Wednesday, 9 November 2011
It’s a much-loved custom, passed down through the generations. When children’s baby teeth fall out they tuck them under their pillow at night, then wake in the morning to discover the tooth fairy has left some money.
How exciting, only it turns out that the tooth fairy is an awful lot more generous in some parts of the UK than in others. In London a child receives an average of £5.10 per tooth, an amazing sum that would add up to £100 for a full set of milk teeth. In Portsmouth, however, children get 10p a tooth while in Hull it’s only 5p.
In these bleak economic times it’s clear the credit crunch is hitting everything – even the tooth fairy. As Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes, the company behind the survey, says: “Even the tooth fairy is feeling the pinch.”
Looking back, I got off lightly in the tooth fairy stakes. I paid a Scrooge-like 50p for my daughter’s baby teeth and when it came to my son I didn’t pay a penny. Why? Because in his down-to-earth and logical way he announced at the age of five that he didn’t believe in the tooth fairy at all. “It doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “How can a fairy arrive in the middle of the night and leave money under your pillow? How do they know I’ve lost a tooth?”
He was so unconvinced by the fairytale that I didn’t even bother to argue. Except a year or so later he suddenly realised he was missing a trick and that thanks to the tooth fairy his schoolfriends were coining it in while he was getting nothing.
“You know the tooth fairy,” he said. “I’ve changed my mind. I think there's something in it after all.”
PS: I know lots of people ask for specific Christmas presents, but I prefer surprises. Which is probably why I love the idea behind the GlossyBox. The idea is that you sign up, pay £10 per month (plus £2.95 p&p) and in return get sent a chic pink and brown box (above) containing what the company describes as “five high-end luxury samples from exclusive brands.” I’ve just been sent one to try and it’s absolutely gorgeous. As it was the sixth box, it contained six items - a Dermalogica pouch with three product samples (one is a “multivitamin thermafoliant” - I don’t even understand what that is!), a pack of Robert Piguet perfume samples, Stila smudge stick waterproof eye liner (brilliant) and some Leighton Denny nail varnish (I’d describe it as pink but it’s called Babydoll and it's lovely). So if you know someone who's keen on trying new beauty products and loves surprises, it could make a great (surprise) present.