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Monday, December 19, 2011

Today on Creepfest- Saffina Desforges!

Ho ho ho! Creepfest continues apace with the sassy and awesome Saffina Desforges! I was a guest on her blog over the weekend for her own version of the 12 Days of Christmas, so here's Saffina's whimsical take on the theme of her most awful/memorable Christmas gift: (and don't forget to toss your virtual hat in the ring for a Creepfest gift pack of free e-books- click here for the rules! And check below for some links for free offerings from Saffina (no contest, no rules-- just grab and read! Thanks, Saffi!)

Christmas pressie #FAIL: A Christmas Eve horror show!

By Saffina Desforges

This is a dark fantasy/horror blog right? Of course it is, we all know how Ruth Barrett works! ;-)

When Ruth asked me to write a blog post for her ‘Creepfest blog tour’ I was both delighted and ponderous. She gave us a choice of themes so I racked my brain and chewed my lip for some time, hoping to come up with an appropriate story.

In the end, I chose the theme "My true love gave to me..." -- Your most amazing/weird/stupid gift ever-- given or received.

But here’s the twist; this story isn’t about me, it’s about my parents. More specifically, my Dad.

We all know that Dads aren’t great gift buyers and they are also the worst people in the world to buy for. After years of conversations that went something like this: “What would you like for Christmas, Dad?” “Er, oh, I dunno, anything, nothing, just get me a voucher.” I found a way to make life easy for myself. Pa now gets the latest football shirt of our beloved Manchester United every Christmas. The logo and the design changes and every couple of years, the size gets one bigger, but he knows what he’s getting and he loves it. Easy.

So to the other side of Dads’ downfalls during the festive period – they are rubbish at buying presents!

For as long as I can remember, my mum went out and picked her own present and my dad paid the bill. If he was feeling particularly adventurous and brave, he might get her a bottle of a perfume she had mentioned to go with it as a surprise, but not very often. So you can imagine our surprise, when a few years ago, he announced that he wanted to get my mum a watch and (wait for it) pick it himself.

My sisters and I were astounded but pleased and very excited to see her open it, knowing how thrilled she would be after 40 plus years of getting her own gift.

And so came the traditional gathering at my parents on Christmas Eve 2009. We do it every year: the kids put names in a hat and draw them out, then everyone gives that person their presents to open in order (minus the kids of course, who have to wait until the next day).
So, there we all are, everyone in on the secret except my ma, who usually writes this process off every year, knowing that us three girls will get her something nice, but that’s where it ends.

Now, you might be thinking, okay, cute story, but what’s this got to do with the theme? Let me set the scene:

My eldest niece pulls my mum’s name out of the hat and we all give her our gifts. There’s lots of oohing and ahhing and kisses all round, then my Dad produces a neatly wrapped gift box. My mum looks perplexed, already having bought herself a scarf and some other bits that she wanted, courtesy of Dad’s credit card. We all look on with growing anticipation and excitement.

Now, before I tell you what happened, just let me ram home what a huge thing this was for my Dad. He actually parked the car in town, wandered round countless jewellers and even wrapped the present himself. He even managed to write a message on the tag. Unheard of.

So, mum unwraps the paper, we’re all nudging each other, cameras at the ready. A pregnant pause descends on the room.

What happened next was X-rated. **insert the most horrendous look of deflation and disappointment EVER witnessed here**

Enter stage left the token tumbleweed blowing across the room as the wind whistles across a desolate plain, the picked over cattle-head dug in the sand at an angle, vultures circling above.

My mum didn’t have to say a word. She didn’t even take the watch out of the box. EPIC FAIL.

We all glanced at each other, nobody spoke a word. Desperate silence, a few coughs and clearing of throats.

I’ve seen many a horror movie in my time but nothing was as awful as that moment.

Needless to say, she didn’t like the watch. Later, when we’d tried to cajole her into trying it on and assuring her that he’d meant well, she took us to one side and made us swear that we would never allow my father to choose a present for her again.

We reneged on that promise last year when he bought her a huge diamond ring for their Diamond wedding. She loved it, but I will never forget the look on her face that night. Ever.

The moral of the story is; men, don’t EVER buy your significant other a present without checking with a girl first, EVER. ;-) It doesn’t matter how much you think she’ll love it, check!

Fortunately, we survived our Christmas horror fest and my parent’s marriage survived. We mention it sometimes, but the widening of my Dad’s eyes and the quick shake of the head soon makes us change the subject. Women eh? ;-)

Happy holidays!

If you fancy grabbing yourself something sinister to read for FREE over the festive period, then have one on us.

The American Edition of our UK Best-seller, ‘Sugar & Spice’ is now FREE on Amazon.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth.

    Thanks for having me on your blog!

    Can I just point out that S&S US edition will be free over xmas, from 25th-29th and currently isn't.

    Sorry for any confusion caused, Amazon for ya!

    Wishing all of your readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!