The utterly inessential shopping list: Christmas jumpers for two, and a rare chance to witness the £210 pencil sharpener

Forget about the big things. You can keep the necessities. Don't tell us about the must-haves. Alexandra Fraser takes a look at a few little luxuries which, in a world too full of strife and woe, will help ease your way through life with a smile on your face.

‘Honey, I think we should see other people…’

 Glenmuir Christmas jumpers

Sometimes I get this feeling that my world would be complete if I had a Christmas card of my partner and I in matching Christmas jumpers, sitting with my Labrador (who would obviously be wearing reindeer ears) in front of my family home’s 15-year-old plastic Christmas tree that I definitely have not knocked over twice this year mother, I don’t know how those scrapes got on the wall. Other times I feel like the mere suggestion would leave me tearfully singing ‘Baby, Pease Come Home’ on my own on the 24th, having eaten an entire Yule log.

If I were to take the plunge, I would do so in these Glenmuir jumpers. The quality is incredible, the motifs are adorable and the rich golfing history behind the brand allows you to smugly say: ‘It’s not just any Christmas jumper.

Glenmuir Fairisle Ladies & Mens patterned Christmas Golf Sweaters for £50 each,

I’d steak my life on this knife 

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Sometimes something crosses my inbox that is just so cool it defies reason. Yes, you could use a normal steak knife, but why would you when the Skalpel steak knife (now you get the odd opening joke) is on the market?


It’s beautifully designed, it’s sharp and it’s surprisingly weighty. It’s also a little frightening for the medically uninspired. That being said, if you do happen to have a carnivorous doctor friend, this may just be the ultimate Christmas present. Just make sure they’re sound of mind before you give them what is essentially a very nicely packaged murder weapon.

The Skalpel Steak Knife, from £120 per knife or £420 for a set of four, available at

When regular bowls, including those of a toilet, just wont do

Stainless steel dog bowl from Le Chameau

Dogs are natural scavengers, and scavengers are not fussy creatures. They’ll drink from a gutter. They’ll drink from a footprint in the mud. They’ll even drink from a toilet.

But just because they will, does that mean that they have to? The choice is yours.

Stainless steel dog bowl from Le Chameau for £25,

A list with no alcohol is as unimaginable as a £210 pencil sharpener. 

Save the horrors of your pups eating fallen tree chocolate and replace them with more-securely-placed baubles of alcohol for a very merry Christmas. The chocolate, not the dogs. And just pray the children don’t figure out how to find a way up the tree.

This adorable pack of six gin-filled baubles from the Lakes Distillery contains Damson Gin, Sloe Gin and their regular ordinary (but still delicious) Lakes Gin. Is it necessary? No. Am I still going to buy it? You bet your sweet baubles I am.

The Lakes Distillery Spirit of Christmas Gin Bauble Gift Set for £29.95, available from 

Welcome to the reason this list exists

Caran D’ache pensil sharpener for £210

I… I had a speech. I had things to say about this. So many things that the mind boggles at the number of opinions it can hold.

But now… Now I just need to lie down.

Caran D’ache pensil sharpener for £210,