Yes, it is this time of year. Milla and me have started to decorate the house with our wooden pyramid and incense smokers from Germany, we have bought a tree (it is still standing outside though) and we spend some evenings crafting and baking. More about this in my next blog post very soon, promised! (Until then you might want to check our crafting from last year here.)
I also already got some gifts for our family and friends and since you might feel like me that this is not so easy (and somehow the holidays always come so sudden) I wanted to share some ideas with you - partly from Over The Ocean but also from some other beautiful shops, all based in the U.S. for a quick delivery still in time for the holidays. And in case you have friends in Europe you want to surprise, check the tip at the end of this post!
Here are my ideas for your little ones:
(one): Milla got this backpack more than a year ago and since then uses it every day with pleasure (and I also don't mind carrying it once and a while). The 'petit school bag' is a beautiful and well-made bag: the inside has a special u-lock pocket and this version has a sturdy snap on the top to prevent books & science projects or sunscreen & picnic provisions from spilling out. Btw, I recommend to also have a look at leitmotif's precious unisex kids wear collection. The arch pants are Milla's favorites and they are on sale right now!
(two): There is nothing more beautiful than to watch your little one play with her/his doll and this beautiful handmade doll will for sure be part of your family for a long time.
(three): How cool is this striped bear?! Handmade in England and available at MUTINY - where you might also find some good gifts for your man or yourself!
(four): Can you help the figures to climb up the fence? How would you like to arrange them? With colors? Shapes? Or maybe mix them? I have given this wooden stacking toy already several times as a gift and the little ones (as well as their parents) always loved it.
(five): For babies warm feet knit some socks or get these from FUB - and maybe they will be kept forever as a cute memory.
(six): This was our sled when we lived in Munich! We used to pull Milla on it to the bakery on winter mornings and she would ride down the Monopterus in the English Garden with Raul. You can get it here. (Oh, how do I miss the snow!)
(seven): This is our gift for Milla this year! Roller skates for her and also a pair (in black) for me so that we can roller skate together. Great training for her balance (and the sensory integration) and hopefully lots of fun!
(eight): All girls in our family love horses and love Pippi Longstocking, so this huge cushion is a big hit!
(nine): Our cookie tin kit for children - because who does not like to bake cookies?
(ten): I do believe that every child needs a teddy bear. And this one is made of organic cotton and with love by a small family company.
(eleven): I like this memory game because it is something for all different ages and because I like colors.
(twelve): Three years ago, when Milla's little cousin Lou was one year old I made this photo book for her about "What Milla loves...". All fun pictures and activities for the little cousin to look at and this board book is perfectly sized for little hands! Plus, a great way to keep the family close even if they are far away...
(thirteen): I am a big fan of push-bikes. In Germany every child rides a push-bike from an early age on (approx. 2 years) and it makes it so easy to learn bicycling later. This wishbone bike is not exactly the one Milla had, but it looks pretty awesome too.
(fourteen): Isn't this the cutest little dachshund?! It moves along on sturdy wheels and the ears go around and around! Portland based More & Co. is also my tip for beautiful housewares.
(fifteen): Same as for books, teddies and dolls: musical instruments make wonderful gifts and this one does not hurt your ear even if your 3-year old plays it!
(sixteen): 'The Moon is Going to Addy’s House' is visual storytelling at its very best and here you can get a signed copy dedicated especially to your child.
But not only the little ones like to receive gifts!
For my grown-up friends in Europe I will have a nice surprise: wine and music! Who does not love a good bottle of wine (at least none of my friends doesn't) and this combined with Christmas songs from Ella Fitzgerald or a vinyl from David Bowie, cool, right? It is my friend Sven who runs hejvin, an online shop for exquisite wine gifts. All bottles are beautifully wrapped and the gift cards handwritten.
You can also choose a bottle of champagne - or two. He delivers in several European countries and in case you need some translation for the website just send him an email and tell him hello from me. ;-)
Enjoy your holiday preparation!
One last note: don't forget, it is often the most simple things that bring happiness and will be remembered....