Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Christmas Stockings

We thought we had Christmas sorted, the husband, and I, and then the rules changed... and then they changed again.

We weren’t going to do anything for each other this year. We don’t want for much, and the kids are grown up, and Christmas comes around with increasing regularity, so we were just going to do stockings for the kids, and a little something for the parents, and that was going to be the start and finish of it.

Then the dort got involved.

The dort went off to college in September, but she’s home for Christmas, and I get the impression she’s looking forward to it. She’s certainly looking forward to it enough to be horrified that the husband and I weren’t going to have stockings this year. It didn’t take her long to guilt us into agreeing to do something about that.

The husband went off on his Christmas shopping day yesterday, and that’s when the rules changed again. He had a good day. I get the impression, despite his being very tight-lipped about this sort of thing, that he had a very good day, and a very jolly time, and that my Christmas stocking might be full to the brim, and might be full of more than what might normally qualify as stocking fillers.

My question is this, ‘What do you buy the man, who, while he might not quite have everything, seems to want nothing very much at all?’ No, I mean it... I’m actually asking!

If you were the husband what would be on your Christmas list? If you know the husband, what might he like for Christmas? And, if you were me, what would you buy the husband for Christmas?

I have never considered the husband difficult to buy for, and, in the past, I’ve always had a good idea what he’d like from the things he’s oohed and ahed over in shops in the run-up to Christmas, but he’s changed, of late. 

The husband has always been a man of great appetites, it’s always been one of the things I’ve loved about him, but there has been a quantum shift in him, I believe, since the onset of his epilepsy. He is not an acquisitive person. He is not materialistic. He used to be an inveterate collector, to the point of being a bit of a hoarder, but, now, most of his pursuits are much more intellectual, much more esoteric. As he gets older, he’d much rather spend his time with people, sitting and chewing the fat for hours on end, sharing ideas, laughing and playing, and enjoying good company. 

He looks for the best of everything now, so that his tolerance for cultural experiences is lower; he demands more from films and tv, from books and music than ever before, so is more easily disappointed, and when he finds the one example, the best of its kind, he’s set for life. He’ll never need another holdall or pen or chair for his desk, because he’s found the perfect examples of those things and will never, now, replace them.

The husband is a wonderful man, so wonderful that I could put a quarter of humbugs, a box of hankies, a bag of walnuts, a pair of socks and a couple of oranges in his stocking, and he’d be a very happy man. On the other hand, if any of you happen to have any great ideas for gifts for him, I’d be more than happy to hear them.


  1. Dan likes the music of John Williams doesn't he? (The classical guitarist, for anyone who didn't know there was 2 of them).

    I presume he has some of his music, but does he have any of the session music he did with Sky? If so, is there anything he's missing?

    You guys also like little trips to places of interest, is there a gap in places you have not visited? What about things you had not considered like sites with legends and classic folk tales? There are books you could get him to inspire a few trips (or stories).

    If all else fails, book tokens and so on are always a good back-up (although that defeats the purpose really).

    Are there any skills Dan wishes he could have? A few lessons playing an instrument or learning to draw, sculpt etc might be the way to go.

    *scratches chin* I suppose as an outside bet, a Commissars cap if he doesn't have one... sorry, I'm out of ideas. Hope thats of some help.

    1. How thoughtful, thank you, and so spot on that you've suggested lots of things that are so up his street he's already covered. He is a fan of John Williams and owns everything he's ever recorded. He already plays classical guitar and draws beautifully, so they were good suggestions too.

      I am going to go back to the Landmark Trust and see if I can't book somewhere special for a weekend away. The last place we visited was incredibly inspiring, and we both feel the benefit.

      Thanks again, and I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

  2. The weekend away would be nice but he likes to chew the fat... Start a Con? Abnettcon? A night with Dan? Something to get him involved with new people? If you must charge for it then proceeds to go to a charity of his choice?

  3. I posted a photo of a laspistol I had made for Owen by a film props artist in the U.S. Dan loved it and said it would go very nicely in his office. He asked me for contact details, which I supplied, but I don't think he ever followed it up. What do you give the man who has everything? A laspistol. Obviously. It's too late for this year but maybe something to think about in the future?