Christmas on a shoestring.

John and I have put a budget on our Christmas presents. We're not to spend more than a hundred euro on each other AND we have to get a few presents, not just one big one.

In my naivety I thought that it'd be a doddle to pick up a load of stocking fillers.

But as it turns out its harder to buy something thoughtful that's cheap instead of splashing out.

I traipsed up and down Grafton St on Saturday and Henry St on Sunday.

So far I've bought him a chocolate Santa.

Girls are easy to buy for - it doesn't matter how many lip glosses I have, I'm always excited to get another one. Throw in some nail varnish and I'm happy a very happy camper.

Cheap and cheerful stuff for boys tends to be tat.

It's all remote control cars and gadgets like camera's you can fit on your keyring. I know he wouldn't like it because it's pointless. John has a camera that fits in his pocket and another good one on his phone. It wouldn't even occur to him to use an inferior one that's dangling from his key ring.

It's the same with the D.I.Y kits. Why would he want miniature screwdrivers? He'll be getting them in the crackers on Christmas day anyway.

I had hoped to buy myself underwear and pass it off as a gift for him but I've been banned from doing that.

Although, to be fair, he didn't say anything about handcuffs ................