Christmas is coming, 
The goose is getting fat, 
Please put a penny in the old man's hat

Sorry, I couldn't resist. 

I love Christmas, and with the Pageant last Saturday, I have been thinking about my Christmas preparations for the past few days. 

First thing I had to do was to check the "inventory" (as Mr AV refers to the contents of the present cupboard). I am one of those annoying people who generally have finished their Christmas shopping in October. This year, I am quite late. I like to buy things for people as I see them (on sale, and without pressure with a deadline), put it away and then rest on my laurels for the final run up to the Big Day. You will never find me buying anything on Christmas Eve.

So I thought I'd share a few of the things that I've found this year. Most of these items are going to be child related, but to start with, this is what we've got for my Sister in Law. Bought this sparkly clutch bag and fuchsia pink necklace in the Kate Spade sale - they have a sale section on their website with things up to 75% off, and then do a code for an extra 15%-25% off for time to time (sign up to their emails). I have bought all my Kate Spade items this way - one of the leather handbags that I have cost only $90 Australian. I do have to use my reshipper, but if I find a couple of things to buy, this works out adding only around $5-$10 per item.



For my sister, a Florence Broadhurst fan, this Kate Spade enamel bracelet with the Florence Broadhurst Japanese Flower print on it. We have a family love affair with Florence's wallpaper designs. My parent's bathroom circa 1979 was wallpapered (including the ceiling) in her foil designs. The bathroom was then featured in Vogue Living. Wish I could find the copy. It was very of its era.


Books are always popular in our family as gifts. I have bought this for my husband. Stunning photos of Italy from the 50's. I'm hoping to inspire him to book us another holiday.



For my Father, I have got him this book - Bill Bryson's At Home. It is a history of domesticity. That sounds really dull, but it is in fact one of the most entertaining and interesting books that I've read all year. I highly recommend it.



My francophile Mother in Law is getting one of Janelle's beautiful books along with some Roses for her garden.



I love buying children's presents, and love anything that isn't plastic and doesn't make obnoxious noises. My criteria also dictates that it also needs to look good when left lying around, as, lets face it, kids are messy and I spend a lot of my time with some toy or other in my field of vision.

For my 4 year old daughter, she is getting a little French (Moulin Roty) shop with a few little boxes of groceries to go in it, and a set of scales. She loves play food, loves her little kitchen set up, and loves to play shops so I think this will be a good addition


For Mr AV's 1.5 year old godson, we have bought this, a garbage recycling truck from WOW toys. We have one of these (bought for my oldest's 2nd birthday) and it is hands down the most popular toy with visiting children (and our own). I'd definitely recommend this for boys aged 1-3. It doesn't have batteries, but makes a satisfying noise as you roll it along, and has lots of levers and doors to push and pull on it. Yes, it's plastic, but it is high quality and has really taken a battering and survived.

For my niece, who is 2, we are giving some play food. Pretty much all children, boys and girls, love to pretend play at this age, and this Le Toy Van set of Kitchenaid type mixer, cupcakes and cakes was half price in a closing down sale in a local shop. We have this set already, so I know it will be popular with her. I also got the ice cream sundae at 1/3 of the original retail, so this makes a great gift for her



For my 2 year old son, we are giving him a new scooter. I made a mistake when we bought my daughter a scooter that was supposed to last through to him. Hers has the two wheels at the back, so she constantly hits her ankle on them as she scoots along. It's also faded terribly in the sun, and generally was not a good buy (it was the Razor brand one). These Micro scooters are fab, and as the children spend a lot of time scooting around our veranda, it will get a lot of use.

I always find that Seed Children's clothing have a great selection of gifts as well - lots of sticker books, craft activities, lovely picture books and little bits and pieces for children aged up to 10. One of my daughter E's favourite things is this Tiara headband. It is actually really cute in person - not tacky princessy at all so I don't mind her wearing it in public, and she always gets comments on it. Her first month of owning it, I had to remove it from her head at night as she liked to sleep in it too. It's on sale as well, and would be a great stocking stuffer for a little girl.

