What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide
Christmas / Learning Spaces / Parenting

What’s Under Our Christmas Tree – 2016 Gift Guide

afflinkWhat's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

It’s December already! Which means I really should be organised for Christmas by now, but as usual I’ve only just started the online ordering. Fingers crossed everything gets here in time please! I’ve had a few people ask what we are getting the kids, so I thought I’d better put together a post and show you.

When it comes to Christmas, the thought of all the ‘stuff’ can be really overwhelming. Honestly, we don’t need more stuff! We’re always trying to downsize, not accumulate more. On the other hand we love Christmas and I love getting them something special that I know they will truly enjoy. We try to focus on things that are useful and meaningful, and go for quality over quantity. We don’t always succeed, and sometimes get caught up in the Christmas hype, but regrets from previous years have taught us well. I’m happy with what we’ve got this year and can’t wait to share my finds with you. So read on!

Miniland Dolls

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

This is the main present for all four of our girls and I’m SO excited about it! Our girls are doll lovers and I have looked for something like this for them every Christmas and birthday. They are made from durable phthalate-free vinyl, and are BPA free, so are much safer than many of the plastic dolls you find in toy shops. They also come in a cardboard box, with no plastic packaging! I hate the amount of plastic used to package dolls. They are also multicultural, and anatomically correct! No more strange smooth area between the legs like it’s some kind of forbidden topic. What is that about? Anyway, it’s like someone read my mind and made exactly the doll I was looking for. Yes I’m excited about a doll. I do believe I played with dolls until I was a teenager. Don’t judge me, LOL.

You can read more about Miniland dolls, and buy them online hereΒ at Eco Toys, a lovely new shop I’ve just found!

Natural Makeup

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

My 7- and 5-year-olds are big into makeup this year. And by that I mean drawing on their faces with texta because they have no makeup. So ‘organic makeup’ was one of the things they asked for. I spent ages searching for a pack that had a decent amount of stuff included, and even contemplated making my own. In the end I decided it was easier to buy and settled on this kit from Luna Star Naturals.

You can find this kit on Amazon here, or I got mine from iHerb here.

Face Paint

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

This is some forward thinking! I know that when her older sisters get makeup, Miss 2 is going to want to try it too. I thought facepaint would be more suited to her. She loves to paint herself! I definitely wanted to avoid all the chemicals in a lot of face paints though and these natural ones will be perfect. They are mineral based, completely non-toxic, and made of over 70% Certified Organic ingredients.

You can find them here.

Water Pipes Bath Toy

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

I find the younger the child, the harder it is to think of a gift! Especially when they have older siblings. They have toys handed down, they don’t really need anything, and let’s face it what they really like best is playing with their big sister’s things. At this point, my 17-month-old probably wouldn’t even notice, or care, if she didn’t get anything. But it does feel a little odd to me to get her nothing when I have something for the others. One thing I know she LOVES, as you might have noticed, is water. Hubby suggested a bath toy, and I came across this awesome contraption! Doesn’t that look fun? I’m stoked to have found something that I think she’s actually going to really enjoy, instead of just an obligatory gift. It’s also BPA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free.

You can find it here at Eco Toys.


Books are ALWAYS on the Christmas list. Here’s what’s on the way this year…

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

For Miss 7

Mirror Mirror: This looks really interesting and I can’t wait to read it. A mix of poetry and fairytales! You first read the poems forwards, and then reverse the lines and read again to hear familiar tales.

Imelda and the Goblin King: A fairy story for my fairy loving girl.

A Fairy Friend: You’re sensing a theme here right? She’s going to love them.

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

For Miss 5

Infinity and Me: “After the sight of a night sky filled with stars makes eight-year-old Uma feel very small, she asks people how they think about infinity and gets a variety of answers before realising the comfort in knowing that some things go on forever.” I thought this sounded like a lovely explanation of a big concept.

Swatch: This beautiful and colourful book will be perfect for her. And she still LOVES to mix paint and make her own colours.

A Forest: This book explores the impact of humans and what happens when a forest is cut down. Miss 5 is very interested in how we can help the environment so I thought this would be suited to her.

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

For Miss (almost) 3

Uni the Unicorn: “In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there s no such thing as unicorns, Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls!” This sounded fun and perfect for this age group!

Through the Forest: I’m excited about this one too! A kind of modern take on a choose your own adventure book. It sounds really fun and the illustrations look lovely too.

Flyaway: A story about freedom for my little free-range ones! And some lift the flaps too which are always delightful for a 3 year old.

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

For Miss 1

A River: Follow a river and see where it goes! Simple and lovely.

Beautiful Birds: Do all little ones love spotting birds? Mine does! I don’t tend to buy a heap of toddler books. They are little for such a short time and tire of them quickly. Instead, I look for ones that they can enjoy when young but also still get a lot out of when older. So in this case, she will love looking at the pictures of birds for now, and when older will be able to read the text and learn more about each one.

You Belong Here: “The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you.” Oh my heart. No more words needed.

For all of them

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

And one more book I have to mention. Something special! I can’t show you yet because it’s not ready, but we’ve been working on it. We are writing them a book ourselves as a joint present. I’m so excited! I hope they love it. Their favourite stories are always the ones we make up, and that they feature in. So we decided to make a real life one! We’re even trying to do the pictures for it ourselves. Wish us luck! I’ll be sure to share more when it’s completed.

