This is me on Christmas Day 1977.

Mull of Kintyre was number 1 (rural song, influencing the dungaree-style dress), the weather was mild and windy (check out the short puffed sleeve) and I was having the best day ever.

Father Christmas had brought me a black nylon wig, a plastic dolls’ house and a hamster and had made me the happiest child in England. 

The hamster was called Hamish and lived to be a full four and a half years old, which is ancient for a hamster – my sister said over a hundred years in human reckoning, though he did seem to change colour and size at about 2 years…hmm. (managed to survive me holding him like a slippery sausage roll …)

Anyway, this picture got me thinking about what gifts make a child happy at Christmas. 

I thought my Christmas haul was massive and incredibly generous that year, and I haven’t even mentioned the stocking stuffed with a new toothbrush, a tangerine, walnuts, a puzzle book and some new pants. 

But would it impress Generation Z?

My son, for instance, has just requested a pair of pants costing £40. Pants for £40! And they’re not even Victoria’s Secret. I suppose teenage boys are especially expensive with their love of iPhones and X Boxes so I had a little google about to see what was on the wish list for the younger kids. 

There were a couple of Star Wars robots over £100.

But a lot of what came up was familiar; no hamsters, but a Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey which seems to serve the same function without the need to feed or muck out.

Fingerlings

Image credit: Fingerlings

It will react to gestures and sounds, chat, kiss and snore.  More than Hammy would, now I think about it.

Dressing up is still popular.

And still nylon, I suspect, though more unicorn-y ...

Unicorn costume

Image credit: Unicorn costume

And you can still get a plastic dolls’ house from your local supermarket.

But maybe this year for a few more pounds I could upgrade…

Dolls House

Image credit: Dolls' House

Here’s hoping Father Christmas brings you and yours all you could want this year. 

But let's all remember. Presence is always more valuable than presents.

Merry Christmas.

Victoria x