For the past few years, we have set each other a challenge with our Christmas presents. We tried ‘£20 budget with each item under £3’ but we ended up with loads of cheap, random items. Then we tried a checklist of 10 categories (DVD, CD, book, etc.) and that worked well. This year, we decided to mix it up again and wrote a list of 10 shops and we had to buy a present from each. It’s fair to say we both had fun shopping and even more fun opening our presents. So, here’s what we got each other…

What Ben got Mike

Waterstones – The Funniest Things You’ve Never Said (book)
B: I initially went into Waterstones to get something else for Mike, but I saw this and I know Mike loves books with lists and he’s always quoting witty lines, so this seemed perfect for him.
M: A great little book full of hilarious quotes, probably my favourite present overall this year, love it.

HMV – Pixar Shorts Vol. 2 DVD
B: We both love Pixar and the shorts are great… although I realised after I’d wrapped it up that I’d already given him this a couple of years ago.
M: A present so good Ben got it me twice. Luckily I have misplaced my previous copy (I probably gave it back to Ben for his birthday or something knowing me), so I’m glad to have it again.

Tiger – Glow in the dark glove
B: I saw a glow in the dark glove and immediately saw an opportunity for a rude joke. “Now you can do it in the dark,” I wrote and chuckled to myself for a month before giving it to him.
M: Can’t wait for the time the lights go out in the sperm bank and I’m the only one who can donate. It’s a large plastic glove with these packets of some undisclosed liquid with I guess glows in the dark, but I am yet to give it a go, like I said I’m waiting for the black out at the sperm bank.

CEX – Zack and Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
B: I didn’t have a clue what game to get, so I asked the shop assistant and he recommended this.
M: A great little game, I know that because I already have it.

The Range – Camera desk lamp
B: I wanted to get something fun, because The Range is a favourite shop of ours. It was either this or a Chewbacca headband, but I ended up going with this.
M: Yes! Really needed a lamp and this one is so cool! Just need a lightbulb for it now and I’m good to go, no more cautiously walking across the room in the dark to turn the light on for me!

The Entertainer – 3D pen
B: I wanted something fun that he could play with over the Christmas holiday. I was persuaded by a JML-type point-of-sale display that this was what I was looking for.
M: A 3D pen sounded great, but when the top came off and the strange, rubbery liquid poured out all over the place, the fun was over.

Poundland – Shaun The Sheep wheel-less skateboard
B: This is the kind of thing Mike would point out and laugh at in a shop, so it seemed like a funny present to get him.
M: A skateboard without wheels… why does this exist? My guess is it’s for overly protective parents whose kids want a skateboard but they’re afraid they’ll hurt themselves, so instead they give them a hefty piece of plastic. Can’t wait to ride it down the stairs though.

Forbidden Planet – Ghostbusters/TMNT Graphic Novel
B: Thought this was a really cool crossover. I had a quick read before I wrapped it and it was pretty good.
M: Who would think that the Ninja Turtles who are also mutant teenagers would ever team up with the Ghostbusters? Well the people who wrote this crossover certainly did. It kinda makes sense when you consider how big both franchises where back in the day, but it’s still something I never thought I’d see.

Online – Marty McFly cap
B: Mike has said several times over the past few years that he’d like this, but I’ve always said he’d look silly in it (as I stood there in my 13ft multicoloured scarf) but this year I relented and bought it for him.
M: Aside from the book of quotes this is probably my favourite gift this year, I always wanted one but never got round to buying one, and now I don’t have to! I love it so much I’m still wearing it.

Comic Con – 1978 Wombles Annual / Worms plush
B: I bought the Wombles annual because it seemed like a nice bit of nostalgia, but then I realised it was more something I would like, so I got the Worms plush (which I knew he’d like) to make up for it.
M: What’s this? TWO presents? Why yes it is. The Wombles Annual is a cool gift, I did enjoy flicking through it’s pages. The Worms Plush is really cool though, I really do like the Worms games and now I have one of my own. Meanwhile my room has been blown up.

Bonus – Bayley poster
B: Mike told me he’d got me a bonus present and I had a feeling I knew what it was, so I thought I’d pay him back with a signed poster of one of his favourite wrestlers.
M: I do very much like professional wrestler Bayley, she’s definitely one of the best women they have in WWE at the moment, and now I have her autograph! I have her autograph and she doesn’t even know! I feel like such a stalker now.

