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Hilarie Stelfox defends cat and dog ownership

IF, AS A recent survey suggests, two thirds of women and three quarters of men can’t remember what their partner gave them last year for Christmas, it’s quite clear that we are all wasting our time and money.

IF, AS A recent survey suggests, two thirds of women and three quarters of men can’t remember what their partner gave them last year for Christmas, it’s quite clear that we are all wasting our time and money.

Of course the survey was conducted by a company that sells ‘experiences’ and, strangely enough, no-one questioned who had been given an experience said they’d forgotten.

The message is quite clear. Don’t buy stuff, buy a night out, a weekend away, a skydiving trip or a journey across the Pennines in a hot air balloon.

This Christmas The Man-in-Charge has booked two days at a spa for our good selves in lieu of material gifts. We have made a pact that no secret parcels will find their way under the tree at the last minute to cause awkwardness and embarrassment on Christmas Day.

Not much can beat a weekend away - especially when it’s a two-for-the-price-of-one break like ours. But one of the respondents to the survey found something even better. Even the experiences people had to agree.

As their spokesman said: “One lady told us that her husband bought her a brand new Ferrari. That’s obviously better than an experience day, so if you can afford a Ferrari, just buy them a Ferrari!”

l In many ways the Stelfox household is a disorganised one.

There are always piles of mail that need dealing with; we have only just bought a new headboard for our bed, six years after re-decorating the bedroom; out in the garden the autumn leaves are blocking every gutter and because our washing machine is broken there are bin bags full of washing in the kitchen.

But, and I say this with some pride, we have bought all our Christmas gifts for this year and most of them are even wrapped.

It’s the wrapping I particularly love so I’m always eager to get through our list as quickly as possible so that I can begin to unfurl the paper and curl the ribbons.

And it makes me feel wonderfully smug when someone – usually a hairdresser – asks that eternal seasonal question: “Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?” and I can say “Yes, I have actually” when they fully expect me to join them in a moan about what a pain it all is and how they’ll be rushing around the shops on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately, I don’t have quite the same degree of enthusiasm for the writing of Christmas cards, a task that I must accomplish this weekend. Perhaps, this year I could hand the task over to the Man-in-

Charge. In fact, come to think of it, why has it become woman’s work in the first place?

Answers on the back of a Christmas card please, sent to.....

 

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