2020: the year my Father-in-Law almost didn’t get a Christmas present

Well, my dad just won’t get a Christmas present and that’s fine, that’s on me.’

Scott, my partner, is prone to big, sweeping dramatic statements. This statement about his dad not getting a Christmas present this year is one I’ve heard before, in fact, this is the third Christmas in a row that he’s uttered this exact same phase. Always about his dad, interestingly. Poor Steve.

In April, we will have been together five years and this is the third year that we’ve bought Christmas presents together. As the marginally more organised one out of the two of us (and let’s be brutally honest, because I’m the woman in our heteronormative relationship), buying and organising presents is typically my responsibility. It’s not because Scott doesn’t want to buy presents, he’s one of the most generous people I know. He just becomes so stressed and overwhelmed at the prospect of buying presents and the pressure of whether or not someone will like what they’ve been gifted. This isn’t just Christmas related, it applies to any gifting scenario. Plus, with a great memory for dates, along with it being my societal responsibility, it just naturally falls onto my list. Sometimes, it’s annoying. Mostly, it’s fine.

So, this big sweeping statement about my Father-in-Law’s Christmas present, let’s set the scene: it’s Saturday morning, two weeks to Christmas and I’m browsing Marks and Spencer’s website looking for something. I’ve shown Scott a few different options and he’s basically hated them all.

And then a pair of pyjamas was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Just stop looking love, it’s not your responsibility.

But we’ve got something for everyone else now, it’s just your dad left.

Well, my dad just won’t get a Christmas present and that’s fine, that’s on me.

It takes everything in me to not roll my eyes or sigh. Recovering from a bad flare up of my asthma, I’m trying to be productive and also, my Father-in-Law is the last person on our list, so if we could just order him something, then I know that our Christmas shopping is finished and we can just wait for everything to be delivered.

I count to ten in my head, take a big breath and keep on looking.

Needless to say, Scott’s dad now has a Christmas present and this dramatic low point of our weekend is long forgotten.



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Saloni Chamberlain

Turning words into stories with packed full of feeling. Find me on instagram @salonichamberlain