Shopping for Kids this Christmas*

A couple a months ago I compiled a post of my favourite toys for children age 0 – 2 as that’s the only experience I really have at the moment. Up until this year my daughter never asked for anything I just guessed what she’d be into. This year she did ask for a couple of things but no where near the stage of making a list, but it’s a start. Of course being the Disney head she is she did ask for some Frozen toys and my dad got it into his head that he wanted to get her a Frozen castle of some sort which was difficult but I think we’re all set. I can’t image what it would be like to have to try and get a hold of more popular toys. I remember one year my sister asked for a pink Barbie Beatle, my dad was working on the continent at the time and he searched everywhere as they were sold out in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, you name it.. but he still had no such luck. Two days before Christmas my godfathers wife found one on a shelf in Woolworths. Then there was the year of the Furbys, and the year of the Disney Tiny Collections.. Just thinking about possibly facing the “great toy race” in a few years time brings me out in a cold sweat! 
Thankfully these days websites are coming up with great ways to keep an eye on stock and price levels of popular toys which in the future will hopefully eliminate the chance of a disappointed child of Christmas day. The best one I’ve come across this year is a one by My Voucher Codes;

What I like best about this is the fact that it links you to a selection of vouchers for various toy shops. Lets face it, we’re all trying to cut costs while still giving our children the best. That’s why I think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great ideas, just not the chaos of them! 
Of course, there are other wonderful gifts you can buy that don’t need to be the latest toy. This year I have bought a lot for Little Miss from more alternative stores (as in not high street) and I’ve bought a lot handmade. This was mainly inspired by the fact my best friend Bee is making my daughter (and me) her Christmas present & birthday present. It seemed a lot more special than something generic. Yes LM is still getting a fair bit from the Disney store, but all her clothes are handmade, the toys she didn’t ask for is wooden and from smaller businesses. I’m just hoping she appreciates it as much!
To end this post I’m going to share with you some of the places I have ordered Christmas & birthday presents for LM from, I’m all for supporting small business and the best way to do this is word of mouth; 
I’m not going to tell you how many dresses LM is getting between my mum and I for her Christmas and her birthday. It started with one superhero inspired one for her to wear while in Universal Studios and then it just snowballed. It is run by a lovely lady Sascha and her husband and is inspired by her two lovely children Betsy and Oscar. She has been so helpful and a pleasure to work with. Not only that but she sells a range of toys too which I purchased a couple for LMs birthday. 
Well, when I first ordered LM’s main Christmas present (a dressing up stand) back in July, this was a small company that made teepees among other things. Since then the owner, Effie has been on Dragons Den and the company has snowballed. I still can’t recommend them enough and along with LM’s dressing up stand I’ve also bought a floor cushion for her reading corner. A bit pricey but you do get what you pay for as everything is hand made. 
Oh, so many shops. I have used Etsy for a LOT of Christmas shopping this year, for various people. Again I have purchased clothes, wall art, toys and various bits and pieces for Florida. I love paying for something that I know is handmade rather than manufactured in a shop. Once again, I just hope everyone appreciates their gifts. 
I bought a lot of LM’s wooden toys from a local toy shop called Playtime which doesn’t have a website for me to link too. But most towns and cities will have specialised toy shops if you want to avoid the big chain stores. I definitely think it’s worth it if you’re looking for that special gift!
Do you like personal handmade items to give or receive as gifts?
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