6 of the best: Luxurious little stocking-fillers

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160901-oliverbrown-aw-1 There’s a knack to it. Father Christmas has it, of course, but when one grows too old and drops off his list, one has to learn it for oneself. How, one wonders, can one fill a stocking with excellent, thoughtful presents without being too extravagant and without loading up on fripperies that will, once retrieved from the sock, never see the light of day again? For one thing, as the focus of Christmas moves to the generation below it’s perhaps unseemly to have as large a stocking as the children. One knows how jealous the young can get, after all. We therefore think that a smaller, more humble stocking for the grown-ups (with fewer, though perhaps rather less humble contents) is what we owe our off-spring. When it comes to the ingredients, perhaps we might offer a few suggestions as to what we’d like to find at the ends of our beds, just to get you started? Every gentleman needs a sponge bag, and if one has to have something and that something is going to last years and years, it’s as well to have the best available. One may or may not consider an iPad a thing of beauty; the right iPad sleeve unquestionably is, however. One mourns the decline of letter-writing as an art, but even if one’s doormat is covered in nothing but bills it’s as well to have a hand-cast, shotgun-style pewter letter opener with which to attack them. The choice of cheese over Christmas - the noble Stilton and the fearsome vacherin aside - is of course a question of individual taste. But whatever one’s taste, a beautiful cheese knife is a very excellent thing. Similarly noble and almost as fearsome is the delicious salmonid cousin of the famous Patum Peperium, The Poacher’s Relish. Finally, if you’re looking to replace those old shooting stockings that may have a hole in the heel or may, indeed, have been stretched to the limit by overly large presents in previous years, may we suggest a pair of Buxton Shooting Socks? The rest, as they say, we leave to you…