Christmas Day for us is usually either spent at home, my parents’ place, or with my husband’s parents. We like to get the tree up on 1 December and we always let the kids decorate, with varying degrees of success. Last year, one side of the tree was dripping with glittery baubles while the other looked strangely bare. But so what? Christmas is all about the kids.
No one knows what Christmas this year will be like, but if we’ve learned one thing in 2020, it’s to suspend expectations. Adapting the things we’d planned will ensure we have a happy and uplifting end to the year. Part of the fun will be making it all work.
At the end of the day, Christmas is all about the memories we make, no matter how we make them. My favourite Christmas memory is of my sister wrapping me up in a box when I was six – and how my mum nearly had a heart attack when I jumped out. For me, a Mr Frosty slush machine was by far the best gift I’ve ever received. As a child in the 1980s, it just nailed it.
But what will elicit that same sense of elation in 2020? Here are the gifts that are spot-on for the kids of today:
John Lewis & Partners Wooden Mini Kitchen, £35
During the first lockdown, the kids did a lot of baking and we had great dinners as a family. This is the perfect gift for our three-year-old toddler who can’t quite be trusted with actually baking yet.
John Lewis & Partners Girls’ Unicorn onesie, Pink, £22
There’s nothing cosier than seeing the kids in a onesie on Christmas Day. And they won’t want to take this super-soft and fluffy one off for months to come!
Tonies Toniebox Starter Set, £62.95
This is amazing because it gives kids control over bedtime stories. It’s for when you’ve had a hard day at work and you just want to be with your children but not necessarily read to them in a dark room. They can control the sound and you can sit there cuddling and listening to Pinocchio together. It’s more of a gift for us parents really.
John Lewis & Partners Wooden Train Set, £30
My youngest is obsessed with trains, she’s three and she’s already a trainspotter – we have to stand on bridges and wait for trains to pass by. So this is a great gift for kids like my daughter.
Mini Micro Eco Deluxe Scooter, 2-5 years, £79.95
For kids who are in between the buggy and walking stage – when they can’t quite walk but don’t want to sit in the pram – the micro scooter is the perfect gift. And what kid doesn’t want their own set of wheels?
eeBoo I Heard Your Feelings Conversation Cards, £11.99
This set of cards teaches children to learn to read emotional situations. The 48 flashcards feature everyday scenarios such as being picked for a team or accidentally breaking a vase.
Fitbit Ace 2 Wristband, Children’s Activity Tracker, £59.99
My youngest exercises with me at home. We started in lockdown and now she’s really into fitness – in her own way. The Fitbit is a great way to put children in control of their own fitness and wellness.
Nintendo Switch Console with Joy-Con, £279.99
This has got to be a united gift for the whole family – because if you give it to one child, it’s bound to cause problems. It’s entertaining and brilliantly addictive. And there’s the nostalgia factor too – it brings me right back to my own childhood.
John Lewis & Partners 3D Rocket Children’s Backpack, £18
A rocket is just so brilliantly neutral – this is such a one size fits all kind of present. My youngest now wants to carry her own bag to nursery, so this is perfect for her.
Done by Deer Activity Gym, £63.96
This activity gym is easily adjustable and can be folded for transportation. And it’s sure to get you at least five minutes of downtime. Win-win.
S’ip by S’well Disney Minnie Mouse Bow Vacuum Insulated Drinks Bottle, 440ml, £19.99
Getting the kids to drink enough water isn’t always the easiest of tasks. But with this cute Minnie Mouse bottle, your little ones are sure to stay hydrated without the arguments.
Lego Gingerbread House, £84.99
This festive gingerbread house will keep the kids occupied for hours – they won’t even give the television as much as a glance! And if you think you won’t be tempted to have a go too, you’re seriously kidding yourself.
John Lewis & Partners Girls’ Reindeer Pyjamas, Grey, £16
There are no other pyjamas out there that epitomise Christmas as much as these. I’ll be dressing the girls in matching sets for as long as I can get away with it!
John Lewis & Partners My First Wooden Numbers Blocks, £14.40
This is the perfect gift for any toddler – you can be sure they’ll learn to count in no time. And they come in cute colours.
For more great Christmas gift ideas, visit Johnlewis.com