The 12 Days of Christmas: Day four – buying presents

Christmas So Christmas is all about giving, not receiving. And the real meaning of Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, sharing meals together and reminding ourselves why families no longer live in big, shared houses and instead buy lots of small houses a long way from each other.

It’s a special time and the whole ‘present’ thing has nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

But I admit it. I’m shallow. I still want presents.

I love opening little boxes with ribbons to find Tiffany & Co jewellery or pink Converse baseball boots. I remember Christmas gifts from years ago with a real thrill – my first guitar, a limited edition Audrey Hepburn print, some fantastic Pied a Terre boots that I can’t wear any more because my feet grew when I was pregnant. Oh, I remember how excited I was when I got tickets to see Green Day. Yes, I love presents.

As it happens, this year, I know what I’m getting. And to say I’m excited, well, it doesn’t even come close. 

“Mummy, do I have to buy you a gift?” Flea asked me a few days ago.

“You don’t have to buy anyone a gift, but it might be nice to buy presents for people you like.”

“I think I will buy you a present.”

“Well, that’s very kind,” I say, congratulating myself on raising a great kid who knows how important it is to buy their Mother a present.

Later that evening, over dinner, Flea says: “I know what I’m going to buy you!”

“Really? Well, make sure it’s a surprise and don’t tell me.”

Of course, Flea, like most four year olds, doesn’t really understand the concept of surprise or secret. She says: “It’s a special sort of sweetie, that only grown-ups can have,” she starts.

Liqueurs? Truffles? Not a favourite, but I could cope with those, I think.

“You have to suck it, that’s why grown-ups have it.”

Hmm. Not truffles, then.

“Shall I give you a clue?” She's bouncing on the chair by this point, she's so pleased with herself.


She takes a deep breath. Grins like a Cheshire cat. “It’s a MINT.”

Like I said, excited doesn’t even come close.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 22nd December 2009 / 2:18 pm

    How jealous am I?
    Let’s make sure the shops haven’t sold out after the mad mint rush.

  2. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    22nd December 2009 / 2:22 pm

    lol! I still have the Elvis soap No 1 Son gave me one year. Thought, counts, etc.

  3. 22nd December 2009 / 3:59 pm

    What type of mints I wonder, will she push the boat out with Bendicks or will it be a packet of polos…

  4. 22nd December 2009 / 6:09 pm

    I’m hoping for Bendicks but preparing myself for Polos.
    I can tell you’re all jealous, you’re just hiding it (really, really) well.

  5. 22nd December 2009 / 6:29 pm

    that’s one clever small person- grown-ups always seemed to smell of mints when I was a lass. We used to get my nan mints every Christmas. She was never without one. I can’t stand them, probably for that reason. That said pregnancy-related indigestion has kicked in so mint-flavoured chewy rennies are ll I would want for Christmas. Sad.

  6. 22nd December 2009 / 8:18 pm

    Brilliant. I remember once going to the shops when I was about ten. There was a promotion on these tube things that said “Mum” on them. I was so excited I ran all the way home, and asked mum for some money. When she asked why, I told her I was buying her a surprise. When I returned i handed her the most exiciting present I’d ever bought (with her money) – a cannister of MUM deoderant. She duly smiled and said thank you. It was only years later when I knew what a deorderant was I realised how awful it was – not only to be asked for the money but to get deorderant as a present! Still, a mint will take away the taste of turkey.. until the next turkey meal.

  7. 22nd December 2009 / 9:33 pm

    Just love it! Mine have no concept of secret either although I hope they have been speaking to their Dad as I really don’t know what they are going to get me…maybe I should prod Charlie just to remind him , you know, just in case….

  8. 26th December 2009 / 4:42 am

    A WHOLE mint? All to yourself?