I have an inbuilt mistrust of stuff that’s put together artificially for Christmas – the sort of package you’d never find at any other time of the year. I’m half Scottish and in December I constantly go around the shops thinking: when did shortbread become a Christmas-only treat? And how come it’s always covered in Tartan this time of the year and served (apparently) with whisky when everybody knows you’re better off with a cup of tea with a sweet biscuit?
I’m reminded slightly of an old work colleague who was looking for a present for her mother in law. She went to a book shop and told them she was looking for a present and this large High Street chain started reeling off choices based on my workmate’s appearance, her likely age, and therefore her in-laws’ likely age. It’s OK, she told me at the office, mother-in-law is a stereotype but the book they offered didn’t have a picture of the Queen Mother on it so it wasn’t suitable. Packaged stuff all blokes will like is a bit like that.
This is why I was a bit concerned at the prospect of Unique Boutique’s “The Chap” (pictured). It’s £75 and you get a whole load of stuff I’ve been unable to try but it does appear to be a decent crop of stuff. Bath soak smelling of fig and nutmeg – you will only want to smell of nutmeg around Christmas so you might as well, with matching hair and body wash plus shaving soap in a wooden bowl. Presumably the bowl is re-usable; Body Shop and others sell standard-sized shaving soap refills (don’t use ordinary soap whatever you do, it dries the skin something rotten).
And a bottle of Sheep Dip whisky. I’ve never tasted this and the marketers were unable to send a sample, so ask around and make your own mind up about this – usually north of £30 a bottle and it’s a blend rather than a single malt or grain, for people who worry about such things.
Overall a pretty good package but – like all big kids – I’m mostly interested in the box. I could see myself storing my shaving bits or shoe cleaning kit in a box like that.
Has anyone else had good or bad experiences of the prepackaged “you’re a bloke/female so you’ll like this selection” gift set?