Sometimes I wish I was a Christmas elf. Because despite the obvious downsides (lack of height, pointy ears) finding and squirrelling stuff away to give to excited kids at Christmas is definitely fun. I’ve been on a festive shopping kick recently, not because I’m super-organised, but because I quite enjoy it! And some of the stuff is not quite the thing for mine (they are getting freakishly grown up) but I can’t let all this research of lovely stuff go to waste…

I’ve found some super-cute things for little folk. (Not elves.) Want to see?

1. Pretend biscuits. That you can count with! I dare you to try and get away with just the one purchase from this shop – Violet & Percy – though, it can’t be done. It’s the home of my new favourite thing, the label-maker, as well as some other amazing stuff. A grabber, for instance. Everyone (Will included) needs a grabber.

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2. I’m a Jane Foster super-fan. From Tilda, to her collection for Clothkits, to her totally gorgeous prints…delish.

I LOVE these cool dolls. There’s definitely a Polly, a Will and a Matilda in there…


and the scandi-style rabbits are just divine


And the foxes. And the pandas. And… oh, you get the picture.

3. If you ever go to Cromer – and why not? fabulous seasidery, not so far from here – you have to visit this shop. Upstairs Downstairs is stuffed full of amazing house stuff/art stuff/colouring books for grown ups/jewellery/scarves…

I purchased a knitted mermaid (yes, really! I know she would get very soggy if she actually swam) a submarine for the bath, a helmet headlight and a pom-pom necklace making kit from here. All the coolest santas shop there, basically.


4. I’ve never actually met the gorgeous Cheryl from The Loop Factory in real life, but I routinely stalk her beautiful photography on Instagram and I suggest you do the same. These fox ears are just the thing for my accessory-loving 5 year old. (Or me.)

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5. This book. The boy loves maps, more than he loves pretty much anything else, apart from maybe bikes, or lycra. It’s a fab book with amazing illustrations and loads of detail. It’s not cheap, and it was v heavy to lug round London for the day, but it will all be worth it when he becomes a map-magician. (Cartographer?)


6. This book. It’s full of cheese puns, and brilliant illustrations.


7. A true elf-discipline is the art of the stocking filler that is not just plastic tat. For this, I suggest you go and peruse Tigerlily Quinn’s lovely collection of good things. The 55p cat sticky notes may or may not feature in some stockings here. (I can’t divulge, obviously.)


8. Bike. This is definitely not a stocking filler, unless you have MEGA sized feet. But if the elves are looking for a main, everyone-chip-in, once in a lifetime kind of Christmas present, then I can totally recommend these awesome bikes. They’re lightweight, sturdy, nice to look at (important!) and so easy to ride. Will got one for his birthday this year, and it is his favourite thing ever. It’s easy to do long rides on, as it’s not heavy and clunky. They’re not cheap, but worth every penny.

Frog bike

9. A magnetic rocket. This is a bit little (sob) for my minis, but luckily my thoughtful sister in law has provided me with a nephew for exactly this sort of thing. We bought one for Polly (and the plane for Will) and they had many, many hours of happily building them and taking them apart. It’s the joy of magnets.


10. I used to be very sneery about Argos. Once a friend asked me if I would marry Heath Ledger (ultimate figure of lust) if he proposed with a ring he had purchased from Argos, and I wasn’t sure.

It’s not cool to sneer. And anyway, they still have that magic conveyor belt thing going on. They also, weirdly, stock these really good-value dolls. Hair long enough to brush/style/get totally matted, and big enough to dress and undress without it being too fiddly. There are a few that are not too…’tarty’, as my mum might say.

The girls love theirs’, and recently a few people have asked me where they’re from. ARGOS, people. Deal with it.


Obviously, you also get a naff little bracelet with them.

You know what?

Kids are all right

Print available here from Violet & Percy.