Good grief. If my kids change their Christmas wish lists one more time, I honestly won't be held accountable for my actions.
I was so determined to be extra organised this year, as well. It's my dream to have all my Christmas shopping nailed by the first weekend in December (er, that would be NOW!) so that I can spend the whole month basking in festive spirit instead of feeling frazzled.
But, yet again, my plans have been scuppered by my kids. First up, they asked for items that they knew rightly I had no intention of buying – 18-rated video games won't pass muster with Santa when you're only 11 years old. That necessitated an entire rewrite of letters to Santa, and I've spent the weekend frantically ordering items off their lists, only to hear this evening that they've got their eyes on altogether different stuff as of today.
I am really determined not to freak out this year. I'm not going to fall apart over how much to spend and whether I'm being excessive or Scrooge-like. I'm not going to stress about where I've put the presents that I bought in August (they'll turn up eventually) and I'm not going to spend the whole month feeling like Christmas is just one great big exercise in heaping more pressure on my already full plate.
No. This year I am definitely going o get sorted early so that I can spend at least some of the month relaxing. But, to that end, I need to ask you all a question and it's this:
How seriously do you take your child's Christmas wish list? I've got friends who treat it like an actual shopping list, merrily crossing items off it until they've shopped the lot, only stopping once they've got it all. But I've got other mates who treat it more like an aspirational thing; a guide, if you will, to the kind of items that the child who wrote it would be happy to receive. They certainly won't be buying everything on the list, and they don't tend to worry about their kids being disappointed to find that something from the list isn't under the tree on Christmas day, because their kids also understand that no-one ever gets absolutely everything on the list.
With three kids, I've got to hold my hands up and admit that Christmas seems to be getting trickier. My eldest just advised me to pass on a message to Santa – apparently he'd happily forgo all he chocolate and 'silly stuff' that Santa usually brings him at Christmas as this year he'd much prefer cold, hard cash. But you can't really do that, can you? My son might not mind if there's precious little in his stocking except money, but I'll mind. Christmas isn't Christmas without a stash of overpriced Christmas-themed chocolates.
I'd love to know what you make of all this. Come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page and don't forget to take part in our poll.