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Time to bring back the Christmas club; THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT.

When the kids go back to school my thoughts turn to Christmas shopping so with a pad and a pen I settled down for a brainstorming session.

Browsing toys on the internet, I'm spoilt for choice but anything to do with Thomas and Friends or Disney Cars is really expensive as I'm sure all you nans already know.

It's a shame you can't have a Christmas club any more, I used to save up all year round in the local toy shop and by December I had enough money to buy all their toys. It was a huge relief.

I used up all The Christmas our Claire was almost three and Lucy was four months old, I had chosen their toys in November and already wrapped them up when Claire decided Father Christmas was bringing her dolls some bunk beds! round local toy and by December had money all their There was no money left in the Christmas Club so I asked my father, who was a carpenter, if he could make the bunk beds for Claire in time for Christmas.

He was very busy at the time working late most evenings, but he promised he could do it by Christmas Eve.

That just left me with the problem of dolls' bedding.

Well, I had four pillowcases with my best shocking pink nylon bed set so I cut up two of them and by the light of my lava lamp I made little mattresses, quilts and pillows for the dolls.

I have to say with lace and bows of ribbon, I was really pleased with my efforts and couldn't wait to put them on the beds.

Time was ticking on and my father still hadn't made the dolls' beds. Every weekend I asked him and every weekend he said he was working on it and not to worry. By Christmas week I started to panic.

The bunks were ready but my dad said he couldn't get them out to me until he could get a lift from a mate.

But on Christmas Eve the children to save were playing in the garden when Dad knocked the door with the bunk beds.

year in the "shop IExcitedly I rushed to get the bedding and when I got back he was getting great planks of wood out of the back of the van.

enough to buy toys He had made child-sized bunk beds. No wonder it took so long.

I don't know whether I forgot to mention the beds were for dolls or whether he just assumed it was for Claire to sleep in.

But after he had assembled the real bunk beds, he went straight to his workshop and knocked up a tiny dolls' version in a few hours.

Claire's dolls got their bunk beds on Christmas morning and they looked very cosy tucked up in their shocking pink quilts.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 13, 2011
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