DO YOUR kids still revel in the magic of Father Christmas?
I can remember my little sister announcing on Christmas Day that the jingle bells on his sleigh had woken her up and that she’d lain perfectly still with her eyes tightly closed as she heard him come into her room to place a bulging stocking at the bottom of her bed. How cute.
The time when they become too old to be visited by Santa signals the end of the magic. Last week Alex came home from school announcing that he had now reached this point and, at 10 years old, I suppose it’s fair enough.
I was feeling all Christmassy watching the news last week, wondering when snow will be hitting the borough as I watched reports showing a snowy Scotland.
This time last year we’d already had quite a bit of snow, with many schools closing on odd days in December. Kids love nothing more than making snowmen and pelting each other with snowballs, but for many families a hard winter is going to be very difficult.
According to Netmums research out last week, thousands of families with children are really struggling with power bills. One in 10 are using candles, more than three quarters severely ration heating and power, and one in five parents are saying their children get ill more often as it’s too costly to heat their home. Nine in 10 of those surveyed have gone without food to pay their power bills.
Many struggling families use pre-payment meters where you top up your energy at the local corner shop and, while this helps them avoid unexpected bills, it is the most expensive way of buying energy, meaning the poorest are penalised.
The fact that people who live abroad can claim the Winter Fuel Payment, yet there are families in Britain lighting their houses by candlelight and sleeping in hats and coats seems just wrong.