This evening we started planning this year’s Christmas presents over a perfect pint in the Crafty Devil bar on Llandaff Road. It was our monthly two hours in Cardiff when the boys attend the youth group run by Talk Adoption. It’s a good opportunity to catch up with my family, although that usually boils down to my house-bound parents as everyone else is out on a Saturday evening.
Jon has found a web site that sells cheap alternatives to expensive brands, covering more or less everything you could want, and certainly everything on the boys’ wish-lists. This worries me. It brings to mind one of my very early Christmas’s. At the age of four or five, I wanted a toy Hoover vacuum cleaner. And I mean a Hoover. The Green Shield Stamps shop sold genuine imitation Hoovers. I guess they were expensive, and beyond the reach of Father Christmas, as that year I was given a multi-coloured plastic vacuum cleaner that lit up when it was used. This may sound like fun for a toddler, but I didn’t want fun, I wanted genuine imitation, and I wanted to imitate the thousands of housewives who used a Hoover vacuum. That need seemed to be lost on Father Christmas, and I’m determined that it isn’t lost on us as parents.