by Brackets Digital

I have a horror of stuff.

I'm sure it's partly because I'm a naturally untidy person who hates clutter.  Not an easy combination - and the more stuff I have, the harder it gets.  I'm not keen on shops, conspicuous consumption makes me queasy, and I worry a bit about the planet.  That's why an article in the Guardian this week called "On the 12th day of Christmas ... your gift will just be junk" struck a chord.  I love George Monbiot's concluding plea: "Bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss, tell them a joke, but for God's sake stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care."

One of these days I'll make the time to do the cake-baking thing (kisses and jokes are way too common a currency in our house to be considered acceptable special-occasion offerings).  In the meantime, I'm a great believer in wishlists.  It's not just kids who can write an "I want..." letter to Santa.  You might argue that it diminishes the element of surprise, but at least with lists everybody gets something they will actually use, rather than a belly-button brush or bacon-flavoured toothpaste.

On that note, hats off to Charlie of Urban Writers Retreat, who's compiled a great list of 'pretty and practical' gifts specifically for writers.  Come to think of it, a UWR voucher would tick all my boxes (in case you're wondering).  Failing that, a 'Go Away I'm Writing' mug would be useful in more ways than one. 

Finally, you can't do better than a Park-themed gift.  For the theatre-lover in your life, how about their name signed on the new building's wall?  A seat with their name on it?  Or buy friendship ... of London's newest and most exciting theatre.  Now there's something that will never end up in landfill.

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