So, there are now only 51 shopping days left until Christmas – gulp! The toy stores are opening until 11pm every night and the TV ads are on festive over-drive.
This time of year is very much a double-edged sword for me. Within a space of 3 weeks from the end of October to mid-November, we have both the boys’ birthdays – closely followed, of course, by christmas. This means that I get endless phone calls from well meaning grandparents and aunts and uncles asking what the boys would like as presents and, I panic.
When I do think of something they might possibly need, this means that there really isn’t much left for ‘Santa’ to bring which leaves me wracking my brain for ideas again.
For weeks, we seem to have an endless array of friends, relatives and postmen arriving with presents, which although all very lovely and exciting (I’m a sucker for a celebration), inevitably leaves us grown ups feeling a little uncomfortable.
I get stressed about where everything is going to go and try desperately to re-organise everything so it looks as though we don’t live in an actual toy shop. I feel bad that some toys are hardly played with and do my level best to rotate them, but of course despite my best intentions this never happens.
We have started to ask the boys to choose one of their older toys to give to charity at Christmas time – which I hope goes some way towards helping them understand that not everyone is as lucky as they are, and perhaps helps them to appreciate what they have. Does it? I don’t know.
I wonder whether with the recession affecting so many households this year, will we see a more sensible approach to present-buying for the children? I hope so, because I really do think that children get so, so much these days (gosh, I sound like an old woman!), and I have to think that this can’t be a good thing in the long run.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.