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.

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