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Christmas Shopping: Part 2 – Girls

Christmas gifts for girls. One of my favourite types of shopping endeavours.

With children, I find there is a gap between what you’d like to buy them and what they actually want. On our recent trip to the really rather magical Christmas at Kew (which we have – to our shame – never done before, despite living 10 minutes walk from Kew Gardens), there was a white, sparkling wishing tree: you wrote your wish on an aesthetically-pleasing label and tie it to the tree. People had wished for ‘peace’, ‘love’, ‘understanding’, ‘health and happiness for my family’, ‘tolerance’. My children wished “To really meet Father Christmas” and “For a Shopkins doll please”. As I tied the latter on the tree, I apologised for lowering the tone somewhat. “Not as much as this one,” remarked a woman, drily, flicking over another label, that read – quite simply, ‘Sex tonight’.

I digress. As per. The point being that there comes a juncture when, despite your best efforts to indoctrinate them with wooden toys and Moulin Roty mice and pom poms, your children’s Christmas wish list deviates from what you would like to give them. At nearly-seven, my daughter is all about Sylvanian Families  (shh, but I kind of love them, too) and (and these I cannot fathom for the life of me) Shopkins.

But I can try. Here’s a list of things I think we’d both like.

1. Glitter ballet flats, £19.95,  Gap

This is cheating because my daughter already owns these. It’s the perfect example of a compromise gift. Left alone, I would have bought her the black version, but with her, we chose the rainbow glitter shoes. They’re cats! They sparkle! They’re party-perfect and work with jeans – happy days.

2. Cat trinket dish, £9.50, Oliver Bonas

In my experience, many little girls just adore to collect random bits. Tiny figures, hair clips, little love notes, leaves, flower petals…. This is the perfect receptacle to keep them together: I can see it on a bedside table, holding their treasures overnight.

3. Star hair clips, £4, Accessorize

Something to add to the aforementioned trinket dish.

4. Lulu doll, £39, Cottage Toys

Okay, so if you have a sophisticated 8-year-old, this may not cut the mustard. But for a younger miss, this gal is a dream.

5. Owls craft kit, £15, John Lewis

Because it’s always good to receive something to occupy them later – after the thrill of unwrapping presents has worn off, and it’s cold and dreary outside and they’re bo-red and there’s nothing to do-oo.

6. Cup, £4.99, H&M Home

Children love being trusted with a grown-up (i.e. breakable) mug of their very own. (And at this price, it doesn’t matter if does actually get broken.)

7. Sausage dog bag, £12, M&S

My daughter saw this in M&S when we were en route to the cafe (one of her favourite places to have lunch: it’s generally just us and some grannies). She stopped short, clasped her hands and breathed, “Just look!” I think it’s the sparkle/colourful killer combo.

8. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, £7.99, Amazon

This is the best book. Fascinating, gripping, witty, engaging stuff. I’ve learnt rather a lot from it, too.

9. Ruffle tulle skirt, from £30, Boden

Some of the little girls I know would recoil in horror at the very thought of this – others would be in ecstasies.

10. Animal cushion. £25, Scandiborn at Not on the High Street

As they get older, children love hunkering down in their rooms, my daughter is no different. She has also inherited my love for cushions – there’s an artful selection on her bed.

Alex’s Choice

I have three gorgeous god-daughters and three nieces to gift for this year and other than books and bags and toys, they love things which sparkle. These glitter letter stickers can be used on stationery, bags, desks, anything really and at £6 a pop are great for personalising things. I also love these pencils with cute messages embossed on them from hot new brand Stripe & Stare, they also do scrunchies for teens who are jumping on to the retro trend.

I also love these crease-free hairbands, which come in lots of designs including flamingos, stars and unicorns. Which little girl doesn’t love a unicorn? Finally, M&S do a great range of glittery handbags. I gave one to my god-daughter Mimi last year and she adored it, I might give my other two god-daughters Amber and Violet one this year.

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