It’s beginning to look a lot like… well, y’know! December is upon us – some might shudder at the thought, some may have been playing Chrissy carols since August (*raises hand*) but Father Time waits for no-one, and that Christmas shopping won’t do itself! I am a little behind the eight ball this year, I have done a lot of thinking about what I will be gifting to my loved ones, but not a lot of proactive purchasing (or as my husband likes to call it: rampant consumerism. Guilty as charged). I thought it timely to do a little round-up of what has been bouncing around my brain, ideas for what Santa will be shoving down the Brindabella chimney this year for Eleanor and Harriet. And this is the first year we will be spending Christmas morning actually at our house, which will be lovely for the girls, starting our own little family traditions (before the cousin chaos descends!)
If you have similar aged children (three and one) you may find some inspiration here…
I do really try to stick to the ‘something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need’ philosophy (I do!) so the girls will not be getting everything on this list, far from it. They honestly want for nothing, and I am always conscious of overloading their senses with ‘stuff’ – it really is true that children play far more intuitively and imaginatively with less. Our girls do not get toys throughout the year, or books really as I make a list on my phone ready for birthday’s and Christmas, so anything that I have thought of gets filed away ready for December (it is also convenient that both girls birthday’s are in the middle of the year, so it’s a good amount of time between gifts and we don’t have a clash of birthday/Christmas double headers as I’m sure a lot of you contend with!)
Goki truck – this will be for Harriet, as soon as I saw it in our gorgeous little local toy shop, The 3 Cheeky Monkeys in Yarragon, I knew it had to be Harriet’s for Christmas! A second child is hard to buy for, a second girl even more so. But we don’t have anything like this, and Harriet has quite the affinity for vehicles. Brum brum!
Flower press – Eleanor is always picking flowers and bringing them inside, demanding they be put in a jar of water “to live forever and ever!” I have thought of a flower press as a gift for her for awhile now, and she has recently really been into craft and sticking, so I think in the coming year she could be old enough to really enjoy pressing flowers. This pretty one can be customised with a message or names.
Broom – another item which has long been on the list, but never gotten around to giving one to Eleanor. Given that her Daddy is a sweeping maniac, it only seems fitting that she follows in his footsteps! Also: practical. You bet she can sweep the back porch to her hearts content – go for it, Blossom!
Tutu dress – we have an assortment of tutu’s in the dress-up’s basket, but next year Eleanor will be starting ‘ballerina school’ with her big cousin Charlotte. A twirly dress would be fitting, or a leotard and leg warmers perhaps…
Books – books, books, books! I know that neither girl will be overly excited about a pile of books in the bottom of their Santa sacks (actually, Harriet would probably be a bit stoked, but she would be happy with wrapping paper and a cardboard box to be honest…) but I also know that the longevity of enjoyment of books will go far. We try to place an emphasis in our house on the importance, and magic, of reading. Carefully chosen books – good books – have been absolute winners for Eleanor over the past three Christmases. And there is always a long list on my phone of titles I would like to add to our little library, but I generally don’t buy books other than at Christmas and birthday’s in one fell swoop. This year on my list are The Enchanted ABC, Melbourne Word by Word and the Little People Big Dreams series (as well as Olivia, I’m Australian Too, Thelma the Unicorn, The Wonderful Things You Will Be, Ada Twist Scientist, In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, Today We Have No Plans, Flora the Flamingo, Brambly Hedge, Celebrating You, Adventures with Barefoot Critters, You Belong Here, Here We Are and Cinnamon – to name a few!)
Bathers – also along the lines of not highly exciting items to open on Christmas morning, but falling into the ‘need’ category. With the hot weather upon us, both Eleanor and Harriet needed new bathers. Not that we are big swimmers…we aren’t beach people by any stretch of the imagination, but a few days splashing in the dam over Summer and in Grandad’s pool are sure to happen with our little mermaids.
Hobby horse – I have admired the gorgeousness of Calamity Bolt since long before I had children of my own. They are devine. So beautifully well made and crafted, each piece is almost too good to ride! But, I would like to think if my girls were lucky enough to have a Calamity steed they wouldn’t be precious items, but rather well loved and galloped around the house with gusto.
