At work I was talking with some teachers about literature lessons and was told a story about a class of 9 year olds who had been invited to bring in their favourite book. Out of a class of thirty students four had brought in the Argos catalogue.
This made me laugh but then I started to think about it. My eldest son used to insist on getting the new Argos catalogue the day it came out (he even knew the release date). I would end up getting three copies, one for each of the children and one for the adults. Then the boys would spend hours flicking through the pages considering options for Christmas in spring!
Perhaps it’s a genetic thing? I remember as a child, my brother and I got the Littlewoods catalogue to find and select presents for Christmas. In those days Christmas was paid for via the club and weekly instalments which meant that my first computer was a Commodore Vic-20 (as I didn’t fancy a Dragon32 and they were the only two in the catalogue). I remember my mum receiving green shield stamps every time we went shopping, a 1970’s nectar scheme, and as a child collecting them in books, dad would then get items from the green shield catalogue. But how things have changed now it is so different, green shield are gone. We now have the catalogues of all catalogues – Argos.
As a non-resident parent it is very hard to get your children to fix on ideas for Christmas. If you get organised and buy something too early they have changed their minds, too late and you miss the bus or you can’t find the toy in stock. My first Christmas as a non-resident parent was saved by the Argos catalogue. My youngest decided he wanted an Air Hog, and he settled on Air Hogs - Battle Tracker, I had no idea what it was. A Google search showed the product was a range of toys - so after a short chat with my son on the phone he said ‘daddy they have them in Argos’. He gave me a page number and we had a nice conversation about the toys and the exact one he wanted.
I went to the web site and found it. I could see that my local store didn’t have one but I was able to reserve one at another store. He got what he wanted and all was well. I now know my boys use the Argos catalogue to help research which toys they might want but as a non-resident parent it is a godsend. It allows me to simply identify what they would like and even share this with my parents and family members.
In the past we have had:
|Air Hogs Radio Controlled Roller Copter, £34.99 at Argos|
|Pokemon X - 3DSGame, £34.99 at Argos|
|The LEGO City The Mine, £69.99 at Argos|
This year we still haven't established an exact list but high on the agenda are:
For my youngest
|Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack Tablet Game, £59.99 at Argos|
|Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack Wii Game, £52.99 at Argos|
|and smaller stocking fillers like these Skylanders Trap Team "Traps", £5.99|
As for my eldest:
The boys also include books, annuals and even pens and stationary on their list, thankfully as all good dads know Father Christmas has a special arrangement with Argos. This means that he doesn’t have to carry all the presents on his sleigh and he appreciates the help if a catalogue number and pages are listed on your Christmas list.
As a child, the joy of walking through a toy shop is amazing but you can do that every day, whenever you want to, with something like an Argos catalogue. I have also used it with my eldest to help teach him money management. He has a limited budget to spend on Christmas presents but I allow him to choose what he spends on each present but he can’t exceed his budget.
Writing a letter to Santa has always been a part of Christmas but Argos is now part of that tradition in my house, and I can understand how it might be a child’s favourite book.
Till next week
For help picking out the top toys for Christmas 2014, here's the Argos Kids' Review video - for reviews and opinions from the experts!