A book is for life – not just for Christmas

A book is for life – not just for Christmas

Christmas is coming, the goose (or turkey, or nutroast) is getting fat and if you are anything like the team here at The Elephant’s Trunk, you’ll be frantically shopping and knee-deep in wrapping paper.

Present buying is one of the inevitable consequences of Christmas, but sadly, all too many gifts fail to hit the mark. They are either returned, sold on, regifted, popped into a charity shop or (worse) thrown out with the rubbish. Did you know, more than 60 per cent of us receive a gift we don’t want? Which begs the question, do we really know our loved ones?

So, that got us thinking about which Christmas gifts really stand the test and we all came up with the same answer: books.

You can’t go wrong with a book, can you? There are books for every taste, and if you receive one you’re not keen on, you can certainly pass it on.

Even if you’re not sure which book to give, you can opt instead for a book token. Now, who doesn’t love getting a book token! You can tell we’re getting a bit excited for Christmas now…

Presents that failed to score

We asked our friends here at The Elephant’s Trunk what presents they’d received which they were distinctly underwhelmed with, and here’s what some of them came up with.

Catherine said: “I remember one Christmas as a child, looking at the present I was about to open and thinking ‘it must be skis!’ The gift was long, narrow and pointed at the top – what else could it be? I ripped open the paper excitedly and found it was a toy ironing board! I was gutted. Still am.”

And this from Helen. “I can’t remember what I had asked for now, but I was so looking forward to Christmas Day and unwrapping my big present – we always had a main one. Anyway, it wasn’t what I wanted. Instead, it was a children’s karaoke machine. I don’t even like singing. I think I sulked for the rest of the day.”

Finally, an example of a spouse not getting it quite right for his wife, on a number of occasions. We’ll spare his blushes by not naming him, but among his gifts that have failed to hit the mark were a pair of ceramic napkins rings, halogen headlamps for a car and book of recipe cards. Hmm…

Some more about Christmas

So, let’s get everyone in the mood with some Christmas fun facts. Did you know?

  • Jingle Bells was the first song played in space. It was played during a NASA flight on 16 December 1965 (unless, of course, there are extra terrestrials out there who have been playing music for longer).

  • In Japan, Christmas is a secular holiday and the meal of choice for many is to go out for a KFC. This stems from the time, mid-70s, when KFC launched its Kentucky for Christmas campaign.

  • The first official Christmas card was sent by Queen Victoria, but commercially they took off in the mid-1840s, when Sir Henry Cole produced 1,000 and sold them for one shilling each. 

  • Silent Night is the most recorded Christmas song of all time. 

  • Candy canes were created, so tradition has it, by a choirmaster in Germany who wanted to keep children quiet during church services.

We have one more fun fact, which we love and which is all about books. The first annuals appeared in the early 19th Century. Forget-Me-Not was published in London and produced for ladies. It contained short stories, poetry, and illustrations and was such a success the tradition of annuals at Christmas took off.

Annuals are colourful and full of variety – in fact, very like the personalised, all-inclusive children’s books we create here at The Elephant’s Trunk.

We hope our fun facts are making you feel Christmassy, to get you in the mood for all the present wrapping. And we’d love to think some of you might now be thinking of buying books as presents.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.