But, yesterday, the lone parent’s money-management efforts were all in vain as the Santa surprises were brought to the Cork city dump after the second flood within a week swamped her council home in Great William O’Brien Street.
The relief and joy she experienced a few weeks ago when she moved into her home and bought the Christmas goodies has turned to heartbreak and despair.
Her television and video exploded last week as water seeped into the house. Her washing machine and living room suite was also destroyed.
Her claim for damages was still under consideration by City Hall when yesterday morning’s flood waters submerged her home.
Her few material possessions, along with the kids’ bicycles and other toys, were hours later lying unwanted outside her door awaiting the refuse truck’s collection.
“What kind of Christmas are we going to have?” said the anxious mum. “I’ve been putting away the toys since early summer but, now with weeks to Christmas, I have nothing.
“Since Thursday last, we haven’t been able to cook in the house and we’re living on Chinese takeaways.
“The council is doing nothing for us. We are all living in one bedroom from last week.”
Emergency supplies of bed linen were given to Lisa on Thursday last. However, yesterday, the muddy white sheets were also on their way to the dump after being used as a stopgap measure to hold back the floods.
“I had the doctor in the house at 1am as some of the children developed rashes after last week’s flood,” she said. “The youngest were still in bed at 9.30 am and they were dragged out when we were told the floods were coming back.
“The water was already flowing through the house before the sandbags arrived. Everything was destroyed again.”
Neighbours offered comfort to her youngest children Haley, 4, and Nikita, 3, but 10-year-old twins Amy and Shauna were devastated, their mum said. “They were still here when the floods came in,” said Lisa, “they were almost hysterical.”
Lisa said the family fled the flooded house. “I ran back in bare-footed to get the children’s clothes.
“When this happened in Dublin, I saw the Taoiseach and all the TD’s running around promising help.
“Nobody did anything for us last week.
“The only politician that came to our door was Noel O’Flynn. He sympathised with me and promised to help with the claim.”