Some books you’ll never read? Tasteful bath salts?
Or maybe you’ll get something awesome because you’ve bought it yourself.
A survey by Barclaycard revealed last week that on average we spend a whopping £280 on gifts for ourselves every year. I’m not talking ‘treats’ either, I mean actual presents for ourselves for birthdays and Christmas because we don’t trust other people to buy us something that isn’t awful.
What’s not clear from the survey is if we actually get this money back – are we choosing our pressies and being reimbursed discretely at a later date, or are we simply buying our own presents, full stop?
With me, it’s often the latter.
Being a single parent at Christmas and on birthdays can be a little depressing. You fork out loads of money on the kids, and what do you get in return? Lousy hand-made gifts and cards.* There’s no one in the house apart from you with an actual job, so you get the rather short end of the stick.
A couple of years ago I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was fed up with being the only one of the three of us in bed on Christmas morning not opening a stocking full of gifts. Father Christmas had very kindly left bulging bags of goodies at the foot of Bee and Belle’s beds, so where was mine? I put a note up the chimney, but nothing, nada. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
I went to the cashpoint and took out forty quid. Then I came home and gave it to Bee. “Use this,” I told her, “to make me a Christmas stocking.” She looked a bit taken aback at first, but quickly came round to the idea, because who doesn’t love being given somebody else’s money to spend? “I want lots of things to open, but nothing crap.”
You have to be direct with children I find.
Christmas morning came around and hoorah! Santa had been for me too. It was very exciting and well worth the investment, even if most of the stocking budget seemed to have been blown on a teeny tiny iPod speaker in the shape of a jukebox. (I was more explicit the following year about what I meant by ‘crap’).
What do you reckon? Do you buy your own gifts? Or is it the thought that counts, even if the thought only goes as far as the bath salt aisle of Boots?
*This is a joke Belle. I love you hand-made gifts really. And the cute things you wrap up from your room.