The tinsel is on the tree, the house is under daily siege from posties, couriers and parcel force, as the online shopping frenzy gathers pace. But if like me, you still have a significant amount of Christmas to still sort out, I’ve gathered together a veritable Santa’s sack of last minute gifts and stocking fillers, which are bound to be crowd pleasers for old and young alike. Look away now if you’re a member of the family.
Today: The Kids
Age order seemed easiest, so do skip down the page if you’re after the older ones.
Age 1 – 3
Probably the easiest of the lot, and by far the cutest end of present choosing. My off spring are no longer in this category, and I darn well miss it. Some great websites out there, with special name checks to Lullabuy.co.uk and thismodernlife.co.uk. There’s still time to order from both, and their customer services is fab. Another special mention is Polarn O Pyret, for great unisex scandi cool as well as Little Bird by Jools Oliver for Mothercare, for those who have wistful memories of growing up in the 70s this will especially tick boxes.
Clockwise, l-r – Gorge monochrome prints to brighten any room, by Ingrid Petrie available at notonthehighstreet.com and thismodernlife.co.uk; Design Letters Sippy Cup from thismodernlife.co.uk; Snugipops Catti Girl organic comforter – this one from thismodernlife.co.uk but there’s a superhero one and others in the range; string lights – super useful for enough light to creep in for those night feeds, but oh so pretty as they grow – they do a huge range, plus the customisable buntings from A Lovely Little Company, also available at Lullabuy.co.uk and lastly for those all important dens as they start to explore and play peekaboo, a lovely range of teepees, again from Lullabuy.
Age 4 – 7
Another plethora of gorgeous stuff out there for this lovely age group. I could honestly probably do an entire post on this age group alone, so I’ve instead gone for some bits and bobs that speak to girls and boys alike as well as some pretty bits and bobs for those who are drawn to the pinkier end of the spectrum.
Stuff to wear
Clockwise l-r -; chum hat (also available are monkey and dino with matching mittens) – LIttle Joules; tutu from Bob and Blossom (also do lovely understated blues and greys which still hit the spot with the older girls) bag and pom pom hair slides both Little Joules; Finlay Fox slippers, notonthehighstreet; mouse and dino welly topper, Joules;
Stuff to Read
Clockwise l-r -Alphadoodle colouring book, Tate Modern Shop (online shop.tate.org.uk); All Around the World fold out sticker book by Geraldine Cosneau – Tate Shop; The Empty Stocking, Richard Curtis – has become a classic in our house now, a cautionary Christmas story with a kick in the tail; this Maps book by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski is an ever present, beautifully illustrated book that hangs around our living space at all times. My son and I even did our initial wish list for Japan from it. And no, I’m not remotely embarrassed to admit it. It’s a great gift and I intend to give it to all children I buy for at some point or another. A Lion in Paris is just gorgeous and sure to become a classic too, and The Storm Whale is beautifully illustrated too. Little People Big Dreams series (this one Frida Kahlo, but there are others) available from Foyles
* (as an aside – Foyles on Charing Cross Road in London is amazing. Simply amazing. The kids section is so brilliant, you will always find something you haven’t seen before, as well as re-workings of childrens’ classics. If you can’t get there, check out their website – though it’s obviously not the same experience)
Crowd Pleasers and Showstoppers
Radio Flyer Wagon, great for big gardens or rural/beachside life; personalised Play Doh – perfect for nephews and nieces – available from a very cheery member of staff at John Lewis; Play Mobil Kids Club disco – a huge crowd pleaser (and the big kids will secretly be well jealous)
Age 8 – 11
Starts to get trickier around now. They hang out in the same spaces as the bigger kids and start to have designs on expensive bits of kit and age inappropriate clothes/make up/social media. My son who’s 10, included Bose headphones on his Christmas list. I mean seriously, I don’t have Bose headphones. So I’ve included some cheaper acceptable alternatives here, which should tick the boxes but not break the bank.
Stuff to Wear
Clockwise l-r – glitter headband (currently 20% off), Save the Whale Tee and pom pom headband, all mini boden; Nike boot bag and faux trapper hat, both from Next; Bench bag (good for PE kits), logo tee, shark tee and wolf tee all Vans. Girl Power sweatshirt, from the brilliant teaseandtotes
Stuff to Read
Clockwise l-r : Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, from Foyles; Star Wars Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide by DK; Rogue One drawing book and Smart Phone Movie Maker, again both from Foyles; Wonder – my son’s favourite ever book by RJ Palacio; David Walliams new Midnight Gang will please any pre-teen. Finally, even though she’s mostly now reading Harry Potter, I’ll be getting my daughter one of this lovely series of books as she still appreciates a great illustration – Ada Twist, Scientist as it’s her favourite subject at school, but there’s also Iggy Peck – Architect and Rosie Revere – Engineer in this lovely girl power series illustrated by David Roberts.
