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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 24 August, 2019
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Opinion: Forget the fancy stuff, THIS is my Christmas wishlist

Imaginative gifts are all well and good but just help me out with the basics!

Andrea Mara

“WHY ARE THERE never any pencils in this house? If I could have one thing from Santa, it would be a working pencil,” I said to my seven-year-old as I tried to tick off her homework. She gave me a look that said “Right… you go ahead and ask for a pencil, I’m sticking with the Anna Sleigh,” and went back to her spellings.

Actually, I don’t want just one pencil – I want a pack of ten. All shiny and sharp and near to hand. The kind of pencils that don’t disappear into the vortex that swallows up pens and hair bobbins and socks. What else would I put on my wish-list? Quite a lot when I think about it:

  1. 150 socks in exactly the same colour, that don’t change shape or size or shade in the wash, are easily matchable, and thus negate the vortex effect
  2. Ten packs of kids’ hair bobbins and clips, because while they are all over my floor 23  hours a day, I can never find any at the just the moment when we’re getting ready to leave for school
  3. Four umbrellas that fit into handbags and glove compartments and don’t turn inside out in the wind
  4. 20 pens, all working. Seriously. It is possible.
  5. Two self-cleaning lunch-boxes
  6. Ten packs of batteries for all the toys that have no batteries (though then again, the current silence probably isn’t such a bad thing)
  7. 25 new tea-spoons, because they’ve all gone into the vortex too
  8. A new type of hoover (as yet possibly not invented) that can pick up loom-bands and Barbie shoes and hair bobbins but catch them all in a handy container, so they can be re-used. Somehow this machine must avoid picking up dirt and dust at the same time or it would be gross and really no different to an actual hoover…
  9. A new work wardrobe because I hate buying work clothes
  10. A kitchen table that can withstand crayon, paint and marks from being stabbed repeatedly by a toddler with a fork
  11. A box for library books so we don’t keep losing them, and an app that auto-renews them on time, and a copy of “Book Week” which is the book that was due back on 8 November that we can’t find anywhere in the house
  12. Hooks on coats so they can be hung up – why would anyone manufacture coats without hooks? And yet, I have three such coats
  13. 16 pairs of kids’ gloves that work a bit like the above-mentioned socks
  14. Walls that can withstand paint splashes and pasta sauce and scuff marks from scooters
  15. An alarm clock that wakes me gently and slowly instead of scaring the living daylights out of me every morning
  16. Diamonds
  17. World peace
  18. Pencils

What’s on your list?

Andrea Mara has three small kids, one tall husband and one office job. She writes at OfficeMum.ie about being a parent, being a mother working outside the home, and being a woman in the workplace. She’s just trying to keep her balance. Follow her tweets@office_mum or on Facebook.

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Andrea Mara

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