Design: Please give me a football pitch

Eight optimistic children reveal what they really want for Christmas. Oh yeah? say their parents.
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The Independent Culture
Shirley White, mother of four, and son Harry, age 3 Shirley: "Harry wants anything that's advertised on TV, anything to do with Tarzan or Star Wars, anything with an offensive weapon in it, or anything that comes from a catalogue. He will go to bed with a pile of catalogues and find five things per page which he insists he `needs'. What he will actually get is a table and chair for his room. I will also give him a couple of junk toys like Tarzan figures, crayons and a construction toy. What he would benefit from most is a ball of string and some paper clips so that he can build elaborate structures with the sticks he has picked up in the road."

Harry: "I want Tarzan toys, Pokemon monsters, Hercules and Action Man. I need a toy kitchen. And a telephone. Not a toy one, a real one. I need Beanie Babies, a hammer and a screwdriver, a building kit and a Bob the Builder. I need a Thomas the Tank Engine train and a lorry. I have got a lorry but I need two lorries."

Jay Murphy, barrister, and daughter Tyla, age 6

Jay: "Tyla is getting a violin. In her wildest dreams she would want a horse, anything pink and fluffy, anything to do with Barbie, and Baby Born, a doll which cries and wets itself."

Tyla: "I would really, really like a mermaid swimming costume and a violin. I think mummy will give me a scooter or a skipping rope. I like things for my hair, and Barbie things. If I could have anything in the world I would like my own bank account."

Jane Waldegrave, fund raiser, and daughter Emma, age 6

Jane: "Emma really wants Betty Spaghetti, a plastic doll with wiry hair. When I asked Emma what you can do with it she said `Well, you can wash it, Mummy'. I'm not getting it for her because it is a complete waste of money. What Emma is actually getting is a Winnie-the-Pooh towel with her name on it, from the NSPCC. Tragic isn't it! But Father Christmas will be doing a stocking with Beanie Babies, chocolates, and noisy things. This year's noisy thing might be a ghetto blaster key ring that plays rap music for 40 seconds (I've timed it)."

Emma: "I really, really, really want Betty Spaghetti. She is so lovely. She has got long yellow hair which you can put in bunches. I want her because you can wash her clothes. I would also like a mini skirt. I think that Mummy will definitely buy me Betty Spaghetti. I hope someone buys me a skirt too."

Mark Grindrod, house husband, and son Max, age 6

Mark: "I know Max will want Action Man. He does have some Action Man things but they came from his French relations. For Christmas we will give him a mix of things - like Rock Raiders Lego, which he asked for ages ago and will probably decide he doesn't want by Christmas, a couple of CD- Roms, an educational one from Dorling Kindersley and something like Freddie the Fish, and some books and a few little things like Pokemons.

Max: "I want an Action Man submarine and the biggest octopus ever, not a real one, a giant plastic octopus. I've only got a small one and I don't like it. I also want a Star Wars Phantom Menace, Pod Racer Lego and a remote control car."

Janie Hunter, social worker, and son Hamish, age 8

Janie: "Hamish is getting a Lycra bicycling top for Christmas. He is also going to get a Lego Droid Star Wars which he will share with his older brother Archie. He also wants those Pokemon cards that cost pounds 2.50 each, which he is getting from Father Christmas along with lead soldiers and Roman coins, which I know he doesn't want, but his father wants him to have."

Hamish: "I would like a big remote control car that turns on its back and flips back again and does loads of cool tricks. I would also like a football pitch and some more Lego. I don't think I will get a football pitch but I might get some Lego from Mum and Dad. My grandparents give me pencils and useful things but I don't think they will give me a football pitch, either.

Juliet Bawden, designer, and daughter Alice, age 8

Juliet: "Alice and her older sister Jessica have been coveting my designer necklaces made by Sophie Harley. I have got a silver one and a gold one and when I die they think they are going to have one each. I saw Sophie at the Chelsea Crafts Fair and she suggested I buy them each a necklace. However, I feel very mean because I know Alice really wants a workbench with lots of tools."

Alice: "I would really like a tabby cat but I don't think I will get one. I would like a workbench with tools so I could make dolls' houses, chairs and tables. I would like my dad to build me a tree house because he is an architect. I think I might get the workbench. In my stocking I hope I get a Labrador Beanie Baby, some more Lego men and lots of Lego building bricks."

Steve Sorba, printer, and daughter Electra, age 11

Steve: "I think that what Electra would like for Christmas is a mobile phone. She has a phone socket in her bedroom and last time she went shopping with her friend Claire, she came back with a telephone she had bought for pounds 9.99. Electra is quite responsible with the phone herself, but her aunt who is staying in Electra's room at the moment isn't; she phones Germany day and night. I think what we will actually give Electra is a music system."

Electra: "I think I might get a mobile phone. I'd also like a new bed. I saw a loft bed with a ladder up, a desk underneath and a cupboard. I'd like clothes but I'd prefer the money so I could go out and choose them myself. I trust my nanny to buy the right clothes, but I can't trust my parents, no way. I think my parents might give me a hi-fi as well as a mobile phone. I believe in Father Christmas at the moment so I hope he brings me something for my room."

Sheila Robinson, teacher, and son Jack, age 11

Sheila: "I know Jack wants a sporty watch and although it wouldn't be my choice, I will probably end up getting it for him. He is into clothes, so I might buy him a tracksuit. We are going skiing with the school next half term so I will get him ski stuff, which he won't like, and some pyjamas which he won't appreciate at all."

Jack: "I'd like some Nike or Adidas sports clothes, some baggy trousers and tops from O'Neill or Quicksilver. I would like a watch with lots of gadgets. For computer games I'd like Final Fantasy Seven and Final Fantasy Eight. I'd like a mobile phone and roller hockey roller blades, a stick, pads and everything. I am getting clothes from my Mum and Dad, and I think my Dad will give me a mobile phone and will probably pay the phone bill. I hope Mummy will get me a watch because that's what I really need."