Forget kids writing their lists for Santa, at this time of year it’s parents the world over who are making lists and checking them twice.
Two words that strike white-hot fear into most parents: Christmas shopping.
There’s nothing I love more than dawdling round the shops at Christmas, soaking in the festive cheer, seeing the excitement on the kids faces, humming along to the same old Christmas tunes (even as someone else nearby is moaning about Christmas music everywhere). But I can’t really relax enough to do that until the Christmas shopping - at least for the kids - is done.
I spend a lot of November and often December waiting for that moment when the kids announce what they want for Christmas. Hoping it will be something reasonable and easy to source…all the while knowing that more than likely a friend of theirs will casually mention something to them in the playground the week before Christmas and that will suddenly be at the top of their list. Of course I will then explain that they’ve already written their letters to Santa (any sensible parent gets that locked down at the earliest possible opportunity) only to be told it’s okay they will ask their Elf to tell Santa and he’ll get it for them…who’s idea was it to invite an Elf on the Shelf into our household, oh yeah…mine!!
Who’s idea was it to invite an Elf on the Shelf into our household, oh yeah…mine!!
Who can even fathom the toys wish list currently doing the rounds? I don’t know what half the things are they talk about. Last year even after I intercepted a scribbled list bound for the North Pole I had to instigate a lot of teatime conversations to help me decipher what was actually being asked for.
Often it feels like a stab in the dark as to what kids actually want. But get it wrong and you’ll soon know about it. Most children have yet to learn the socially necessary art of hiding disappointment so if they hate what they get it will be painfully obvious.
Despite the stress of it all, after almost all our Christmas shopping was done online last year I am craving those Christmas shopping moments (even those when I have to try to sneak something to the till without the kids seeing it).
So determined to shop local at least a little bit we headed out late night shopping one Thursday to Linlithgow for it’s quirky independent shops. After the kids explored all the hidden corners of Far From The Madding Crowd – a treasure trove of not just books but all sorts of gifts and stationery as well - we nipped along to Rouken Glen Garden Centre to check out all the decorations. Of course every single one had to be touched as we looked around. And then we stopped in to Mannerstons Café because of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without a milkshake in front of a roaring fire…yes I know, kids are weird.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a milkshake in front of a roaring fire…yes I know, kids are weird.
Here’s to hoping the biggest, baddest, coolest toys are under the tree this year!
Published in Konect December 2021
Author: Laura Archibald