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Karen Kay on why adults should enjoy Christmas more

PUBLISHED: 14:36 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:36 09 December 2014

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

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It's about time adults, who face most of the drudgery of life, enjoyed a bit more merriment, Karen decides. And she's willing to scoot off and start the trend

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who once said something along the lines of: “you don’t stop having fun because you get old: you get old because you stop having fun.”

I was reminded of this as my email inbox started to fill with details of festive ‘must-have gifts’. It dawned on me that when it comes to giving presents, the focus for children is on fun-filled activities, with a plethora of inventive games and gadgets designed to create laughter-filled childhood memories.

When it comes to the grown-ups, we tend to consider practical needs or some kind of ‘luxury’. All too often this leads to uninspiring household goods, or – dare I say it – an expensive token that will be put away in a drawer and ‘kept for best’, never to be seen again. I recall a carefully chosen solid silver Tiffany key ring I bought for my travel-loving mother years ago, featuring an aeroplane circumnavigating a globe. My intention was that it should accompany her as she went about her daily business, bringing a smile to her face as she unlocked the front door or put the keys in the ignition of her car. Sadly, I think it is still in its distinctive turquoise blue box, in her dressing table, waiting for the right moment to join her on one of life’s adventures.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a pair of soft leather gloves, or an enveloping cashmere scarf, and certainly won’t grumble if I peel back the wrapping paper to reveal said items on Christmas morning. And if any family members come over all sensible while doing their seasonal shopping, I shall be very grateful to unwrap a gadget that will make everyday tasks easier.

However, this year, as I’ve been gathering gifts for my loved ones, I’ve tried hard to ensure adults will have as much fun as the children as a result of my contribution under the tree. It seems to me we’re all so exhausted just getting through each day, that a bit of fun could really be the best gift of all. Most of us don’t truly want for material goods, so let’s try and declare this festive season a Fun Zone for all.

My pick is a scooter. You know those brightly-coloured Micro-Scooters that are ubiquitous on the school run? The ones that come with a host of co-ordinating helmets, streamers, lights, bells, backpacks and handwarmers (yes, really!). Well, have you ever envied the kids as they whizz along on two (or three) wheels? Doesn’t it just seem a whole lot better than the drudgery of pounding the pavements, wearing out shoe leather?

My daughter, now seven, has had a Micro Scooter since small, progressing through the ranks to the one Santa brought last year, with its beautiful metallic coral handlebar shaft. Now I want a piece of the scooter action too.

Micro Scooters do make an adult version, but I’ve found something that will fit better with my lifestyle: the Swifty Scooter. Granted, it’s expensive, but no more than a decent bicycle or annual gym membership, and it’s much more fun than both of those combined. Designed by husband and wife team, Jason and Camilla Iftakhar, and made in Britain, the Swifty is the scooting equivalent of those folding Brompton bikes. Sleek, shiny and – yes – truly swifty, it makes running errands feel like a childhood stint in the playground.

Suddenly, even the most tedious of trips to the shops feels a whole lot more appealing. Pop a backpack on, and you’re off, laughing as you throw caution to the wind. Gosh, was that the burden of responsibility I just cast aside as I whizzed to the station this morning? Did I just experience the carefree sensation of unadulterated FUN for the first time in ages? I did! It folds up and sits in the boot of the car, or you can carry it on the train into London and take a scoot along the South Bank.

A friend asked me if I don’t feel just a tad self-conscious. “Don’t you get some odd looks?” she said, curious. “Yes” I replied, “I do. And I bet they’re all people who wish they could have a go. They just look peeved that they’re shuffling along like sheep, instead of discarding the shackles of being a stuffy adult who’s old before their time and HAVING FUN.”

So, if you’ve still got some gifts to buy this year, I dare you to add the fun factor. OK, it might not be a whizzy scooter, but put some thought into it and make sure that however big or small your present, it will add some genuine gaiety, in the truest sense of the word, to your loved ones’ lives. Happy Christmas!

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