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Your guide to Christmas gift-hinting

Christmas presents

TV body language expert Judi James reveals her fool-proof ways to ensure you get the Christmas present you want without actually asking them, plus how to act when (predictably) you get some absolute corkers around the Christmas tree…

Be transfixed
While in Dundrum Town Centre together, either slip away from your partner or wait until they nip off to the loo. Meanwhile, stand in the ‘transfixed’ pose, staring directly at that silk robe or necklace you have your heart set on, pretend to be oblivious to everything around you.

They will ask what you are looking at – play defensive, trying to block their view while muttering something about it being far too expensive.

Make them your rescuer
Pick someone your partner knows you dislike and mention how sad you get because they always come into work after Christmas flaunting the latest designer handbag. 

Use your best friend

If your partner asks, defer them to your best buddy because ‘they know my taste’. You will, of course, have briefed them in advance and they will, of course, ensure your partner not only gets the high-end Sonic toothbrush you want, they will shame them into buying it. Because – as we know – our partners are always slightly intimidated by our closest friends…

Name the shop
Tell your partner you’d love a gift from the range at your favourite fragrance shop. Pop in beforehand and brief the sales assistant, who will then happily steer your partner towards that perfume or aftershave you want, making them feel it was their choice all along.


What do you do when you receive a present that just isn’t very you? Graciously accept (it’s the thought that counts, right?) and put on your best gift face, with the help of our body language tips and tricks: 

1. Avoid exaggeration – keep it simple and subtle. Huge toothy smiles look fake and verbal hyperbole (‘It’s the best present EVER!’) will always sound insincere.
2. Eyes are always the give-away so keep yours on the gift. Don’t look across at the giver – they will spot the horror in your expression and you’ll be sunk. 
3. Hold the gift up at face level and study it while you say your thanks, as shoving it on the floor will register your disapproval. 
4. If you know your face is a giveaway, cover it with your hands. This should look like a gesture of surprise and joy, so cupping the face fully in both hands is a feasible option. 
5. Double-bluff and use honesty. Yell out ‘I hate it!’ with a look of mock-horror on your face. Pause a second before yelling out ‘No, of course I don’t, I love it – it’s amazing!’. Everyone will be more than happy to soak up your thankful performance, no matter how feeble it is.

Her ultimate wish-list

1. Eileen Fisher oversized cashmere jumper, €493.37, Harvey Nichols 2. Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme 100ml, €70 The Perfume Shop 3. Links of London Aurora silver/rose gold cluster necklace, Ernest Jones 4. Mulberry large Darley bag, €625, House of Fraser, 5. Rosie for Autograph silk dressing gown, €140, M&S

His ultimate wish-list
1. Document case in printed leather,Hugo Boss 2. Dior Homme Intense 100ml, €70, The Perfume Shop 3. The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley 10-year-old Irish whiskey, Harvey Nichols 4. SoundLink wireless headphones II, €229.95, Bose 5. Philips DiamondClean Smart sonic toothbrush, €469.99 Boots

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