I am not sure about you, but when I am in the process of buying presents for other people, I have an annoying tendency of self-gifting myself at the same time. There is absolutely no excuse for this because I love shopping, so it is not as if I need to reward myself for doing anything arduous, but I still hear myself saying, ‘one for you, oh and one for me while I am at it,’ before I pay for the contents in my ‘basket’.

I cannot even argue that Christmas shopping was exhausting this year. The only tiring factor was making sure that I hit the appropriate delivery address on each website because – like you – at short notice I was unable to be with all the people I had hoped to be with on Christmas Day so had to do some nifty rerouting of parcels.

I was mum’s carer for Christmas and, thanks to my older sister, I had little to worry about in terms of food shopping, for Big Sis had completed mum’s on-line Waitrose order for us weeks in advance, taking full advantage of mum’s priority status as a 94 year old to blag a precious delivery slot. However, when the order was booked back in November we naively expected that we would have company enough at mum’s to make a serious dent in our ambitious and lengthy shopping list.

All I am saying is that there was a very large turkey waiting for me when I arrived at mum’s on Christmas Eve; being a long-time vegetarian I needed to brave myself for this challenge, but I like to tell myself that I faced this with grace and a ‘can-do’ attitude as well as a pair of protective Marigolds. Let us just conclude by saying that I think mum enjoyed her turkey on Christmas day – despite my long-winded wrestle with her antiquated oven and despite mum being the only person we needed to carve for. She took not the slightest interest in my vegetarian nut roast. Mum tells me that she is still working her way through the 12 turkey based ‘meals for one’ that I planted in her freezer after battling with her oven again during down time on Boxing Day, butI have a feeling that she may take more interest in my nut roast when we next sit down to eat together.

My bonus gifting from staying with mum, was returning home with the surplus from her Waitrose order. I think when she advised my sister on the order back in the pre-heady days of Lockdown III, mum was anticipating ‘crowd’ funding in a festive way, so before leaving her house to return home , I put it to her that she might want my help to whittle down her one woman mince pie and condiment food mountain if she was to stay the right side of Brexit and food regulation in January. As I said previously, self-gifting comes very easily to me.

Naturally I have paid the price for my self-charity. My learning point is that you cannot address ten surplus chocolate oranges, three spare boxes of After Eight mints and four bottles of fine Merlot without facing some mood music in January. It is disheartening to find that clothes have shrunk in the wash over the last few weeks and it is a galling to acknowledge that my backside has moulded itself into the shape of the baggy pyjama bottoms worn for the duration of the festive period.

Starting back at work last week (hence my enforced extrication from slouch wear), I decide to go in early with preparations to face Blue Monday – this year scheduled for January 18th and tagged as such because of the dark nights and credit card bills that usually arrive around this time. I counsel myself that in this Age of Corona, Blue Monday cannot still exist – Blue January and Blue Spring perhaps, but not just a single day of glums. Any blues this year deserve to be so much bigger – like my ample Christmas belly, for example – so I feel justified in doing some more on-line retail therapy to gift myself some golden January moments to look forward to. My shopping list goes like this:

  • Vitamin D tablets – you can not have a sunshine moment without sunshine and I have not seen much evidence of the sun having its hat on or coming out to play in January.
  • A muscle massage gun – see below
  • Some under eye concealer – self explantory

Now I can report that it is the self-gifting of the massage gun that has brought the most pleasure thus far in 2021. I have justified this expensive purchase on the following basis:

  • I run a lot
  • Part-time yoga teachers need all the help that they can get
  • I have missed human touch during Lockdown I, II and III.
  • It makes me smile to think that I will be applying something that looks like a Black & Decker drill to my plumptious fleshy bits in the name of self-care.

I really do not have much more to tell you, apart from the fact that my massage gun (other makes are available and sadly I am not being sponsored by SofterSpot for this blog) is the gift that I believe will keep on giving throughout 2021. What is there not to like about: head-changing detection (I think this refers to the device rather than my ability to mood shift); 20 adjustable speeds (we all love choice); quiet glide technology (you want this when watching Coronation Street while having a cheeky foot massage); ergonomic handle design (I like aesthetically pleasing things) and four patented soft massage heads (I would expect nothing less and I can pretend that I am being massaged by four different people).

My massage gun is already helping me with my resolution to get rid of any concrete evidence of stealing mum’s food mountain for, just yesterday, I found myself genuinely excited to go for a long run, in the anticipation that I could have a deep massage on my return.

And, sucker that I am for good customer service and nice packaging, the icing on the cake for me (although I must stop thinking about food) is the gift card from Softerspot that came with my new purchase:

‘Dear customer
2020 has been a tough year. But we finally made it. Now it is time to leave it behind and get loose for 2021! Blast the pain away with a massage!’

I am feeling gifted, and looser already. I might even let mum have a go with my new device on my next visit; it could make up for the foot tap/elbow hugs we have had to navigate from behind our socially distanced masks. I will need to visit mum soon for she tells me that she is still working her way through the backlog of chocolate biscuits that are teetering on the brink of their sell by date. She knows my soft spot.

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