You bought me what?!

Stacey Duguid is impossible to buy for – and she knows it. Here's her advice on finding gifts for tricky customers

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By Stacey Duguid on

Right then, what to buy difficult women for Christmas? Speaking as a difficult-to-buy-for woman myself, I think I might be able to help. For starters, candles – no woman is too difficult for a candle; everyone knows that’s a fact. Well, you say that, but I can’t stand tuberose, makes me gag. Oh, here we go…

Notebooks, then – I love a good notebook, own stacks of them. It’s simply not possible to go wrong with a notebook, except for when they don’t have the right spacing between the lines – everyone knows too narrow is annoying, and too wide is a waste of paper. How about a nice plain notebook then? Does anyone even use plain notebooks? OK, a new diary. Yes, great idea, well, er, only if pre-chosen by the recipient – I mean, that’s obvious, right?! We have to use the damn things all year, sometimes more; it’s weird, writing in something that doesn’t feel quite right. Tell me I’m not the only one who veers from wanting to see the whole week divided over two pages to wishing I owned a diary with seven days on the left-hand side with the whole right-hand-side page free for notes? Forget it – don’t buy a diary.

Earrings? Yes! Earrings. Bloody great idea. Dangly, chunky, delicate or clip-on? Hmm. Well, if I were buying a pair for me, I’d want something small I could wear every day. Check out the pair I found from Astley Clarke below, but they’re pierced – sorry. How about a cashmere beret? I’d LOVE a cashmere beret! Except, I can’t let anyone buy me a cashmere beret. My head is way too large and no hat in the universe fits my head. Forget tricky fashion for a minute, I’d love some bookends for my desk. Oliver Bonas has some lovely things, including a pair of agate bookends for £60. Too pricey? Depends how much you like her, I guess.

I’d love some positive-affirmation cards to start my day. Wonder if I can find some that say "Today you will not be difficult to buy Christmas presents for"? Doubt it

I really want a Polaroid camera this Christmas, but the one I want has sold out all over the UK. So, moving on. I’d love some champagne coupes – the ones I own are like saucers and I end up completely pissed after just one glass, which is no good to anybody. Speaking of liquids, I’d love a nice bottle to carry my tap water around in. I saw a swanky gold thing at Jigsaw the other day. I’d also love the new Philip Pullman book, The Book Of Dust, but so does my boyfriend, so don’t know what to do about that – share? Yikes. Surely not? How about sunglasses? Very personal, I know, but trust me when I tell you you can’t go wrong with a pair of Le Specs – she will love them. I’d also like a plant – too random? Too random.

There’s an eyeliner I recently discovered by Trish McEvoy. You apply your mascara, wait for it to dry, then paint a smudge just beneath your eyelash line. It’s a bloody Christmas miracle, makes even tired eyes look fresh and ready for anything. Speaking of ready for anything, I’d love some positive-affirmation cards to start my day. Wonder if I can find some that say “Today you will not be difficult to buy Christmas presents for”? Doubt it.

Last, but not least, I’d love as many fashion, art, cookery and interiors books as you can load on to that sleigh, Santa dearest. Well, I say that, but you know, not just any old fashion, art, cookery or interiors books. I’d like the Ibiza Bohemia book, for starters. Bit pricey, I know. Art-wise, I’m yet to see the Modigliani exhibition, so that book would be nice. I’m dying to test Anna Jones’ new veggie recipes in her new book, The Modern Cook’s Year. As for the rest, there are so many great things coming for spring, I think I’ll wait, which isn’t difficult of me at all.

Erm, actually, not quite finished yet. I’d like a new small black day bag, some delicious-smelling rose hand cream to go in it, a pack of pens – as long as they’re Uni-ball Micros – and a lip balm. See? Not difficult AT ALL. Bah humbug? Nope, nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

Click here for gifts for the hard-to-buy-for


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