Perspective: Just get me a little thing for Christmas

SO here it comes again, gathering speed as it rushes towards us. As if you didn’t know it, Christmas is approaching.

Every year I try to ignore the signs – like festive decorations and Yuletide puddings appearing in the shops in September – but as the momentum gathers I find myself unable to resist the thought that sooner or later I will have to start doing some seasonal shopping.

I’m the sort of person who tends to go for the later rather than the sooner – which usually means beginning to look around perhaps a week before the big day.

Maybe I’ll be different this year and make an earlier effort. So what should I be thinking of as presents for the loved ones?

Not being a great one for traipsing round the shops, I am tempted to jump on a bandwagon which appears to be gathering pace right now.


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New research reveals that well over half of Brits are planning on taking the easy option by giving a monetary gift this year. If it is true, Santa is set to deliver over �2.4 billion in cash, vouchers or cheques to homes come December 25.

The group likely to benefit the most are the 18 to 34-year-olds, 48 per cent of which look set to get dosh or the equivalent.

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Some might say that giving money is simply a way of getting out of all the bother of buying presents but I would argue that it is a good way of avoiding giving an unwanted gift.

Having said that, I must admit that I would not be too happy receiving an envelope containing cash. Give me a present any time.

Something I have in mind is a little novelty I noticed the other day. When I say little, I mean little.

It is the world’s smallest electric car, made of a single molecule which has four branches that act as wheels. They rotate when a tiny metal tip just an atom or two wide applies a current to them.

There would be drawbacks to the gift. With 10 electric bursts, the car has been made to move just six billionths of a metre (and it had to be done in a chillingly cold -266C in a high vacuum) so interest in it on Christmas Day may soon wane but it should be fun while it lasts.

Something I imagine it won’t come with is a repair kit.

But Brits are getting out the screwdrivers and pots of glue more and more these days, it seems.

As we teeter on the edge of another recession, a fifth of people are saving money by refusing to replace domestic items on the blink, instead bodging them up and using them until they are completely useless.

Once damaged furniture was thrown away without a thought, but now attempts are made to repair it. Some people are even trying to repair broken crockery when before they would have chucked it. How things change.

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