Tag Archives: gifts

With Love from the Richen’s

Ok seriously, how much money are you spending on kiddies birthday presents? Now I am a firm believer in gift giving. Firstly because I love receiving gifts myself, but secondly because everyone deserves to be spoilt on that one special day that celebrates their lives and the wonderful and unique value they place in YOUR life. I especially like to carry this through with my female friends and with the children in our circle  – because us girls and kids like to be made a fuss over right?

Anyway, point is… recently I have discovered that gift giving is becoming outrageously expensive. And this has got nothing to do with my gift choices, but rather with the number of birthday parties my kids are being invited too. And yes, the rational answer would be to decline the invitation and solve the problem, but with Liam having schooled with his peers for almost three years he is pretty good friends with most of the children and when we get invited, we actually really do want to attend. This said, we are on about party number 10 so far this year – school friends and home friends. That’s 10 kids presents. In between we have had birthdays of many family members and good friends and that equals  a lot more presents. When you add that all up, that’s a lot of money being spent on gifts, right?

Also, unless you are buying at the Chinese Market (and yes, if I see something really nice there, I WILL buy your gift from China Mall), getting something “nice” doesn’t come cheap. My gift of choice for children is books, and I do have my little secret spot which has great titles for great prices, but it still adds up. Add gift wrap or a gift bag and a card/tag and you really are forking out quite a bit for each birthday you celebrate!

So my questions are:

How much are you spending on gifts for your children’s friends?

Do you have any great gift ideas which don’t break the bank – for kids or adults?

Do you give gifts to everyone in your immediate circle celebrating a birthday?

Mother’s Day is coming up and someone on Twitter (can’t remember who now) had this awesome idea to buy a pot plant in a plain holder (or buy the holder and plant a plant yourself) and get your kids to paint and decorate them. I loved this idea for Granny’s gift from Liam and Hannah, she will love them. This is a thoughtful handmade gift which totally won’t break the bank. I am not much of a crafter but I think this is something I could manage! Also while grannies love handmade things from their grandchildren, your average 4 year old would not freak out in excitement at a handmade pot plant from their classmate, now would they?

Seriously, with the cost of living on the up and up, the last thing I have space for in the already bursting budget is presents, I’m just not sure how handshakes or hugs would go down as the gift of choice?


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

With only something like 60 odd days left until Christmas, I guess it’s time to haul out the dusty Christmas decoration box and fake tree. I like to put my tree up mid November, so as to prolong the Christmas cheer for the kids, and to build anticipation levels to breaking point so that on Christmas morning they are positively freaking out with excitement. There’s nothing like a little kid’s unadulterated joy on Christmas morning, I may have another kid just to experience this joy again. No, I won’t don’t be silly. But really, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to watch them brim over with happiness on Christmas morning. When they still believe that Father Christmas comes down the chimney, thank goodness we actually have a fireplace this year so I won’t be asked a million questions about how FC is actually going to get into the house. Last year Liam was pretty upset that we didn’t have a chimney and was very concerned about FC’s visit. Hopefully by the time Liam and Hannah read this, they would have discovered that FC doesn’t really exist, or else I have just blown it, haven’t I? Sorry kids.

Anyway, this year I want to go all out and dolly up the house with lights and green and red stuff everywhere. I want Boney M to be blasting out of the speakers until the neighbour’s dog is whining along. I want to start baking Christmas cookies and hanging out the loot Stockings (without the loot just yet) and Feliz Navidad myself into a Christmas Coma. Liam’s school put their decorations up last week, and of course they have been rehearsing for the Christmas concert, so he is well into the Christmas Spirit already. I want to get cracking on my Christmas shopping now, so I can enjoy the festive season away from busy malls and desperate shoppers looking for last minute gifts and last minute gammon.

So remember last year and this post? Liam refused to ride his big boy Barney bike – maybe he wasn’t ready, maybe it didn’t make enough noise as the black plastic one did – I’m not sure, but fast forward a year, and he is begging for a bicycle. Hannah just mimics Liam so she is asking for a bike as well, but I know she is going to lose her mind when she sees the play house I have in mind for her. We’ve drawn names to buy for one adult in the family: I love this method, its cost effective and it means there’s no pressure to waste your entire bonus on Christmas presents. And for everyone else we want to spoil, I’m visiting the Consol store and getting pretty jars for the cookies the kids will be baking. Gifts sorted.

We will be building our hampers for our usual charities, and this year Liam is more aware of helping people so I think they will enjoy getting more involved with spreading cheer to those who are less fortunate. Already, the kids are cleaning us out of tinned and dry goods at home, as both church and school are running food drives for Christmas hampers and we are asked to donate as much and as often as we can. My kids have made it their life’s ambition to fill the food bins, much to the detriment of my own grocery cupboards.

I love this time of year! Our diaries are bursting at the seams with events we need to attend – some at church, some at school, some at work and of course some in our social circle. And even though I complain, I secretly love the hustle and bustle that comes with the silly season. I hope FC has a big fat pressie with my name on it.