Given our earlier than anticipated arrival home, I am feeling slightly organised about Christmas…maybe. Only in comparison to how unorganised I would be feeling if we didn’t get home until now, as planned, so I’m working off a low base point really! As usual, the girls really want for nothing, so practical and thoughtful gifts are order of the day. The standard ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read’ always rings true…but also something to share and something to experience I think are great additions. We have previously given the girls a ‘big’ gift from Mummy and Daddy (a wooden table and chairs, a play kitchen, the cubby, a sandpit) and filled their Santa sacks with other miscellany. Last year my mum bought all seven grand-girls (well, six because Harriet didn’t go) tickets to “The Wizard of Oz” at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne. I took my nieces and Eleanor on the train for the day and it honestly was the very best Christmas gift for them. Concerts and zoo passes and the like are excellent gifts.
Now, before I get flooded with emails and comments and messages about the excess of the season and the general push against ‘simple living’ philosophy, my general rule of thumb is to write a list of aaaaaallllll of the things that Eleanor or Harriet could possibly want or need for Christmas – an ultimate wish list if you will. Then I cull, cull, cull by about 80%. The original list however, is what you see here in the She Sows Seeds Gift Guide. The girls will be getting a careful selection fo the following items, from some of my favourite children’s online and bricks and mortar stores…
New bathers are always a great ‘something they need’ – a long sleeved rashie from Willow Swim, because: flowering gum!
Harriet has always been fond of a little bag, these sweet straw shoulder bags would be perfect for carrying little treasures.
Some magnetic tiles have been on the list to add to our toy repertoire for awhile, apparently Eleanor plays with them a lot at kinder.
Little fairy folk from Invitation to Play: sweet and simple.
For little explorers and budding entomologists: a bug barn! Anything to encourage outdoor play is high on my list this Christmas.
Eleanor is quite princess obsessed currently, Disney princesses specifically. These beautifully hand-painted peg dolls are a happy alternative to an overload of licensed plastic dolls. The perfect size for pretend play, too.
A rainbow sprinkler! Again, an outdoor ‘toy’, and a gift which can be ‘something to share’. Hot summer days under our chestnut tree just got a bit cooler.
Clothes for ‘something they need’ – always a bit yawn-worthy for the children, but a cute t-shirt for easy play and wash/repeat is always handy. ‘Little Gumnut’ t-shirt for Confetti Rebels is too cute.
Play dough tools never get old, always a winner and always played with again and again and again. These hand-cut wooden stamps are super beautiful and super useful. Pretty patterns in play dough (say that five times).
Book, books, books! This year with a focus on Usborne non-fiction books, which my girls love! All those tricky questions can be answered: “What are stars made of? Where does the wind come from? Where do bees go to sleep?”
Tailoring for Miss Polly dolls clothes are just the sweetest – perfect for Harriet’s miniland doll ‘Sasha’…although Matt is unconvinced, Harriet generally just likes her dolls nude!
Something practical again: a bow drop from T-Leaf Collections to hang in the girls bedroom. All of the bows need somewhere to go! #girlproblems
A flower press for Eleanor (I have just realised I had a flower press on last year’s gift guide too! But I think I thought she was a bit young last year. I have ordered this gorgeous one from Arlo and Co though, so deal done!)
Jigsaw puzzles are order of the day – we only have one (the horror!) and it’s ‘only’ 16 pieces. Eleanor struggles to sit down and do it, I’d like to challenge her with one which is a bit more engaging. These Djeco ones from The 3 Cheeky Monkey’s are both beautiful to look at and perfectly designed to be engaging and challenging without being overwhelming.
Bows, bows, bows! To hang on their new bow hanger.
Wooden alphadots for letter recognition as *gulp* Eleanor next year rockets towards school-readiness. (Elle Collective also has some great digital downloads to go with these learning resources, for $2).
Harriet’s ‘main big present’ from Santa this year I would like to be this lovely wooden barn and farm yards set from Qtoys (although it’s currently out of stock, but I am assured it will be restocked and available pre-Christmas – eeeep!) The second child/second girl has been particularly tricky to think of gifts for – she wants for very little really, but loves all things farm/animals/tractors.
…so some more Holztiger animals to go with the farmyard! We have some African animals in our repertoire but need some farm friends too. I find these wooden animals a lot better than Ostheimer or Schleich ones as Tessa likes to chew them (insert angry face emoji).
The Grimm’s pastel rainbow again is on the gift guide! I have ummed and aahed over this product for literally years, and very nearly bought it for the girls for their birthday’s this year, then regretted it…so it will be in their Santa sacks. I love the versatility of this toy – it can be anything and everything little imaginations want it to be. An open ended imaginative toy always gets a big tick from me. (I bought ours from Milk Tooth using Kyree’s Christmas discount).
Numeracy learning resources: Eleanor seems to have a mind for numbers, she has started naturally figuring out ‘rainbow number facts’ and ‘friends of ten’, without me encouraging or teaching her! So I thought maybe I should strike while the iron’s hot. The Goki calculation sticks are beautifully simple in design and I think the visual effect of the dots would be helpful. At a cafe recently Eleanor was loving playing with a simple abacus too, a toy which we’ve never had.
A very sweet baby carrier for Harriet, who is baby doll obsessed. Always shushing them to sleep!
Eleanor last year was given three of the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ books (Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel and Frida Kahlo). They are books she keeps returning to, and so I’ve added to her collection this year with Marie Curie and Jane Goodall – helps that she wants to be a scientist like Aunty Louise! I am basically just filling her bookshelves with books that I would be happy for her to dress up as for Book Week next year, is that terrible?! Ha!
Twirling is an Olympic sport in this house – a rainbow silk is needed for gold medal performances! Another open ended ‘toy’ which I know the girls would use for thirty other uses that I haven’t even thought of yet.
New pyjamas – usually an Easter tradition in this house, but these Next sets of three are among my favourite. Such great quality, affordable and beautiful designs. Tick, tick tick.
The amount of ‘fruit rainbows’ I make a day seems to be extreme. These Emondo rainbow plates, made out of bamboo and with a firm suction cup on the bottom are therefore right up our alley. They come with a little egg cup ‘cloud’ as well. Cuuuuute.
The reason for the season, of course, is not about what’s under the Christmas tree or in my girl’s Santa sacks. But isn’t the magic of giving quite something else?! We do a cousins kk on both sides of the family, so each child has a cousin to buy for, and this is the first year Eleanor will be really ‘into’ buying her specific person something special. The whole process is just magical – giving and receiving and giving thanks and celebrating small wonders. Fa la la la laaaaaa!
Hoping your Christmas shopping list is not too long (or too naughty!) and you are not feeling frazzled in the festivities. Whatever is given this Christmas in your family, I hope it is with intention and love, thoughtfulness and simplicity.
Merry Christmas from ours to yours!