Archive for the tag “presents”

Calling last minute Father (and Mother) Christmas’: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Boys…for free

For anyone who missed out on the ‘12 Tweets of What to Buy a Boy for Christmas’, here is my complete list of suggestions in one printable page (to be sung to the tune of either ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ or ‘Pick of the Pops’):

1. A marble run
Hours of fun and still loved at 10.
2. Hama beads
I know it sounds unlikely but give them (especially animal shapes) a go.
3. ‘Best of Jennings’ by Anthony Buckeridge
A spiffing raucous read for kids and adults alike.
4. A chemistry lab kit
Supervise as he revels in violent volcanoes and sulphurous smells.
5. The Guinness World Records height chart
It seems I’m just less than the largest loo roll.
6. Geomag
It’s marbles Jim, but not as we know it. Magnetic fun for all the family!
7. Click clack track
Strangely mesmerising, we never bought one and wished we had.
8. Any fact-filled book by Mitchell Symons
‘Did you know?’ sessions will never the same.
9. UNO, Boggle Slam or a good ol’ fashioned pack of cards
Endless opportunities for bad behaviour.
10. Hexbugs, of any shape or form
Just make sure you include backup batteries.
11. Elefun
Certain chaos as boys trample everything underfoot to catch bugs in nets.
12. The Dangerous Book for Boys
Full of facts and fun for the males (big and small) in your life.

Failing any of the above, just give them a big cardboard box and some bubble wrap. Job done.

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‘All I want for Christmas is…’ The ultimate gift guide for mothers of boys

As you know, last week I was walking the streets of London. As, it seems, were an awful lot of others. And whilst I wandered round John Lewis looking aimlessly at everything, they were busily and purposefully filling their bags.

‘But it’s not even December yet,’ I grumbled to myself, ‘surely you can’t start Christmas shopping when it’s still only November!’ A dancing Santa on a nearby shelf begged to differ. ‘Ho Ho Ho!’ he chortled happily, patting his tummy and wiggling his bum.

My wander down Oxford Street got me thinking. What, I wondered, should be the top five gifts on every MOB’s list? What amazing paraphernalia would I not be without? What would I want my FOB to be lovingly wrapping up for me this Christmas eve?

Here, sparing no expense and after considerable thought, is my very own gift guide for the Mother of Boys:
1. Octopus sock and pant sorter. It is plastic and looks about as unsexy as they come, but my Octopus makes hanging out the inevitable assortment of socks and boxer shorts a much more satisfying and swifter operation. I got mine from… Ikea.
2. Cheese sliver-slicer. Invented, I think, by some smart Scandinavian, we first came across these years ago when we lived in Germany. Using the sliver-slicer ensures that the extra large lump of cheddar you bought thinking and hoping it would last all week, might actually last you and your boys more than one meal. I got mine from (you guessed it)… Ikea.
3. Welly-rack. The FOB made this much-admired object out of a piece of wood and old bits of broom. The welly-rack means that wellies (big and small) are stored outside, upside down and in argue-free pairs – no mud, no mess, no muddle. You can buy much posher, ready-made versions on Ebay.
4. Hand-held blender. Or ‘the whizzer’ as it’s technically known in our house. I have discovered that if it doesn’t actually look like what it actually is, the boys will eat pretty much anything in soup. Anything, that is, except brussel sprouts. I got mine from… Sainsbury’s.
5. Panasonic bread maker. I know there’s a bit of a food theme here, but every MOB knows that the way to their hearts is through their stomachs. Next to milk, bread is the other must-have we are always running out of. And now that I’ve discovered that milk can be frozen, my bread maker frees me from emergency supermarket sweeps. I got mine from… John Lewis.

My FOB (with the exception of a beautiful necklace he gave me one year) is not renowned for his prowess in the romantic gift department. Before we were even going out, he bought me a rolling pin for my birthday(?!), followed swiftly by a sag bag one Christmas and the next year a bin. Granted, the bin was a Brabantia and we still have it in the kitchen, but…

So, to all the FOBs out there reading this, and most especially mine: by all means take your pick from any or all of the above. But be warned, your MOB may rapidly find a use for that redundant rolling pin. This Festive season why not break the practical present habit of a lifetime, and try adding a little Chanel No. 5 for good MOB-measure? Because, as you know… we’re (definitely) worth it.

PS: Obviously if you’re after the ultimate present for the Mother of Boys, ‘MOB Rule’ can always be pre-ordered pre-publication on Amazon!

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