If I Could Buy One Stock For Christmas, It Would Be Unilever plc

Christmas for me is all about big family gatherings… and the copious amounts of food that this normally entails.

This year should be extra special as it will be my daughter’s first real experience of Christmas. She was only a couple of months old last December, and so very much a disinterested observer. And she seems to loves her food, especially when we all sit down for a meal together. I must confess, though, we haven’t yet decided whether to feed her sprouts!

Since Bernard Matthews — of ‘Bootiful’ and Turkey Twizzlers fame — is no longer a listed company, I’m going to plump for another food company for my Christmas stock. Well, it’s mostly a consumer products company these days. It’s Unilever (LSE: ULVR) (NYSE: UL.US).

Looking down its list of brands, a lot of them won’t actually get much of a look in as far as Christmas lunch goes. But I suspect the PG Tips will come into play afterwards, as we need soothing beverages while we wash up. And Slim-Fast may even be handy if we overdo it.

But it’s Unilever’s dependability that mostly attracts me. Its dividends aren’t spectacular but have grown nicely over the years, and I like the way it has distanced itself from reporting detailed quarterly profit updates. It’s not had the best 2014, as growth from emerging markets has slowed, but I still like its long-term position. After all, a stock is not just for Christmas!

In fact, Unilever is one of five shares in the FTSE 100 that our top analysts have highlighted in our special report "5 Shares To Retire On". To find out the reasons behind their inclusion, and the names of the other four shares, simply click here to have it delivered completely free to your inbox.

Stuart Watson has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares in Unilever. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.