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This is a question Presents

What are you buying your loved ones this Christmas? We're looking for inspiration and reckon a big share-a-thon of ideas will help everyone buy better gifts this year.

BTW: If your family reads B3ta and you're worried about giving the game away then tell us what you bought last Christmas.

(, Thu 26 Nov 2009, 12:34)
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I'm truly shit at presents
Just ask Mrs G. In fact, I think I've only once given a present that was just right. It was 1990 and our little Sprog was three. That is the PERFECT age for children to be - believe me, it's all downhill from there, until they produce the grandkids. That year, I was working as a cabinetmaker and I made a dolls house. Not just any dolls house - it had four cuboid rooms - each one a 300mm cube - cunningly fashioned from 18mm MDF with a backing of 6mm ply, a wide base of 12mm MDF and a front that opened in the middle, also 12mm MDF with brass hinges and a turning brass catch. There was a roof made from cladding nailed to pine battens, which lifted off (so that you could hide stuff in the 'loft'). It was brilliant. Two stories high, double fronted, windows cut out of the opening front with hockey-stick moulding for window-sills.

Mrs G. was in charge of furnishings and fittings. Each room was painted in emulsion and had a strip of wallpaper as a dado. Downstairs, the rooms were carpeted, upstairs they had cork tiles. Furniture was made from matchboxes, marge tubs, little boxes, with soft furnishings made from foam and bits of cloth. There was a toilet made from the handle and top of a plastic milk carton, bath, bed, chest-of-drawers. It was brilliant.

A couple of days before Christmas, I was painting the roof a lovely gloss red on the workbench in the conservatory when Mrs G carried the Sprog into the kitchen on her way to bed.
"What's Daddy doing?" she innocently asked.
"He's just painting something" said Mrs G.
"Whatisit? Whatisit?"
"It's just something."
"Is it a Christmas present for me?" - such prescience in one so young.
"Well, yes. Santa delivered it early and asked us to finish painting it for him, because he was very busy."

And so on Christmas morning, there it was - just taller than Sprog herself - the perfect home for her Sylvanian families, trolls and various other little friends. There's a picture of her in pyjamas with a knitted jumper from Grandma over the top pulling off the wrapping.

I'd like to be able to say that we've still got it today, though Sprog is now a grown up, but no - it was too big to fit through the loft hatch and I stored it for a while outside, under a bit of tarp. It got damaged though and eventually, with a heavy heart, I had to take it to the dump.

Still, we've got the memories. And Sprog's coming back home on Christmas eve to stay until the 29th.

Merry Christmas one and all.
(, Mon 30 Nov 2009, 17:44, 2 replies)
Nice little story that.

My Nephews used to be so easy to please, now all they want is THE Wii game or similar, £50 at Game please-thankyou, don't get the wrong one.

Happily my Niece is still young enough to be delighted with things like light up fairy wands and cuddly pink pandas so I spend a lot longer and get a lot more pleasure in choosing her gifts.

Not be long before it's the latest line in slutty clothes for girls tho so enjoying it while I can...
(, Mon 30 Nov 2009, 18:10, closed)
nice story
Excellent. we did a similar thing to a nice dolls house. We bought ours as a plain wooden one, and it got the pink treatment, with wallpaper and flooring. Now its as likely to have go gos and ladybirds within its walls. She's still only five, but she doesn't really dig the whole housey/babies thang.
(, Mon 30 Nov 2009, 20:19, closed)

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