Books for children. We love Julia Donaldson's books (the author of "The Gruffalo") so I've got her latest, "Superworm" for my youngest. The absolutely beautifully illustrated book "Lily and the Fairy House" is perfect for a little girl aged from 2 up to 5 (seriously stunning illustrations, a sweet and simple story - my daughter E loves this book).


For an Girl aged 4 - 10, the Usborne Illustrated Stories series are perfect. My daughter loves the Fairy Tale collection, so this Stories one is also going under the tree for her. The classic book "Ballet Shoes" by Noel Streetfield has been rereleased for it's 75th anniversary in a gorgeous Cath Kidson designed boxed cover. I bought this to put away - this was one of my favourite stories as a child, and I really wanted E to have a beautiful copy of her own. Perfect for a girl aged 7 up to 12.


Lastly, my neglected oldest (7 year old) son. No, not really neglected, he is a Lego fanatic, so that's pretty much going to be his gift. But for his books, I've selected 365 Penguins, which is a picture book with a mathematical overtone - it's really fun, and I think he'll enjoy it. He's also getting an Usborne Stories for Boys and another Zac Power book (Zac is a 12 year old undercover spy. He is obsessed and this series got him reading). The How to Train your Dragon series is also a hit with him, as are any Roald Dahl books.


Hope your Christmas prep is going well  xx

22 comments:

  1. I have done most of my shopping already too. I do it on-line in October usually. Too much going on here by Christmas with the end of school and harvest etc.

    I am very jealous of the Kate Spade Florence Broadhurst bracelet.

    Take care.

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    1. That's the only problem with buying in advance - it's very tempting to keep some of the things for yourself.... the Florence bracelet almost had a night out on the town, as did the glittery clutch. xx

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  2. Hi Heidi I love your blog and am so thankful for the scooter tip! We have been looking for one for our son who has just turned three!! This will perfect. I am in Adelaide too not far from you I think! Cheers Paula

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    Replies
    1. Hi Paula - I'm so glad I've helped with the scooter. I really didn't do enough research for my daughter's, and it wasn't that far off price wise (but a big difference in quality). I'm sure he'll love it. xx

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  3. Christmas.....panic stations! Have done absolutely nothing towards it yet except think about when we shall make the pudding....better ring the butcher and order the suet! Rx

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    Replies
    1. Have only just turned my mind towards the food aspect - was emailing my sisters last night about who is making what. Fortunately my Dad (totally incompetent cook that he is) makes a great pudding, and he made it yesterday. Don't think it's that authentic though, I'm pretty sure there's no suet involved. Good luck making yours xx

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  4. Ahhh. Your family and friends are so lucky to have you <3

    We've got a bit of a strange tradition where we only do presents for the little ones. Our nieces and nephews. That's it! Makes it quick, inexpensive and fuss free. Phew!

    B

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    Replies
    1. Funnily enough B, we had a discussion about doing that a few years ago - Mr AV and I decided that as it was only our kids (at the time) and a larger extended family it would be too much about them getting stuff and not about giving. So we still exchange presents. But I know in a lot of large families that it does make things much, much easier (and cheaper!) xx

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    2. Traditions are meant to morph throughout time....My elder sister and I laughed so much at the bloody stupidity of trying to give each other a 'meaningful' gift one year; we now exchange a Christmas ornament. Perfect! x KL

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    3. That's such a good idea - the nice ornaments are pretty expensive, so it's a little token pressie but a very nice one to be given x

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  5. Christmas is coming,
    I'm too bloody fat....
    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
    Not yet feeling the lurve....
    I have however been cheered somewhat by your post. Kate Spade - signed up! Thxs! GREAT tip! (A xmas pressie in itself!!!!)
    Books are always prized posessions here too. (daughter No 1 trained as a librarian!)
    I have to say, J had a Little Tikes garbage recycling truck when he was young. It made garbage eating noises (use your imagination! Eeeek!)and it was THE most popular toy too. Go figure! At 10 though he's just starting to wane with his Lego enthusiasm...(the Death Star acquisition last year being the pinicle!)And although he loves books they're not it THE gift category. I'm stumped.
    Hopefully I'll get more enthusiasm and inspiration soon... Glad to hear your plans are less frazzled than mine!
    x KL




