Teddy bears, but it’s no picnic

Another day and another marathon wrapping session.

Twenty pencils wrapped alluringly so they look like good value when you win one in the 50p bran tub – no rubbish mind, they are Christmas pencils with Santa and snowflakes.

Then fifty presents wrapped and ready for Santa, looking slightly less alluring. You could mistake a wrapped pencil for a stick of rock but many of Santa’s gifts are unmistakably books, and not necessarily welcome to a child of the 21st century.

Thank goodness for remaindered bookshops and pound shops, which both allow you to buy a present for between 25p and £1 that looks like it might be worth close to the £2 we’re charging for Santa. Some of the books are marked at £3.99 so that’s a good start.

Last year we didn’t get much of a turnout and Santa’s takings didn’t even pay for the cost of the suit. We did save money by having me do it, thus avoiding the cost of extra padding (as they kept pointing out) but with 11 kids (two of whom were scared of Santa) we were always going to struggle.

Hopefully the advertising will pay off. Only two more days until, we find out!

Julia is busily making decorations for the barn and we’re both fighting off suggestions tat what we need is an exhibition of wood-turning techniques. If you have just set out a display of handmade crafts the last thing you want to hear is a lathe starting up shortly before producing a shower of dust and dendrological debris over your handiwork.


Wood turning


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