Christmas is looming and I'm running my usual “National Elf Line” to which I ask my family to subscribe so that there’s a chance that they might get at least one gift that they’ll really like.

john-lewis-good-grips-utensils-jill-blog.jpg I'm also being bombarded by their husband/boyfriends as to what all the daughters would like and it never gets any easier so I am trawling the web for ideas...

Now that all four daughters are living away from home, I’m planning on plying them with kitchen equipment, although maybe the youngest can wait until next year as we have paid for her to eat in halls – an option which she seems to be totally ignoring!

When we were having a family lunch last weekend one of the four was helping with the peeling of vegetables and really admired my Good Grips utensils, so I registered those as a possible stocking filler.

Then I found the MAC site with its collection of three brush bags:Do- the- Trick Buff and Line , Morning Noon and Knight Everything Eye and finally Wave and Wand Sweep and Define - my problem will be trying to match daughter to bag.

For extended family this year, I’ll be sending a hamper from the Well Hung Meat Company. I have used them before and they are a pleasure to deal with. The food is pretty wonderful too.

I have been approached (not too subtly) by the girls as to what I’d like for Christmas as obviously they’ve been charged with buying on behalf of my husband. Does anyone else have the problem that for 99.99% of the year there are loads of things I would like but as soon as my birthday or Christmas approaches my mind goes totally blank? I'm wavering between a rather nice sapphire and diamond piece or a compost bin…