Pearl did her Christmas shopping today.  This is the first year it has occurred to her to give presents.  I gave her a small budget, which she “earned” partly by washing all the windowsills and skirting boards in the house yesterday, as well as scrubbing the shower and toilet and helping to tidy the younger kids’ bedroom today.

She would have more than blown her budget with her first idea for a favourite cousin, which was a $70 toy.  Lesson number one.

Once she’d recovered from that disappointment, we re-focused at the other end of the price scale and she found several suitable gifts at a dollar shop.  I was impressed with her thoughtfulness as she weighed up whether the intended recipient would find a use for each item, or whether they would like the colour and design.

Of course, we didn’t find everything she needed in one place, so we browsed through town in the warm sunshine, enjoying all the buskers playing Christmas music.  She was impressed by one young violinist, but pointed out “Of course, he’s older than me, Mummy”.  A few minutes later we passed another, much younger violinist, playing very well indeed for a 5-or-6-year-old.  Pearl pursed her lips and shot me a rueful look.  I grinned and told her that if she practised hard, perhaps next year she could earn the money for her Christmas shopping by busking instead of scrubbing!

We had lunch – she chose the venue and was thrilled with the toy which came with her meal.  It’s a miniature version of her Father-Christmas-request.  I have tried to tell her that now she has one, Father Christmas won’t need to visit us at all this year, but she’s not having a bar of it.

Finally we ended up at a large department store where – even though it was very busy – I could be certain the staff would be kind to a small child doing her shopping.  I had to stand some distance off “and not peek!” while she negotiated her purchase.  She carried out her mission with aplomb, and I was very proud of her.  Not that I was peeking, of course.  They even put whatever-it-is in a brown paper bag so I wouldn’t see it before she could get it home and wrap it.

I think she’ll find that this Christmas is even more fun when she sees other people unwrap presents she’s chosen herself.

One Response to “Shopping”

  1. Stimey Says:

    So sweet. I love it. Happy Christmas to you!!

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