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
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