How to nail your secret Santa without leaving Smithdown

Santa Claus is coming to Smithdown!

One minute you’re opening the first day on your advent calendar and the next it’s the last week of term and the house won’t shut up about bloody secret Santa. You’re at a loss. No, you don’t have any money, and no you don’t have any time, and no Toby is not an easy person to buy for and you don’t even like him that much. The bad news is is you’ve only got a spare 20 minutes while the washing’s on to get this sorted and it’s too late to order anything online. However the good news is that you won’t need to walk far. Smithdown Road will answer all your holiday needs.

A pint

All I want for Christmas is Carling and luckily for you, there’s a fine dispensary just down the road that goes by the name of the Brookhouse. A promised pint on a busy AU night is a gift that will be well received, especially if it includes queuing for them. Taking one for the team and waiting in the rabble of netballers dressed as fag packets and rugby boys in drag is truly a gift from the heart.

Get bevved


Possibly the best shop on the street, Dafna’s Cheesecake is a gift from the gods and will be enjoyed by all.

Get in my belly now

A vinyl 

For the hipster tumblr-trash bloggers among us, there’s nothing like a vintage vinyl. A new face to Smithdown road, Defend Vinyl specialises in ‘indie, punk, emo and alternative music’ so your secret Santa can experience My Chemical Romance in all its angsty teenage glory, because everyone knows ‘they just sound warmer than CDs ya know…’

located right ‘B-side’ Kellys Dispensary… get it?

A dolly

I mean you’re a braver man than me if you can get within 10 foot of that shop without your skin crawling. Good luck.

A Smithdown fish


Despite common rumours there is actually a fully legitimate aquarium behind those grubby wooden slats. Perfect for a hopeful vet, a little goldfish could make someone very happy. But don’t forget, the same way a puppy isn’t just for Christmas, a fish isn’t just for term time. Maybe limit this gift to a local so Claire isn’t forced to carry her new fishy friend home on the Euston train every term.

I still reckon they cook ket in the basement though.

Hey fella, can you sort me out?

A groovy bong

Ideal for the pot head in your house and bound to yield rewarding results on nights in when your neighbour wants to ‘get baked’ with you. Or maybe you know a medic who just needs to chill out, or perhaps you need the mum of the house to stop moaning about the state of the bathroom. We’ll make a stoner of you yet!

*Yoda voice* “Nailed your secrect santa you have”

A cheeky donner

You Khan’t go wrong with a Khan’s.

Take me to the Nugz


A gift that gives twice. Give the two men who run ‘Sefton Park Furniture’ what will most likely be their first and only sale of 2016 and give your housemate a new spinning chair, very likely salvaged from a disused office in town somewhere.

Feelin’ like the Queen of Smithdown Road


Minimal effort presents always win. A late night dash is all that’s required here. Pick up a suspiciously pricey ‘bargain’ and throw it in an old gift bag. Despite appearances I’m pretty sure you can get everything cheaper in ASDA if you’re willing to take the walk.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like pre-drinks”

Vintage gear

Throw a feather boa, some kitten heels that look like they’re straight out of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ and a bobbly cat jumper together and you might have yourself a festive outfit to give any vintage lover. It might be hideous but they’ll at least pretend to be appreciative. Give it a good spray of deodorant before gifting day though, might help mask the l’eu de la urine.