up to you to sort Mum and Dad's present.
You need to consider (without adding stress to the worry already caused by your parents' expectations and the rivalry with your sister) that the high streets will get more and more busy on Saturdays and Sundays and in a week's time it will be too late to expect online deliveries to arrive in time for Christmas. You need to a get a move on.
To be totally honest, your sister's idea for last Christmas was rather cute, but now you have to show her that the opposite was true. With your sarky comment you accused her of giving something that doesn't last, so now you have to think of a physical object, better if it's for both your parents.
Your father would be happy to receive a snake tank (his most recent hobby as a newly crowned pensioner), but what about your mother? No. Something for the home. Yes that's right, for that home that was ours for such a long time and that only recently has gone back to being a couple's love nest.
I accept the challenge, let me show you the stuff I'm made of, but I run the risk of triggering a perverse mechanism that will come back next year. And the year after.
So, let the situation cool down a little bit, and then as if nothing ever happened, post your selection of potential Christmas gifts on the WhatsApp group-chat. Nobody will to be able to resist commenting on it, and in the end, the present will be the result of a group effort and they won't be able to blame you if something goes wrong.
Remember always to check the delivery dates for the things you're planning to buy online, and if picking the right present and comparing notes in the group-chat takes too long, go for items with an express delivery service. Remember to let your brother back into the chat.
A principle that applies to every present:
You want to astound them, both your parents and your siblings. You, who knows about design and who surfes the net like a well-seasoned sea captain. You, who organises the work of entire teams using chats, just like a modern digital radio operator, when it comes to presents you know what to do. Just look for design icons, perhaps a soon-to-be-released special edition that will only be available from 2018, and objects in unconventional shapes. This year especially, you can't run the risk of being predictable.
There's nothing you can do about it, the WhatsApp group-chat "mum and dad's Christmas present" has degenerated into wild and witty banter. All fun and games, but there isn't even a trace of a sensible idea for a gift.
In the meantime Christmas is getting closer, Betta is already doing her victory dance and Gibi is dozing. Don't let events take over: a present for Terzo, the family Labrador who should have been the third child before Gibi's unforeseen arrival, will make everyone happy. And as they say, when two dogs squabble over a bone...
A super smart trump card left to play? A Gift Card. Hatch a plan B and resort to it if everything else fails. You'll have saved Christmas this year and nobody will dare to state otherwise.
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