Red Letter Days – A Better Family Christmas Present!
I love Christmas Day, not because I’m religious, we simply don’t celebrate for that reason in this house, but because it’s a time to get the family together and enjoy some lovely company with good food and the all important presents. I prefer the giving to the receiving and seeing the looks on other people’s faces as they open their treats is treat enough for me!
We do make everyone wait to open them though – after lunch all the way here!
Of course the main thing is the children, it’s all for them at the end of the day and believe it or not that’s why I make them wait until the end of the day to open all their gifts! Well, we have stockings first thing – Father Christmas leaves them by the fire after we go to bed having left him and the reindeer some goodies and as soon as we get up the children are allowed to open everything inside their substantially sized sack – don’t feel sorry for them with the wait, believe me this is the best bit!
They love the stocking more than anything I think, all those little bits which are thoughtful but don’t cost much and plenty of them coupled with chocolate coming out of their ears and the promise of more to come later. It creates a build up and the excitement gets better and bigger throughout the day. If I let them scoot under the tree for the “big” presents straight away the magic would go and then the rest of the day would have nothing to look forward to so I like to keep the magical element going ALL day and the suspense is almost better than getting to the end point. A bit like Friday being almost better than the weekend itself because the good stuff is all still to come!
By the time we’ve eaten our lunch and cleared up it’s usually about 5pm and then when we sit down to open the tree presents it’s getting dark, a fire is going, everyone is replete of food and the love in the room is Christmas in a nutshell. They THINK I’m mean all day making them wait but mum knows best and it’s always the right thing to do!
But what is actually under that tree for these big presents of the day? Well… Usually a load of stuff we have to find new homes for and though it’s lovely for the kiddos to have new things, and I wouldn’t want to see them without something shiny to hold or a new top (Florence is getting to the age where clothes are very definitely better than anything else), it does always feel a bit like oh no, where are we going to put that?! And a lot of the time, awful as this is, they are given gifts which really they don’t need or want. Somehow these things often get shoved in a cupboard after the initial hoorah and are never played with again – what a waste of money, time, effort, generosity, space… But I know family really want to buy them SOMETHING, it’s just hard to know what! Well, I think I have the solution you know!
So “experience days” are SUCH a brilliant present. We received one from Red Letter Days for a family trip to the cinema including snacks and it was blooming brilliant both on the day we were given it – a present for the whole family – but then again yesterday when we actually used it and took a rainy day trip to the flicks to see 100% Wolf! Our gift included 4 tickets to a screening of our choice, any time we wanted at the Vue cinema, kids combo boxes (popcorn, chocolate and a drink) for the kiddos and a popcorn and drink for us too. Now I NEVER buy snacks AT the cinema because they are TOO expensive and instead smuggle something in from home so the children thought getting popcorn AT the cinema was blooming out of this world!
When it comes to treats and with an afternoon of fun filled for us on an otherwise gloomy and non descript day I really can’t think of a better present!
Gifts for kids absolutely don’t have to all be plastic tat and toot, this is an idea that benefits the whole family, is the gift that gives not once (on the opening), not twice (on the using) but forever with a memory of a fun filled family adventure and it’s not just cinema dates Red Letter Days sell either – nor is it all just for kids! They sell SO many experiences from family days at the zoo to hot air balloon riding to meals out, spa trips, brewery tours and more. I think this is the way forward when it comes to present giving AND receiving and if for no other reason than let it be because 2020 has taught us the gift of being with the ones we love is the greatest gift of all – add in an all singing fun day out and you’re laughing!