Special Time Voucher

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

Another homemade present! Each of them is getting a voucher for one on one time with each of us. The best present is surely time and attention, right? We do this anyway. Sometimes we have special dates where we take one child to do something that they really love by themselves. So I know this will be a hit!

Stocking Stuffers

What's Under Our Christmas Tree - 2016 Gift Guide

Some other bits and pieces…

  • Rainbow twirling wand: The girls use these at ballet and love them. We found them here.
  • Lyra Pencils: We haven’t used these before but everyone says they’re beautiful! You can get them here.
  • Binoculars: Every kid loves binoculars so I’m not sure why we don’t have any yet. But kmart has some inexpensive ones.
  • Something to grow: They love gardening so are each getting some seeds. These ones are really cute.
  • Wool and finger knitting instructions: Wool is pretty cheap and they can do lots with it – art, craft, make pom poms. I’m going to print out some finger knitting instructions to go with it because that’s something they haven’t tried yet.
  • Shoes to decorate: You can get plain white shoes cheaply at Target or Big W. I’m pairing them with some fabric markers and stick on gems so they can decorate them!
  • Art supplies: Christmas is a good time to get any art supplies we’re running low on. We need new paintbrushes, paper, and oil pastels here!

That’s it for this year! I’d love to hear what’s under your tree?

And Merry Christmas!








December 2, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Love it! Looking forward to the big book reveal!!

December 3, 2016 at 12:06 am

The Lyra pencils look cool! We might have to hunt them down around town.

We’re getting more into camping, and the kids are getting bigger, so it looks like there’ll be a backpack for our 5 y.o., and of course, the yearly new pair of boots for everyone! For our 4 year old, things are leaning towards a skateboard, and maybe skateboard lessons from a local university student. For our one year old? A new stuffed animal maybe; maybe some shape, and color, and alphabet toys; and then just a lot of simple little stuff that’ll hold her interest for a few days before she’s onto the next thing πŸ™‚

December 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Adding some of these books to our Wishlist ?

December 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm

We love gifting books at Christmas too! It’s become a tradition that each of our three girls give each other books each Christmas. They love reading the notes they write to each other in the books before giving too.

PS We have Mirror Mirror – such an interestingly made book πŸ™‚

December 4, 2016 at 8:14 am

Multiculturalism doesn’t work.
Look at the fall of Rome.
Look at modern France, Sweden, what the heck- EVERY western country.
“They” know it doesn’t work.
Look at the horror faced by adopted adult children taken from their own culture and placed in another. Forever cut off from their ancestors. (That goes for adoption in general, but inter-cultural is particularly cruel.)
Oh yeah I know, it’s happy christmas! Sorry to be a downer, I usually agree with everything you do.
But multiculturalism DOES NOT WORK. Each culture should be surrounded by their own culture. It’s tribal, it’s hardwired in to us, for survival, for happiness, to be surrounded by our own, to pull together in the same direction, to work well together.
I understand if you don’t want to post this, but here is an interesting collection of opinions on the subject I pulled randomly from a google search.
Righto, love the rest of the things. πŸ™‚

    December 4, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Doubt multicultural families feel that way. I think people can decide for themselves what is right for them. No need to dictate to them what they should do based on race. How did the history of that work out? Not great. We’re all human.

    Not sure what the point was related to this post. Shall I check with the dolls they’re happy to live with a white family when they get here?

    December 8, 2016 at 10:22 am

    You can support any point of view out there with a “random google search,” that does not mean it’s a valid, defensible view.

    Social psychologists would also contest your idea that just because something is “hard-wired” into us, like tribalism, we can’t accept anyone who’s not part of our “tribe.” In fact, they would say that while for some people it is hard to go beyond this sense of tribalism, for others it’s natural to view the world as their “nation.” So, just because multiculturalism is not working in your view, that is not necessarily the truth for everyone – it’s only the truth for *some*.

    Finally, while there is much that can be said against international adoption, you’re making huge generalizations here, too: not every adopted adult faces “horrors.” Not every adopted child hates life (definitely not). Not every adopted child is cut off from their ancestors. Seriously. Before you make sweeping generalizations and claim to know the “truth” about multiculturalism and adoption, read up on the things you’re discussing – and not just by doing a random google search, but by reading reputable pieces of investigative journalism and actual research.

December 5, 2016 at 11:46 am

I can vouch for the miniland dolls. They are gorgeous and great quality, my little girl adores them. I have added those bath water pipes to our list. awesome

December 6, 2016 at 10:13 am

Wonderful gift ideas. I LOVE those bath pipes. I have actually have some pvc pipe for play that my son uses in the bath, but I like the connectors. He will love that.

December 7, 2016 at 9:05 am

I feel like a mean mum now because my 8 year old requested make up and I’m not buying her any, lol (which I realise may backfire in a few years time!). That set you have found looks lovely though, and the multicultural dolls are so cute.

December 8, 2016 at 10:24 am

I’m a little late to this post, but I just wanted to say I love those dolls! They’re so life-like, I really love that. Books always make good presents too…and I’m curious to hear more about your book!

I think you guys are going to have a wonderful Christmas! πŸ™‚

September 6, 2020 at 9:02 am

Hi Sara,

I was wondering if you have any more suggestions for books on fairies and fairytales please πŸ™‚

Thank you, I love your posts!!


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