Crowd Pleasers and Show Stoppers
Clockwise l – r: Cinema light box, The Drifting Bear; Gorjuss Doll, available from Selfridges, rose gold make up bag – Superdrug; Rubic Cube beanbag will go well in any kids or teens bedroom; I’m hoping to get this flamingo umbrella for my girl from Graham and Green if they’re back in stock before Christmas; Christmas collectables erasers from Paperchase; coloured pencils that last at least a year – Muji; personalised Nutella Jars from Nutella; Pie Face game – keep the whole family entertained, Hasbro from Amazon; Unicorn Snot from Liberty London; this rainbow necklace is a steal at £7.50 from John Lewis; those Sony headphones in lieu of Bose; Pucker Pops lip balms – so collectable and a hit with all 8-10 year old girls, Claire’s Accessories; Oh K manicure set, unicorn nail stickers and bestie kit- all perfect for sleepovers and from John Lewis; Rio Roller Boots from Skatehut; Vans socks to please skater girls and boys alike; classic Stretch Armstrong is back and was top of the 10 year old’s list this year, he must be having a comeback; Coloud Boom Rainbow kids headphones (with sound level controller to avoid them playing too loud); a Whoopie Cushion is a fail safe gift for any ten year old boy; this skate deck is top of my daughter’s wishlist, girls skate too – Enjoi skateboards, available Route One and Skatehut; Unicorn colour change mug from Firebox and finally, light up chop sabres – again from Firebox.
Tweenagers and above
Finally for today, this marathon is nearly done – Tweenagers and above.
Stuff to Wear
This category is deliberately scant; nobody can second guess the sartorial requirements of this age group, so I wouldn’t bother trying, you’ll get it wrong. But these are pretty fail safe and teen pleasing.
Clockwise l-r : pink pull&bear pom pom beanie, Asos; Charcoal grey fisherman’s beanie, from Route One; Adidas is big right now and this backpack should tick boxes and is under £25 from Topshop. Pop patches, again Topshop and girl power sweatshirt, Tease and Totes. Finally, check out Oysho for affordable PJs. Everyone likes to get new pjs if in doubt, and this brand was brought to my attention by my ever on trend 22 yo who knows her stuff.
Stuff to Read – young teens
Some nifty reads here for 12+. There’s some great fiction out there for this lucky lot. As well at the classics (what teen doesn’t need The Catch in the Rye on their book shelf?) I’ve also included some lovely non-fiction reads here that they can dip in and out of, like the busy girl’s guide to digital photography for those budding bloggers and photographers. and Skate the World is a stunning compendium of skater photographs taken around the globe. All curated with help from my lovely stepdaughter Mack.
Stuff to Read – Young adults
Some more great reads here for the slightly older end of teens and they’ll still go down well with young adults too. Bit of a “books every young person will surely read” list. Pretty easy to choose a bundle for that nephew, niece or godchild and they’ll keep you on their “cool adult” list too. Hemsley and Hemsley is a great book to take off to uni for those odd moments of healthy eating. It’s a pretty fluid list this, as some of the books from the previous category will also still appeal such as the skate book and Caitlin Moran.
Crowd Pleasers and Show Stoppers
Clockwise l – r: any teenage girl will welcome these lush bathroom bits, at non high end prices the packaging and quality are pretty awesome for their price point. Great for secret santas too. & Other Stories has great gift boxes of their signature handwashes and body balms; the H&M Cashmere Haze range is a revelation; Soap & Glory does the best liquid Kohl which frankly I return to time and time again as I prefer it to the higher end brands I normally use on my face; Sushi Cat (from a selection) at Urban Outfitters; blossom lip gloss again Urban Outfitters and also Polyvore; personalised Nutella; anatomicals face packs from Urban Outfitters, and finally for this post, these pretty rose gold headphones by Skinny Dip (who also do very teen pleasing phone covers) are a steal at £35 from Top Shop.
That’s it for this post. If all else fails, get them a netflix subscription. Meantime, I’d best get wrapping. Coming tomorrow – mums.