Is this the Christmas present from hell?

I think I may have made a major blunder over my wife’s Christmas present, and I need to ask your advice.

She’s a luxury-loving sweetheart, and usually I save up all year, as I’ve done this year, to buy her something really special. Last year it was a luxury break for the two of us in Egypt, the year before it was a designer coat that I knew she wanted. You get the picture?

This year, as always, we’ll be spending Christmas Day here, and then driving up to Yorkshire to see her parents, and finally up to my own home town of Edinburgh for Hogmanay.

Although it’s officially my car, most of the time my wife drives it, so really we think of it as her car. I get the Tube into work, and she drives the children to school, then goes on to her workplace.

So this year I’ve told her that I’ll need to take the car away tomorrow, and I’ll get it back some time after dark on Christmas Eve. She’s got so excited and keeps asking me questions, and it’s clear that she’s come to the conclusion that I’m buying her a new car. While I’d love to be able to do that, it’s a bit far from the truth, and I wonder if I’ve been too practical this year.

Because after the bad weather we’ve had, what I’ve done is to arrange to have the car fitted with winter tyres. It’s cost me an arm and a leg. But all through the bad weather I was on pins, wondering if she’d be OK, driving, and driving the kids. She does tend to get a bit impatient and some of the side roads round here were ungritted, and that worried me.

But what really worried me was the prospect of driving up to Yorkshire and Scotland, so instead of the eternity ring I’d got my eye on, I changed my mind and got a set of tyres.

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They’re going to be fitted tomorrow, and I’m going to drive the car back and park it in the garage on Christmas Eve. Obviously I can’t wrap this gift, so it’ll just be a case of opening the garage door on Christmas Day, to what, exactly? Is this the Christmas present from hell?

I just want to keep her safe, but it’s not exactly what she might want. HELP!

Barbara says: Let me start by saying you’ve done something very wise. In the UK we really should start thinking about snow tyres, and swap over every November to them. It would save so many lives and so much time and energy. BUT, I see where you’re coming from. It would take a bit of a miracle to pull this off as a luxury Christmas gift. So here’s what you do.

You buy some silver wrapping paper and some stick-on hearts and flowers, and spend Christmas Eve in the garage, wrapping the tyres and putting decorations on the paper, And you write a special note for each tyre, in big letters – things like – “Because your life means more to me than anything” and “I’ll always keep you safe!” and “Love is a life-time investment of the heart” and “I’ll never get tyred of your love” or other cheesy comments. And place a huge bouquet or a decent bottle of champagne on the bonnet.

You may get away with it when she sees how much you want to protect her. It’s a close call. But it just may work! Happy Christmas!