Thursday, December 13, 2007

RM colum December 13 - Christmas is coming

RM column December 13 - Christmas is coming, fast

(Written last week for today's paper but I'm publishing it here now to draw your attention to the Barnardos Christmas toy appeal which ends tomorrow)

CHRISTMAS is rapidly gaining on us. With our house move and the eh house move I have so far done absolutely nothing for Christmas, at all. Not one present has been bought and a quick mental calculation of my finances reveals that there may not even be money to get presents.
And I refuse to get stressed or worried about this, well not a lot anyway.

I would say this year is the first the Young Wan hasn’t made a list at this stage. She hasn’t asked for anything and hasn’t even dropped the smallest of hints about anything that I have been aware of.

So I asked her the other night what she would like for Christmas and I have to say her answer stumped me completely.

“Ach nothing really, I have everything I want,” she said.

She has an ipod, she has a phone and there wasn’t anything else that she really wanted, well clothes would be nice she added at the end.

At least that takes some pressure off me though I still have to brave the shops and other shoppers to find something to put under the tree. The funny thing about Christmas is all the stress and panic in the build-up to that one day is gone by lunchtime on December 25th for another year. It is always at that stage I think ‘what was all the panic about?’.
I think being in a new house will be Christmas present enough for us both.

Thinking about all the stress and the finance-stretching has made me realise that even though things will be tight, generally it will all be okay and there are many families who cannot say that.
There are families where the kids will get little to nothing and the pressure on those families must be huge.

Last year I meant to get something for the annual AIB Toy Appeal for Barnardos but with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas I missed the deadline and I will make sure I catch it this year.
It is a great appeal where people are asked during their Christmas shopping to buy an extra present for a child who attends one of the many Barnardos services and leave it into a branch of the AIB.

I’m sure as in many things like it that teenagers are often forgotten. After all it is easier to buy toys for younger kids than teens so I decided that I would get something for teenagers.
That’s all well and good but what would I get? So I decided that vouchers are probably the way to go.

Even if I could afford to buy an ipod or MP3 player for someone I couldn’t be sure they would have a computer or access to a computer to put their music on it.

Vouchers definitely seem like a better plan. So I’ll get some clothes and music vouchers.
The closing date for the Barnardos appeal ends tomorrow (December 14th) and if you are able do buy something to make Christmas special for a child and get it to your nearest branch of the AIB before the closing date.

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