I have been weak. I have succumbed to pester power and bought the children a Lego Advent Calendar, EACH. There are various ways I justify this excessive overspend to myself.
A) They were on special offer, £24.99 reduced to £18.79, £20.99 reduced to £14.99! I have ‘saved’ lots of money!
B) I called my husband while I was standing in the checkout and he said, ‘Yes, go on’ so it was his decision really.
C) They, or specifically, my son, really, really, really, really wanted it. He cried when presented with another perfectly-adequate, traditional, card calendar, that, up until this year, he has been all quivery with excitement to open, every morning for 24 days.
D) They have been given the horribly expensive calendars in exchange for all the points on their reward chart, which at 10p per point added up to roughly 100th of the value of the calendars.
The thing is, that I believe so fervently that children shouldn’t need stuff to be happy. We regularly meet up with extended family at a big old house that is in a sorry state of disrepair, but has oodles of space, inside and out. The children, with their little troop of cousins, rampage about collecting pine cones, making elaborate houses or base camps (depending on their gender), poking fires with sticks, finding and burying dead birds, falling in ponds and other semi-dangerous and glorious activities.
They don’t need Nerf guns, moshi monsters or Barbies then. They don’t crave ipods, ipads or ipids. They don’t need anything to be happy, content and free, apart from their own imaginations and a sense of adventure.
But I have to admit that the children really do love their Lego calendars. They spring out of bed every dark, cold morning. Get dressed, without moaning and crying for a full half an hour, and clear their bowls without being asked. So, maybe sometimes, buying something that makes your kids happy and obedient for 24 whole days isn’t such a bad thing.