A bicycle - the Christmas Present that lasts a lifetime
There’s going to be many lucky children opening the ultimate Christmas present on Christmas Day morning – a bicycle.
I love thinking back two years, and remembering the excitement on the faces of by two boys as they came downstairs and saw huge bike shaped presents. Inside large Christmas sacks were bikes that shone like new, and which got the boys hyperventilating with excitement. As you can imagine, trying to get them to eat breakfast before being allowed out to try out their new pride and joy was a struggle.
Both bikes had been bought second-hand off the internet, and my husband, Chris, had spent many evenings (and nights) over the previous two months lovingly restoring them to their former glory.
For me, the bikes themselves were only a small part of the gift. What was important was the love and attention Chris was putting into the bikes. He gets his passion for renovating from his late grandfather, who in his time restored aircraft, cars, motorbikes and bicycles. The boys (who were five and three) picked up on this, and their fascination and enjoyment from tinkering with their bikes has developed throughout the following two years. They now happily spend a Saturday afternoon helping maintain the array of bikes we have.
The other part of the gift was passing on our love of cycling. At the time, the little one was a whizz on his balance bike and had enjoyed years of being carried and pulled along, but of course now he’s learnt to pedal solo. There’s no stopping him now - he’s just completed his first cyclo-cross race agred 5 years and 3 months!
For our eldest, he soon realised the BMX he'd been given wasn't suitable for off-roading, so we found ourselves back online buying a used (but in excellent condition) mountain bike for him. It was when he said to me "Mummy, I've got my BMX for tricks and my mountain bike for off-roading - I REALLY need a road bike for cycling to school" that I realised the Christmas present had truly paid off.
All I need to do now is start saving for a bigger shed!