In reality it is never just about me. My Christmas wish list post was strangely carthatic even if a little pie in the sky. I did get back the other night to find all the links to my wish list open on the desktop of our home computer.. that's as probably as close to any of those things that I'm ever going to get.
So to prove that I am not a totally selfish, self absorbed and shameful mother here is what I'll be getting my lot for Christmas. Might inspire you if you've got 'present block'. Family - look away now.
For husband who likes books, it will probably be the usual Mann Booker Shortlist from the Book People which suits me because he gets the books, but I get to read them. But I've also heard about this wonderful gift from Daunts book shops, where your loved one receives a book every month for a year tailored to their choice. This is a marvellous present for those of us who still like actual books - we are, at present still a Kindle-free house but how long this lasts, who knows?
Are you an Instagram fan? My good friend Sarah makes these amazing Instagram photo books from Blurb. These little square books of beauty are a divine keepsake. I have created one for my husband of all the moments of my day with the kids that he misses, as well as unforgettable shots snapped on the beach, in a restaurant or on a swing when I didn't have my camera.
My mother has everything and if she hasn't got it, she'll go out and buy it. Very frustrating when it comes to Christmas. Now she's on her own I might order her a delicious foodie treat from the new Handpicked Foodstore. These lovely people sent me some delicious smoked salmon to taste which was waiting on our doorstep on our return from a weekend away. Very fortunate when the fridge is empty.
I heard James Martin on Steve Wright in the afternoon the other day promoting his new book. It all sounded so delicious that I went to buy it to give someone, and started using it myself. Anyone knows that doing any sort of entertaining when you've got young children is like running an assault course so slow cooking appeals to me. I was recently sent this fabulous new Morphy Richards slow cooker to trial and it is brilliant. You chuck all the ingredients in in the morning, switch on, go and do your daily jobs et voila! Come home to house smelling divine of simmering cooking and dinner for eight people all done.
Someone once told me that for all Godchildren, nieces, nephews and close family friends, she chooses one book each year and buys ten or fifteen copies of it to give to them all. This is my plan now that they are all a bit older and much easier to post to far flung Africa or the Channel Islands. I may choose the beautifully illustrated Madame Pamplemousse series for the younger children and this new book Liberty Frye and the Witches of Essen has caught my eye for the older ones.
Every year we meet up with one of our godchildren for a 'cultural outing' normally in or around London. It's a lovely treat for a child and creates excitement and magic as well as being a lovely excuse to all get together. We've done the London Eye, visited Father Christmas and been to the Southbank. This year we are all going ice skating and although not strictly cultural, due to current temperatures and involving young children we are doing it indoors at Westfield where there is the added bonus of seeing Father Christmas in his Grotto and getting in a bit of last minute shopping.
Finally you've got to have a Christmas Tree present on Christmas Eve.. I mean who can actually wait until Christmas Day to open a present? Normally a CD is a good one for older family members. My mother in law loves her music so we are giving her and my mum the new album from the Gypsy Queens, a delectable new man band made up of a group of buskers from the South of France. We went to one of their gigs a few months ago and although not strictly our sort of music, we were both singing along loudly by the end of the night. Covering everyone from Van Morrison to the Beach Boys they will appeal to all ages. Check them out.