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    1. I'm not sure what it is with garbage trucks and little boys, but I bought that one for my oldest when he was two as I used to spend every monday morning in Melbourne standing in my pyjamas at 6.30am on our front step watching the garbage truck go down the street. Most of my friends seem to do the same thing too. My oldest has his eye on the Death Star - you certainly can't top that for a gift! Your son really has reached the pinnacle of Lego construction.
      And hey, you've got to enjoy the christmas lead up before you go on the January diet - eat, drink and be merry KL! xx

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    2. I bought the Death Star online from the US and saved about $400. Shipping was expensive (about $120 from memory, but the landed cost was still significantly cheaper than RR here IF you can get your hands on one which I couldn't! x KL

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    3. I'll file that one away. I've bought toys online overseas in the past, but I've found it a bit too borderline as of late. Maybe local prices have come down? The more expensive pieces (like the death star) are no doubt much, much cheaper there even factoring in the shipping (which is so high from the US compared to the UK - why??) xx

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  6. Wow... I wish I was as organised as you for Christmas!
    Beautiful and thoughtful gifts as well :)
    Thanks for the great posts - I have just started following you on GFC.
    K x
    http://melikeyalot.blogspot.com.au/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks K, I just feel a horrible anxiety if I'm not all sorted. Probably because I know with little kids that I'll be thwarted in my attempts to go shopping any closer (especially with school holidays starting). Thanks for following and I'll drop by your blog later tonight. x

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  7. That Kate Spade clutch is stunning! Want! I've done no Christmas preparation at all, so I'm impressed by your work :)

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    Replies
    1. I know - I was so tempted to keep the clutch. It required a lot of willpower over a long time to keep it in the cupboard! xx

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  8. Oh, how lovely to see a familiar book there! So touched. Do you know, I was going to send you one but thought might be inappropriate? So I found you another book by ANOTHER (much better) author instead! It's on our dining table with the rest of our pressies to send.

    Thanks for the fab reshipper contact. I've been wanting to buy a Madeleine Weinrib rug for ages but it's always too bulky to get into the carryon-luggage. Will use that religiously from now on.

    Lastly, I love love love Bill Bryson and this book is his best! I love it so much I keep buying copies at airports. I had the very great luck to interview him at his London pied-a-terre one year (we were living around the corner: I left some chocolates on his doorstep with a persuasive note). When I went to the interview though, and opened the (already open) front door of the flat, he was there with his little bottom in the air, cleaning the bathtub. I'll never forget it. Love a man who does a bit of housekeeping between media grabs. Lovely guy. Very shy. Very un-funny in person. But a wonderfully congenial gentleman. xx

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    1. Nothing could top your books Janelle - they're so beautiful! My reshipper may not do a large item...you'll have to contact her to see if she will (but she is so lovely, she'll be very helpful. I used Hop Shop Go once, and had a terrible experience, so I now prefer the more personal touch from Fiona). You interview all the good people Janelle! Can't believe you lived around the corner from Bill! That book is so, so good. He writes so engagingly and it was so well researched without seeming like a history lecture at all. Hope all is well with you xx

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  9. Heidi, you are so organised!!!

    I think it is lovely that you put a lot of thoughtful consideration into your gift purchasing, clearly thinking about each person's interests etc. You have motivated me to get shopping. Mr B is getting a replacement wallet but I need to purchase gifts for my parents and other family members. I need to get internet shopping asap as I cannot deal with manic shopping centres ESPECIALLY before Christmas.

    I love all of the gifts you have purchased, especially the books and the French shop. Your family members will LOVE their gifts xx

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    Replies
    1. I loath and detest souless shopping centres. I avoid them like the plague. I've become such a good internet shopper, that I think I may have actually lost my shopping talents in real life! xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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