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Ubiquitous gifts 2012

A friend posted a plea on Facebook over the weekend that made me laugh: "Any recommendations of good (tax-paying) websites for Xmas presents that don't involve endless owls and moustaches?" (Hope you don't mind me plagiarising your FB page, Rachel...)

And it's true. These are two of Christmas 2012's most ubiquitous themes (and possibly Christmas 2011's too). What are your festive gift hates this year?

If you are not fed up with tache overload, get this one on (oh the irony) Amazon

If owls are still doing it for you, this one is from West Elm
On an ongoing basis, I feel queasy at pointless gifts like silver-plated nut-crackers or comedy cuff-links. There are so more (yesterday I spotted some sliver plated mussel eaters. Mussel eaters? Spend your money on proper things people!)

But my gift phobia this year is directed towards the trend for twee personalisation. If my special friend expressed his yuletide love for me via the medium of one of these...

... I would  have to leave. Fast. And need to spend some serious time alone, reassessing the relationship I thought we'd been having. The more I read it, the worse I feel. Everything about it is unpleasant and deeply, misguidedly, smug. Of course not everyone will feel that way – though probably everyone reading this post will – but just in case this is the gift of your dreams, you can get it at Not on the High Street, along with a bounty of other personalisable items.

What's getting your back up as you embrace festive consumerism – or, more positively, what is the best gift or type of gift you've seen?

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