I love Christmas for one single reason: the gifts. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I live at Number 1, Moralhighground Avenue, Onourwaytoheavenville. The whole thing about it being better to give than to receive doesn’t work for me. I love receiving – so there – especially when it’s something wrapped in red paper with pictures of reindeer and a Santa and snowflakes … you get the picture. My favourite gifts are books and sweets. They just seem to go together perfectly. Surely no normal person on the planet would not enjoy a bag of jelly babies and a...
I love Christmas for one single reason: the gifts. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I live at Number 1, Moralhighground Avenue, Onourwaytoheavenville.

The whole thing about it being better to give than to receive doesn’t work for me.

I love receiving – so there – especially when it’s something wrapped in red paper with pictures of reindeer and a Santa and snowflakes … you get the picture.

My favourite gifts are books and sweets. They just seem to go together perfectly.

Surely no normal person on the planet would not enjoy a bag of jelly babies and a Scandinavian crime thriller next to the pool. Or a detailed account of the South African troops in the Sahara during WWII while savouring a selection of Quality Street’s finest.

Maybe the reason I prefer receiving is because I’m not very good at buying gifts. I inevitably end up buying books and sweets and then try to convince my family and friends how lucky they are.

Except for my dog, Charles. He gets biltong with his book because sweets are bad for him.

Last year I made the mistake of buying him cabanossi sticks. I thought I was treating him. To this day, whenever he just smells a cabanossi, his tummy starts rumbling and he makes a beeline for the garden.

And he’s not as avid a reader as I hoped he would be. He’d rather chase the cats than sit quietly and read. He hasn’t even gotten past chapter one of his doggy training manual, and here it is almost Christmas again.

At least he can sit and roll on command, and put on a sad puppy face when he is told to get off the bed.

But back to the gifts. One of my favourite bookshops is the Fora charity shop. For those who don’t know, Fora stands for Friends Of Rescued Animals.

They have loads of fantastic titles at give-away prices. One can really buy gifts (read books) for the entire extended family without breaking the bank.

And the best part is that the proceeds go to dogs and other animals so that they can also enjoy a piece of Christmas biltong.

I prefer receiving to giving_1

Danie Toerien.

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