Not that anyone does, but were they to bother asking me what I want for Christmas, my instructions would go something like this.
I am not a candle person. Why do I get so many bloody candles? I don't have anything against candles. My neighbour always has candles on the go and her place looks fabulous and smells like a Bedouin boudoir, without the camels. She also doesn't have pyromaniac 6 and 14 year olds (boys, of course) and the associated risks. Besides, candles are actually quite high maintenance; you have to make sure they don't drip, burn out and stink the place out, and, if you're really a Type A, they all need to be the same size if they're situated anywhere near each other. Far too much effort in my opinion.
I am also not really a manicure/spa/body-wrap type person, and on the rare occasion when I have been treated to a gift certificate for some such place, it's been more like a torture session than anything remotely pleasurable. (The body wrap where my arms were clamped to my sides before I was trussed in seaweed and cling film/saran wrap was particularly disturbing.) Unfortunately such certificates are difficult to return since a) they usually have your name on b)the friend who gave the gift often wants to accompany you, and c)the spas in question doesn't sell a whole lot of other things with which to swap.
I am a weird size and normal clothes don't sseem to fit. (Long arms, fat belly, you name it). So please don't buy me anything to wear unless it's a scarf and gloves set. But even then, my fingers are quite long and I always need a women's large or extra large. For some reason, gift givers think it's an insult to buy anything other than a medium, even for hands. And don't even think about hats. My head is huge and I thanked god when the trend for Lady Di style hats was over as I could never buy anything off the rack.
I am not remotely interested in any type of military history, so don't buy me something disguised as a "biography" just so you can read it. Hint loudly and I'll buy it for you instead.
I have asked for a plain gold watch this Christmas as my everyday one has finally given up the ghost and will cost more to repair than it's worth. I have e-mailed the Ball & Chain several pictures of "plain" gold watches; I have categorically stated that I don't want anything fancy on it, nor should it be too expensive because I don't want to have to worry about wearing it all the time. What are the chances that he doesn't have a fit of flamboyance at the watch counter and buy me something that's "nicer"?
And why am I kidding myself that even if I were to give detailed instructions about things I wanted, I'd end up getting them? For my September birthday, I dutifully thought about what I wanted and told my mother that a cotton scarf (all the rage, you know the ones) and a lipstick palette would be lovely. Even gave her suggested shades. I was back in Chicago when I opened the present, which was just as well. She'd decided that a cotton scarf would be too cold to wear in Chicago this winter (so bought me a nice black woolly one instead), and that I didn't really have many nail varnishes, so a couple of bottles would do nicely. I mean, really???
I give up.