Having a pet changes your life in many ways. Many changes will be amazing and positive. But owning a pet is also a big responsibility and there can be complications. Many people would be shocked to hear that a cat costs around £17,000 over its lifetime - and that's excluding unexpected vet fees for illness or injury.
Do you remember a time before the elf of the shelf? Before 'The Elsa Dress' was on every little girls present list? Before gifts were wrapped in shabby chic brown paper and tied with string? And before Pinterest made our table displays look worthy of Home Interiors magazines? Do you my friend remember when Christmas Day... was just a bit, well, crap?
Over-gifting your kids can result in them acquiring a spoilt, entitled attitude, not looking after their new toys properly and expecting even more next year. You know what over-gifting looks like: the child is swamped by presents which they open in an increasingly mechanical, zombie like way, finding it hard when the supply eventually stops.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could exchange personal, meaningful pressies, carefully wrapped and labelled well in advance, stored safely out of sight until the big day? Wouldn't it be magical to sit back and soak up the atmosphere on Christmas Eve instead of desperately searching under the spare bed for the gifts we hurriedly hid there months ago?
Ding Dong Merrily On- bollocks I've got Gordon for secret Santa?? Really? Gordon?! Gordon smells of damp tea towels and has a weird nasal hair flutter when he exhales. I'm sure he was talking about his athlete's foot to the maintenance manager in the car park yesterday. A tube of Canesten it is then.
Kelso's 'A Christmas Carol for Kids' gives children a very important gift; more important than anything they would receive this Christmas. This play familiarizes children and introduces them to a world of first-class literature at their fingertips, and still provides them with an important message, even though it's not in it's original format.
It's finally over but for me, but the supermarkets are about to start dressing the shelves for Christmas 2014. How is Christmas already over for me? Every July & August there are a flurry of Christmas events which I end up hauling myself around to in the hottest weather of the year trying to feel Christmassy...
I recently went to a talk by a psychologist on how to parent teenagers... she said that kids today have never had a greater sense of their rights and entitlements. Correct. On the other hand, she said, they've never had less sense of their responsibilities. Also correct. Now the gift of a goat for someone in Sierra Leone or reading lessons for a kid in Kenya isn't going to change any of that, but it will do no harm, and it'll do nothing but good for those who receive these gifts in far-off places of which our kids know little. And these gifts really do make a difference. Trust me, I went to Guatemala and El Salvador with the charity Cafod to see it with my own eyes.