Basket – another on the ‘need’ list, a handy vessel to take out to collect the eggs or strawberries from the veggie patch, or just cart around the backyard collecting various rocks and leafs and sticks that take the girls fancy. Harriet in particular loves a bag or basket or anything to carry and collect.
Doctors kit – this has been requested! For the first time Eleanor is understanding more and more the concept behind Christmas, of giving and receiving, and of this magical Santa who will bring her things if she is a very good girl and writes him a letter asking for what she would like. Bless. And a doctors kit is top of the list! In fact, she has been requesting one for literally months, but I’ve held strong on my no toys except for birthdays and Christmas stance, and have this very set squirrelled away in a cupboard.
Fairy wand – anything fairy is pretty big at the moment, or magical in general. Eleanor is quite keen on turning her little sister into a frog or a snail! Crikey. Perhaps Santa had better give the wand to Harriet so she can fire back!
Rainbow stacker – a big ticket item, but one I have umm-ed and aah-ed over for literally years. So many people have sung their praises though and told me of their value, how children use them innately and intuitively, building and stacking and laying them in ways you wouldn’t dream of. This kind of toy definitely appeals, one which encourages thought and creativity all at once. Plus it would be ideal for either Eleanor or Harriet’s age and should still be age appropriate for some time.
Fairy house – I actually bought all the trimmings for a beautiful fairy garden for Eleanor’s birthday, but then decided she was most definitely getting too many gifts and put them away in the cupboard! So now at Christmas they will be re-appearing. I am hoping to make a little garden in a pot by the back porch which can be for her fairy friends, there’s toadstools and a picket fence and gnarled enchanting trees.
Fire engine – another direct request! At the music class we go to on Friday’s there is a pretty fabulous fire engine with a retractable ladder and fold down sides with hoses, Eleanor is in love. I’m hoping to find a less offensive looking one though (does that sound terribly snobby?! Oh well…) preferably wooden. Harriet was given The Iconic Melbourne tram toy for her birthday in July and it has been a serious hit. Something similar would be ideal, a moving ladder and hose is essential I think.
Wooden blocks – shock horror, we don’t really have any blocks. Well, we have a bit of Duplo…and some fairly boring square wooden blocks…but these very chunky blocks of different shapes (cylinders and triangles and arches especially) Eleanor builds all sorts of creations I didn’t think she was capable of at play group! So I think we need to get some good, big, chunky, simple blocks to get our inner engineer on.
Soft toys – we have a fair few soft toys, which are rarely played with to be honest, but still I think the girls would love these Cuddle and Kind cuties. I actually really wish I had’ve bought them for each of our girls as babies. Each toy sold (which are handmade in Peru) provides meals to ten children in need. What’s not to love?! Cute and charitable.
Helicopter – along with the firetruck at Fiddlesticks on a Friday (say that five times fast!) there is a very exciting helicopter which has caught Eleanor’s eye, and when she is asked what she would like from Santa for Christmas a few times the reply has included a helicopter. Hmmm… Then, what should I see at the Warragul Farmers Market last weekend but some beautiful handmade wooden helicopters – hello! But, I had big eyes and ears with me. So I have grabbed a business card and will have to do some sans children shopping (whatever that is?!) Pop over to the Carousel Rocking Horses website, the wooden toys are so lovely and just perfect for little hands and minds, made with so much love and care too.
Nurses apron – to go along with the doctors kit, I am hoping to sew up an apron costume to go into the dress up’s basket. But seeing as though I do the majority of my sewing with Eleanor ‘helping’ I’m not sure this one can pass as being from Santa! Unless I get my Rumplestilkskin on and start burning the midnight oil in my sewing room…which, let’s face it I will probably be doing anyway to get anything sewn for Christmas!
So, that’s how my Christmas shopping is shaping up this year – a fair bit of imaginative role play, dress up’s, things that go, magical things, building things and books. Always books. Hopefully these gifts will both spark imagination and fun, as well as have longevity in my children’s playtime.
What’s on your Santa wish list this year?
Have you started your shopping? Finished?!
Do you buy something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need?
And stick to it?!