It is now officially OK to mention the C word. And do your Christmas shopping. Because it can be hard to know what to buy kids (especially if you don’t have any or they’re all grown up), I’ve put together a little gift guide for small people under the age of 7. What to buy. What not to buy.
Disclaimer: this list is supposed to be tongue in cheek. If you don’t find it funny, you’re probably following the wrong blog. Or it’s just not funny. Also, all kids are different. If in doubt, sod the kids and buy mum a crate of gin in a can. And throw in a pack of Haribos for the kids. In fact, ignore all of the below and just do that. Much better idea.
THE NO LIST.
1. Anything Frozen. The difference a year makes. I’m talking Disney. Not stuff from Iceland. In our house, Elsa is pretty much dead to my girls now. Remember how last year you took a trip by donkey, not to find an inn for the night, but to find the last Elsa doll in the land? Not this year. I made the mistake of buying a Frozen card for Beaver’s friend’s 7th birthday last week. Beaver looked at it in disgust. ‘Ugh. She hates Frozen. I don’t like it anymore either.’ Well, I’m sorry for being so last year.
2. Toys that require batteries. My kids don’t know that you can even replace batteries. They think that they die and that’s the end. And that’s the way I want it to stay. We’re already having a nightmare with The Boy With No Name’s remote control fetish. Meaning we now have two batteries left that we alternate between four controls. Yes, really. In fact. You know what my kids would REALLY, REALLY like this year? A pack of 36 batteries. Thanks very much.
3. Play sets with small pieces. Playmobil reckon their toys are suitable for children 4+. I don’t know who these four year olds are but they don’t live in my house. We have tried to build the princess, swan and forest but too many bits have got lost along the way. Possibly the Boy has eaten them. More likely Beaver has stuffed them into a bag of crap somewhere, never to be seen again.
4. Toys with removable clothes. Last year, Beaver got the Sylvanian rabbit family. I loved Sylvanian when I was growing up so this made me very happy. A little trip down Memory Lane and all that. However, it didn’t make them very happy. Shortly after moving in, they went on to spend the rest of the year exiled from one another, completely naked. It’s not how any rabbit wants to end up.
5. Crafts. I’m sorry but it’s a no. Yes, they look nice. Yes, the box is pretty. Yes, the kids might love making their own jewel encrusted owl. But unless you’re going to do it with them, round at your house, just no.
6. A telescope. Contrary to the new John Lewis Christmas advert, neither my three year old nor my six year old have once said they want a telescope. Or a #manonthemoon. Sorry John Lewis.
THE YES LIST.
1. Pyjamas. OK, call me boring. Call me the killer of Christmas. But pyjamas are USEFUL. You might not get brownie points from the kids but the parents will LOVE you. And they’re the ones serving the booze, right? Yes. If in doubt, buy a nice pair of PJs. Go one size up, so they last until next Christmas. Or, better still, two sizes up so they last until the one after that.
2. Babies (fake ones). At last count, Godivy has nine babies. She has at least another two coming this Christmas. It’s all she wants and she loves them so much we simply can’t refuse her. Also, I’m hoping she’s getting it all out of her system now because if she has 11 kids when she’s older, she’s on her own. Well, she won’t be on her own because she’ll have 11 kids. But she won’t see me for dust.
3. Felt tip pens. You can never have enough pens when you’re a kid. Mainly because they dry out approximately 37 minutes after opening the pack. Yes, you tell them to ‘PUT THE LIDS ON!’ but they never do and so you are left with lots of lids. And lots of dried out pens. If there are small children in the house, make sure you buy washable ones. Otherwise you’ll end up like us, with a family mural on the bedroom wall and a strange giant penis looking drawing in the hallway. Thanks Godivy. (Banksy, she is not.)
4. Dressing up clothes. A guaranteed hit. Unless you buy Elsa. Ha ha. But seriously, what with all the dressing up days at nursery and school, most houses need a full on costume and props cupboard. Superheroes seem to be the current trend for boys and girls. Just think. You’ll be saving a generation of kids from crap craft mums who just make them wear red underpants over their school uniform on Superhero Day. Not guilty, obviously.
5. A onesie. Nope. There doesn’t seem to be any danger of these going out of fashion. Sigh. This is the fashion statement that will come back to bite our kids in 15 years. Much like the batwings and paisley of the 80s and 90s did to us. If that ain’t a good enough reason to buy one, I don’t know what is.
6. Wet weather gear. No, I’m not kidding. Yes I am the killer of Christmas. This is what my mum is buying The Boy With No Name this year. A USEFUL waterproof all-in-one with wellies so he can roll around in mud to his heart’s content without me having a heart attack. I’d say you can’t go wrong with something like this for young kids. We live in the UK. It rains a lot. What more is there to say?
7. Jigsaws, books and nice notebooks. At nearly 4, Godivy really enjoys doing a puzzle. We’ve been doing the same one for the past year. So we’re almost ready to move onto a new one (someone kill me now). A lovely book makes everyone happy. And you can never have enough paper (especially if it stops them drawing on the walls).
8. Nit shampoo. The average parent spends £2,317 a year fighting nits*. So why not buy the kids a gift they’ll really treasure?
*this amount is based on a bottle of nit shampoo a week plus all the bottles of wine/gin you’ll need to drink just to get over the ordeal.