Santa doesn’t deliver livestock…

We have a rule in the house, Christmas does not get mentioned until after the 13th of December.

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

My daughters birthdays are in the autumn and without that rule present conversations would start in July and end in June… and that would just blow my brain up totally. The rule protects our sanity and limits the conversation to normal things like what they did at school, what they would like to play, what they would like to eat…

The girls have a shopping trip coming up with their grandparents and naturally possible presents have seeped into conversations.

Daughter one : I want an iPhone 4

Daughter two: I want a guinea pig

Daughter three: I want a hamster… no wait, I want a snake. A huge (insert 17 syllables to the word huge) snake with big teeth.

No, I reply to all three of them.

Daughter one: Worth a try

Daughter two: Why not?

Daughter three: When we saw santa, he said we could have a guinea pig.

Ah, the one-two technique where they gang up and bully me to give them pets as gifts… I need a real good get out here….

Santa doesn’t deliver livestock

It’s the best that I can come up with. Any pets on the sleigh, well they make the reindeer skittish and skittish reindeer won’t get all the  presents delivered… and what if the guinea pig has a disease? They could infect all the reindeer and Christmas would be cancelled forever… oh no, Santa doesn’t deliver pets.

Daughter three: Snakes are not pets, they are part of the family and they don’t have diseases. So Santa  can drop my snake off, he can just throw it down the chimney… a snake would save time.

Me: hmmm.

Daughter one: He can sling an iPhone 4 down the chimney as well.

Ah, the one-two-three whammy…. Christmas could be expensive.

What are the rules around Christmas gifts in your household?


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  • Kate Scott

    Oh poor you!! Life is sooooo simple in our house, I have two boys aged 8 and 10 and all they ever want is good old Lego. So they know our budget and grandparents’ budget and their aunty’s budget and, as a brilliant maths exercise (we home educate!) they go on to the lego site and work out exactly what they can ask for from each person! I order it and distribute it to my parents and sister…job done! Then I can take pleasure in buying them little bits and bobs like mini mechano sets, sweets and books for their stockings :-)
    Do you think it’s just that boys are more straightforward or am I just lucky??

  • Sarah Arrow

    You are just lucky ;) We also do the budgeting thing, sadly I have an elder daughter who shows them the prices of snakes and guinea pigs, there is no fibbing about how much they cost here. The day after I wrote this she changed her mind, she decided she wanted monkey instead :(

  • NikkiPilkington

    My eldest daughter (18) chooses her main present – she’s given a budget and has to stick to it. My two stepdaughters (10 and 7) choose 2 or 3 things they would like for their main present and we pick one of those – we don’t really put a budget on it as such, but we will as they get older and what they want gets more expensive. My youngest daughter (9 months) has already had her main Xmas present, a baby walker that cost almost as much as my car (I’m exaggerating, but those things ain’t cheap in France!) and has been toddling around in it for the last month or so.

    Under the tree they will also all have a myriad of smaller presents, costing anything from 50p to £10, bought throughout the year. Our Christmas tree always looks like Santa’s grotto and people often think we must have spent a fortune, but I’m quite adept at finding little presents that they love but don’t cost very much.

    Their main presents go at the back of the tree so that they’re opened last, and present opening can take all morning.

    No snakes though – much as I love them, I don’t fancy trying to wrap one ;)

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  • Morag Gaherty

    My boys are a bit like yours, Kate, though it tends to be more book-oriented for Bob. This year, they both want good, hard cash (I think they maybe know something more about the country’s finances than we do and are stockpiling!).

    Or, the common factor could be the home educating thing of course! Teach a child to think and he’ll think for ever.

    Mind you, it is Tom’s birthday on the 4th. I spoke to him on the phone last night and he had received a copy of Top Gear magazine from me (I had been feeling guilty about not phoning). He asked if that was his birthday present. Maybe I have just taught them not to expect too much!! :) ) (Oh, and the answer is no – am getting his present today from Games Workshop.)

  • BlogMum

    I love your rule about not mentioning Christmas until after the 13th! We have recently moved house and I haven’t started any ‘C’ stuff yet!

    My kids have already written out their lists though, with ridiculously expensive Sylvanian Family bits for my daughter aged 6 (although I love it too!), and an equally ridiculous list of endless DS games for my son aged 8 (he is addicted to the DS – quite worrying).

    We try to stick to a budget each year but sometimes one toy swallows up all the cash. We will definitely be getting lots of smaller gifts to complement the main item because the real fun of Christmas is present unwrapping!

  • Sarah Arrow

    I never thought of that. If the snake comes up again I will tell her wrappable presents only :)

  • Sarah Arrow

    Ah, the Sylvanian families… we are being asked for a windmill :) All the animals look the same to me but the girls can tell the difference

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