Does anyone else wake up in a cold sweat when they realise they've forgotten someone's birthday? Do you turn over the page on your calendar* only to discover that a relative has inconveniently been born on the first of the month and that their birthday is TODAY?
My solution to this sleep-depriving dilemma has been to stash a few 'emergency gifts' in a basket under the spare bed. Currently I've got some L'Occitane toiletries, a White Company candle and a Cath Kidston scarf waiting for the right occasion (apologies if any of my friends or family read this and find themselves on the receiving end of one of these in the next few months). Men are more difficult - not everyone wants a Jeremy Clarkson dvd or a t-shirt with a bicycle on the front - but then most men I know are quite happy with something edible or drinkable (and aren't bothered if it's wrapped up either).
This was one of the reasons I decided to sell some of the items on the Snowbunting site in pairs or threes. Three stem vases? Keep one and put two in your emergency basket. A pair of Moroccan pots? One for me and one for 'just in case'.
The only problem with this plan is that it's very difficult to keep away from the basket. If the items are desirable (and being a person of good taste, of course everything in your basket is going to be lovely) it's very difficult to stop yourself from taking them out and using them.
Which reminds me. The nights are starting to draw in and I haven't bought any candles yet this year......
*Game of Thrones, thanks for asking. Don't judge me!