A MUM-of-two has shared her epic Christmas present haul which is so big she can barely see her floor – but they’re not for her kids.
Debbie Walsh, 34, is collecting presents to donate to hospitals and hospices this year, with her home resembling Santa’s workshop as she stores hundreds of gifts.
Debbie, a PR director, said the pile is so big it’s taken over most of her house, and she’s unable to reach cupboards and shelves due to the number of toys in the way.
The mum, who lives with Max, four, India, two, and husband Sam, 32, said she’s had to tell her kids the presents aren’t for them, as they eagerly open packages to add to the pile.
Debbie told Fabulous Digital: “The toys have become part of the furniture. They take up an entire floor when they are not stacked up!
“They are in my office and have blocked the access to my terrace and stairs, so I haven’t been able to use it for a month or so.
“The presents are like dominoes. If one falls, then the whole mountain of presents will tumble over.
“You have to add the gifts to the pile carefully in order to not set them all tumbling. My son is also so clumsy so he will fall into one and then the whole pile is a mess.”
As well as having to navigate mountains of toys, Debbie says occasionally they’ll make noises, which she likened to having a ‘ghost’ in the house.
The mum said: “Every now and then you will hear sirens or Peppa talking. You think there is a ghost in the room and then you realise it is the toys making the noise.”
Debbie reckons she’s amassed more than 500 toys, as parents, friends, strangers and even parents in the playground donated to her present drive.
The mum explained she first donated gifts in 2016, after her son was born, and she received duplicate toys.
She decided to donate them instead, saying: “I then started asking around and it turned out lots of parents/friends had spare gifts and toys to donate.
“This then escalated and people started purchasing new toys to add to the donations. By word of mouth, I got over 600 toys.”
After coronavirus saw life turned upside down this year, Debbie decided to do her present drive again, although she’s not allowed to hand-deliver the gifts this year.
“I think it is also nice for the kid’s parents to know that a community has come together to do this for their child. Such a testing and hard time for all.”
Debbie praised people’s generosity this year, revealing well-wishers had donated top-of-the-line toys.
She said: “One lady transferred me £50 to go and spend on a toy, and another lady sent me three boxes full of about 40 brand new toys.
“I received a kid’s laptop, large Marvin’s Magic sets, about 30 sets of Lego, fancy dress costumes, a designer wallets for teens.
“So far in 24 hours I have had over 150 gifts donated, from colouring books, to bracelet making, V-tech computers, Lego, glitter tattoos, puzzles.”
Debbie said her kids have been extremely excited by all the gifts, and she’s had to explain they’re not for them.
The mum said they now guard the pile, revealing: “They are policing the toys and know they are solely for the hospital!
“My daughter did however try to test out the Peppa Pig laptop and my son has asked if he can have an Avenger for Christmas if he is a good boy.
“Every day when more deliveries arrive they rush to open them and carry them to where I am storing them.
“I am amazed that they haven’t tried to open them, but they know that these are specifically for the children at the hospital.
“My son has started to ask lots of questions and is telling his friends and teachers about what he is doing. Initially I thought he would ask to rip open the Lego sets but he has left the toys alone.”
Debbie said it’s been a “lovely activity” to do as a family, and she even gave her kids £25 each to buy a toy for the pile from a shop.
The mum added she’s roped in her other half to help as well, saying: “My husband has secretly been behind the scenes helping too. He has also promised to deliver the toys which is great, as the bags are quite bulky and heavy!
“I’m lucky I don’t need to go down any chimneys. I imagine they could fill about 20 sacks.
“The pile is taller than the children!”
Debbie is now faced with the mammoth task of sorting out all the gifts, adding: “It is manual labour to move all these toys.
“It took two of us and an hour to move them all to the other side of the room to gain access to the door, and then we moved them back!
“Who needs the gym when you have 500 presents or so to lift.”
To donate to Debbie’s present pile, which is being split between hospitals and hospices across London at the end of November, email DWChristmasDonations@gmail.com.
Meanwhile a radio station playing nothing but Christmas songs has just launched so you can get your festive fix two months early.