What Mike got Ben

Waterstones – Magnetic poetry kit
M: I wasn’t sure what to get Ben from Waterstones, but when I saw this I thought, “Now that just screams Ben to me.” I had taken a lot of hallucinogens just before entering so that explains that.
B: I do love writing poems and this is the kind of fun little thing I enjoy playing with over Christmas.

HMV – Band on the Run
M: I know Ben’s a big fan of Michael Parkinson and when I saw him on the cover I thought he was the lead singer. Turns out I was wrong about him singing and about Ben being a fan of his, but luckily Ben likes Paul McCartney and it’s a good album so, in the words of George Foreman, “They’ll take everything, even your tears.”
B: I love Paul McCartney’s music, this is a classic and I don’t have it, so it’s a perfect present.

Tiger – Harmonica
M: I saw a few things that I thought might make Ben chuckle, but I didn’t want to waste so much money on one joke, so I went with something he could actually get use out of. I wish I’d gone with something expensive and stupid now that I look back.
B: See, unlike Mike I will happily waste money on a rubbish joke. Anyway, I had a harmonica, but it broke and I lost it, so I’m very grateful to Mike for replacing it for me.

CEX – Mortal Kombat PS4 game
M: We both enjoy games, and this one looked so cool I thought we could give it a go together.
B: A classic game that I will no doubt enjoy playing with Mike on the PS4 when he next comes to mine.

The Range – LED Snowman
M: I didn’t really see anything at The Range that Ben would really like. I saw a toy keyboard/book, I saw a small folding table, and I saw this, and figured he’d probably appreciate this more.
B: I rather like this and think it will become an ornament that we get out every year.

The Entertainer – Avengers Monopoly
M: I wanted to get Ben some Lego from The Entertainer because I know he likes Lego, but I couldn’t find Lego for the life of me, and everyone seemed too busy for me to ask them. I saw this was half price and I figured Ben likes board games and he likes his Marvel motion pictures, so surely he’ll like both of them combined.
B: I do like Monopoly. I’ve got the classic and Doctor Who version of it, so this is another one to add to the collection. Look forwards to playing it with a few friends.

Poundland – Dave Gorman’s Googlewack Adventure
M: I saw two things in Poundland I thought to get Ben, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia by The Dandy Warhols and this DVD, and I opted for the DVD.
B: I’ve read the book and seen it on YouTube, so I’m glad to have the DVD so that I can watch it in the comfort of my own DVD player. What it was doing in Poundland though I have no idea!

Forbidden Planet – Harley Quinn figure
M: Ben liked Suicide Squad, mostly for Harley Quinn, which from what I can tell is the only thing to like about it, and when a clown in hot pants is the most popular thing about your film it can’t be very good, which is why I refuse to see it, but I digress. I got this and the cutout for Ben because I knew he’d get hours of enjoyment and pleasure out of them.
B: I always hope for toys at Christmas, because you don’t get them as you grow older, and Mike did not disappoint. I love his choice of figure as well (see ‘Bonus’ for why)

Online – Cardcaptors DVD
M: Both Ben and I watched Cardcaptors when we were younger and I once owned the Movie on VHS. When Ben mentioned it, I knew he’d like the film, even if just for nostalgia. I’d been meaning to get it him for a while, so I figured it was the perfect time to get Ben the Cardcaptors movie.
B: I used to love watching the cartoon series of this on Saturday mornings and haven’t seen it in about over a decade, so I cannot wait to watch it again!

Comic Con – Deadpool PS4 game
I didn’t see much at Comic Con that Ben would like and that I could afford, then I saw this and thought maybe Ben’d like it, he did like the film and I played the game myself and it’s really good, so I got it.
I almost bought this myself after seeing Deadpool, but I didn’t. I’m not going to pretend I’ve always been a Deadpool fan and read all the comics, but I did like the film. I’ve already had a quick play and it’s a very good game.

Bonus – Harley Quinn Life-size Cutout
M: Like I said, hours of enjoyment and pleasure.
B: Upon the release of Suicide Squad this year, I developed a bit of a thing for Harley Quinn – in all her incarnations, I just love the crazy but sexy character. This was made evident to Mike when he saw me staring at a life-size cutout of her in HMV. He joked he would get it me for Christmas… and then he did. So what can I say? Now I have a life-size cutout of Harley Quinn standing in my room and I’m a very happy boy. Though I’ve come to realise it is rather creepy when you’re trying to get to sleep at night and it’s staring at you in the shadows.

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