Buying a gift for someone is such a personal thing that we should be careful that the recipient really appreciates what we have bought for them. My books for instance have boomerang qualities in that they can be passed on to others when bought and enjoyed; although most people tend to keep them for themselves. Especially the FREE ones.
Some years ago, after visiting us and enjoying many a rest by the pond in our back garden, when he left Uncle Eric sent us a fish for our pond. It arrived special delivery. It was a frozen salmon.
In his haste to thank us for a nice holiday he went to the wrong website and ordered a fish from a high class specialist fishmonger. We enjoyed the fish, but never told him the truth. We said his fish was flourishing in the pond.
That same uncle was invited one year for Christmas. In early November he sent us a turkey. Well, not a turkey as such. It was a coupon whereby we go to a nearby farm, choose a live turkey, and nearer Christmas they slaughter it and prepare it and send it to us special delivery ready for the oven. Thankfully, I did not have the children with me. I did not have the heart to point at a bird and condemn it to death. I signed the relevant papers and told them to send me any turkey.
One week before Christmas a parcel came special express delivery. I opened it and it was a leg of lamb. I looked at it once or twice and it was still a leg of lamb. I went out of the kitchen and back in again; it was still a leg of lamb.
I rang the farm. They said they sent a turkey; "are you sure Sir?" she said to me. I went to the kitchen and checked again. Yes, I was sure it was a leg of lamb because it looked like a leg of lamb rather than a turkey which is altogether a different shape.
I then spoke to the manager, he informed me that my turkey had escaped the farm and had an argument with a combine harvester and became ground meat. So they decided to send me a leg of lamb costing more than the turkey as compensation.
I explained that technically I had not chosen a turkey, so "my" turkey could not have escaped and met his demise against a mightier opponent.
To save further headache, we accepted the leg of lamb and we quickly bought a turkey from the supermarket. When Uncle Eric came for Christmas we told him this was his turkey on the table.
Another gift I received from someone was a day at a health farm. You start with a sauna where you are boiled alive like a lobster. Then the brochure showed a whole body massage with a photo of a young man lying naked on a table with a tiny towel on his backside and a beautiful masseuse rubbing his shoulders. Knowing my luck the masseuse will be a heavyweight wrestler with a grudge against society. What is it with this fashion of lying naked in-front of someone you never met and have them touch you all over? You don't know where they've been. The brochure also offered a mud bath, or putting your feet in a pool of water and having fish nibble at your toes. I gave that gift coupon to someone else.
And yet another strange gift I won in a competition is a flight on a hot-air balloon. You know the one ... hanging there in mid-air in a wicker basket with a gas cylinder above your head blowing air into a flammable canvass flying just anywhere without a rudder or compass or any means of direction. A modern image of society, I guess.
What if the wicker bottom gave way because of the weight of the people and we all fall down without a parachute? Or if the balloon loses its air ... You know, when you have a party balloon which you blow up and then let go ... and it flies all over the place left and right as it deflates going bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as it loses air. Does this happen to a hot-air balloon? Can you imagine it flying all over the sky left and right as it deflates dragging people hanging for their lives in a picnic basket? Not for me, I tell you.
I prefer my gifts of the edible kind. Even if it is a leg of lamb pretending to be a turkey.