What was the biggest waste of money this Christmas?

Posted Monday 5th January 2015   By Ericka Waller

So Christmas has been and gone. Dust-coated wrapping paper can still be found under the sofa, and only the too-chewy Quality Street are left in the tin. The tree has been taken down and put to the back of the garage. I heard a wonderful, or perhaps depressing cheat, the other day about someone who got a very large roll of cling-film and wound it round and round the tree. The tree complete with lights, decorations and tinsel would be kept intact “all ready for next year”.

There seemed to be an awful lot of presents under our tree at 7am on Christmas day, but I can’t seem to work out where they have gone. The girls and I did our yearly purge of toys for the charity shop, but the same old clutter seems to remain.

Thing-one got a sewing machine, which entertained her for half the morning, until all the fabric ran out.  Also, as there was only one machine and three small girls, it caused more arguments than merriment. There was a short period of industrial co-operation where the scene around the dining table looked like the sort of degrading sweatshop conditions photo used to stop people shopping at Primark. They soon revolted however.

I had a result in the local “Chazzle” and got a bumper load of pre-loved Sylvanian family stuff, which I coveted as a child, but was never allowed What’s wrong with your spud-gun? Ungrateful sod. Now go and shoot the neighbour, might stop him peering over the fence to talk to me when I hang out the washing.”

As suspected, the only person who plays with Sylvanians is me. I spend hours setting up lovely tidy houses and happy family picnics, remarking (to the dog) about the teeny tiny newspapers and cutlery, and maybe giving the Hedgehog family names I was never allowed to call my children.

My playing does not last long. Thing-three got a remote controlled Fireman Sam engine. It soon puts paid to my efforts.

Beebies Baby Store sent me a Kiddicare High chair and rocking cot which Thing-two adores. They get carted up and down the stairs everyday. Her shins are covered in bruises but she does not mind. She takes looking after her teddies very seriously. The doctors kit from Nanny and Grandad is never far from her side either ..
“Does this hurt mum?” (hitting me on the head with a small hammer to check reflexes)
“Yes poppet”
“Good, you are not dead”

My Magic Elf did not make it back to the North Pole after Christmas. He has become part of the family. I rather enjoy hiding him in ridiculous places each night for the girls to find the next day.

I think the most loved toy however, was the tiny McDonalds Zebedee doll bought off Ebay for Thing-three at a whopping 99p. The other two were so jealous they resigned themselves to making their own versions. Check them out in the photos.