I realised the other day that two of the best Christmas presents I've ever had were quite similar - I'm lucky enough to have had two dolls houses hand-made just for me.
The first was when I was around eight or nine. It all came about because of a rather depressing Christmas the year before. That year, my parents and grandma had got together to buy me the most fantastic dolls-house that they could afford. To prevent me from seeing it all wrapped up on Christmas Eve and guessing what I'd been given, they decided (rather foolishly!) to leave it in the car overnight. The next morning the car had been broken into. The only present I had left that Christmas was some dolls house furniture! I remember my Nan in particular being really distraught, and my Dad going up and down the nearby streets checking the bins to see if the robber (on discovering he'd stolen a dolls house and not a pricey stereo) had thrown it away. No such luck!
The next Christmas I had a far more special present; my mum and dad got together to make me an amazing dolls house. They used an old basket for the roof, real carpet pieces inside, cardboard and wood interiors and wallpaper to decorate the rooms. Sadly I no longer have a photo of the dolls house, but a couple of years ago Tom made me a new one - a home for Frank, the little guy I'd been given for my birthday that year. I feel so very lucky to have had such thoughtful gifts given to me and it just shows that handmade gifts far outweigh expensive ones that can quickly be forgotten.