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Kids at Christmas time

It’s an annual problem – what to get the kids that have everything?  It’s a veritable minefield: Teddy Bears – Asthma inducing dust carriers.  DVDs – they’ve seen that…and that…and that (ok I get the picture, even if they’re not).  In general toys seem to be frowned upon by the parent – Santa is bringing enough clutter, pardon me presents, without Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Godparents adding to the pile of trip hazards.

And thus I began to tread the dangerous and ultimately heart breaking path of clothes buying.  Beautiful knitted jumpers, overpriced socks from gap, jackets, hats and scarves. Gorgeous threads from boutiques that the little ones are sure to just adore – throw off their baby gros and hit Gymboree in style.  Sure. The process of gift buying is never entirely altruistic and what can compare to the enormous joy that results from watching excited little faces light up as they tear through the carefully wrapped parcel – swiftly followed by a firm kick in the gut as the clothes are thrown to the floor, granted as much care and consideration as the wrapping paper.  Cast your mind back; we all remember our own disgust when we received a gift of clothes as a child – who honestly wants to be that Aunty?

Well, quite frankly I’d rather be the Aunty that gives clothes then the poor naïve soul who thinks a toddler will appreciate the present of a goat for an African family.  Don’t get me wrong, these presents are a wonderful idea and a lesson in charity but, is this really an Aunty’s job? And take it from a pro and team them up with something shiny and fun or prepare to plug your ears from the wails of disappointment.  See Karen from Outnumbered’s reaction for a prime example…

So one nephew, four nieces and two godchildren later – what have I learned?  I may not have the finances to dazzle with big presents but I’ve found that I can still elevate myself near the top of the best Aunty leader board (I have stiff competition) by means of the “Special Day Out”.   In the past we’ve gone to pantomimes, Christmas plays, dabbled in some Christmas shopping in town – this year we’re braving ice-skating.  Here’s hoping I return both children in one piece or we’ll very quickly be reverting to clothing gifts – fingers crossed that will be enough of a threat for them to behave responsibly on the rink.

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