I’ve been planning this post for a while. I originally started it back in November 2014 when I was off work with a slipped disc in my lower back. Fuelled by boredom and a lot of heavy duty pain relief, I tried to spend my time (between a lot of crap TV and reading every book and comic in the house) planning out and drafting various blogs. Much of what I wrote was rubbish. At points, I could barely string a coherent sentence together. However, one piece, that I started writing, seemed to get some traction.
This post is about that ‘original’ piece and the document that it became.
To keep things simple, I’m going to refer to it as ‘the contract’. You’ll see why below. It started as a joke and remains one (in a funny sense I hope), but maybe something that you will find interesting. In drafting the contract, it allowed me the opportunity to write an extensive list of all the topics, genres and interests that keep me excited. There’s a heavy slant on geeky loves but then that was one of the reasons that originally drove me the start writing it.
So, what is it?
The contract is essentially my Christmas wish list to my wife. However, it’s not a handwritten list of vaguely unoriginal items or even a table with links. No, it’s a legal contract stipulating exactly what I want/wanted for Christmas and giving very good guidance on how the Christmas holidays should be spent. Remember, I was on drugs (prescribed)! And, it is meant as some fun, not an actual legal requirement. Oh! and I have subsequently updated it this year, as you will see below.
It started as a basic wish list.
It grew into a longer document, with links, reading notes, footnotes and additional considerations. It got to the point where I felt it needed a better overall structure. And I needed to fill my days. This seemed like a good way to do it! My first career was as a solicitor, so I could just about remember the contractual basics. And, as it was a bit of fun, it didn’t need to be the finest example of commercial drafting ever written.
So, I started to construct the list into a basic contract.
I set out the period the contract ran for and the parties affected. I stipulated the compulsory watching of certain Christmas films through the holiday and specific ‘geeky’ tasks. In 2014, the outstanding ‘big’ holiday task was sorting and refiling a large chunk of my comic collection that had become unmanageable. Due to the fact that my back was screwed, I needed help with it and the missus was legally nominated as my second in command for the task. Well, as I’ll keep pointing out, it was fun to draft and I was on drugs.
I drafted a schedule of ideas for presents with all the relevant links at the end of the document and also crafted a defined term known as ‘Relevant Genres’ which could be used as a guideline for any present, activity or task that needed to happen over the holiday.
Additionally, it stated the maximum spend and that there was no stipulation preventing an overspend. It also gave guidance to the whole ‘controversial’ off-list option that so many people seem to employ. By covering this off, I was essentially giving ideas and hints for the next year of presents (birthday, anniversaries, following Christmas etc). Yes, it was all one-way traffic, but hey, so is every other wish list.
I also stated what was ‘not’ wanted. I’m sure I’m not the only one who often feels that presents like socks, slippers and aftershaves are only good if you actually need them! All too often, they seem to be pre-requisites for a Christmas stocking and honestly I’d rather the money was either not spent or spent on something useful, fun or relevant. The caveat, as above, is unless I actually do need a new pair of slippers (as I do this year actually).
So, having meticulously drafted it, emailed it to the missus and then have her completely disregard it (although, the extensive list at the end did help), I thought maybe someone else could adapt it, template it and get use out of it. So, here is it. I’ve amended it slightly and removed addresses etc but otherwise it is all there. Enjoy! And do let me know if you get any use out of it.