Forging the bonds of family life: Sue Fieldman hears how some of the professionals would handle their children's pounds 100 Christmas presents

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NIGEL CHAPMAN is an accountant and hotelier rolled into one. He and his wife Heather own the Woolley Grange hotel at Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, where they live with their four children.

Mr Chapman says:'I would have liked to split the pounds 100 to give each of the children pounds 50 of premium bonds and put pounds 50 in the National Savings Children's Bonus Bond. The returns on the Bonus Bond are tax-free.

'But there is a pounds 100 minimum investment for premium bonds, which is annoying. So I would buy pounds 100 of premium bonds each for the two boys and the girls would have their pounds 100 in the Bonus Bonds. If the boys win the premium bonds they have to split the winnings with the others.'

Whether he will be able to prise the money out of the boys is another matter.

Nicky Chapman, aged 11, is the last of the big spenders. Give him pounds 100 and it would disappear like greased lightning.

He says: 'I would buy a remote control car or a TV.

'I have a building society account with the Woolwich but I only have about pounds 10 in it. I have spent the rest.'

Daniel, aged nine, goes to the other extreme. He makes his accountant father look adventurous.

Daniel wants to save all of his pounds 100 and it will go towards his long-term purchases of a house and a car. He hates spending money, and when he is not learning to be a chef in the hotel's kitchen he is building his own business empire.

He says: 'I will put all the money in my building society. I love saving money. I already have a couple of hundred pounds.

'What I like doing best of all is going to the flea market on Saturday morning and buying bowls. A lady there always sells them cheaply to me.'

Jennie, aged six, and Clare, three, both want dolls for Christmas. But they would spare a pound or two for a deserving cause - their parents. Daddy could have a torch and Mummy some perfume.

(Photograph omitted)

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