my shopping list

December 9, 2010

Last year, I knew that for Christmas this year, my girls would be ready for a dollhouse. Also, True got a hold of a Nova Natural catalog and I had her go to town circling whatever she wanted for Christmas. And her number want was… a dollhouse. Whew! It wasn’t just a present for me then, it was also really a present for them!
It took me a bit of time to decide which dollhouse to pick as there are so many good wooden ones out there, so here were my top five choices.
christmas list
We also got them some extra stuff to open up and to stuff their stockings with, such as new and vintage dollhouse furniture (I have been collecting little pieces here and there for over a year now), vintage Viewmasters (want one? get this, this, or this), some books (True loves Eloise and Brave loves Madeline), and Soul gets some vintage and new wooden toys, one of which is this wooden camera.
christmas list
It’s so hard as parents because you really love seeing your kids happy and want to buy them everything they want, but they get so much for Christmas already between grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends that you don’t want to overload them (or your house) with too much stuff. Plus, kids really don’t need all that much anyways. I would also share what gifts I got for friends’ kids, but in case they are reading this, I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
Our philosophy in toys are handmade and wooden (most of the time), but overall just not too much of it. Don’t get me wrong, we have plastic toys too, but just not too much of it and not too many battery operated toys either (we drive the grandparents crazy with our toy policy as they want to buy the girls everything!).
With every holiday and birthday that the girls get new toys, we go through the old ones and get rid of a lot. Also, we don’t open all the stuff they are given. Sometimes, I have them go through gifts they are given so we can donate some because there are other children out there who don’t have anything at all. There is no use in having a basket full of toys that is not played with when some kids don’t even have one little thing to play with.
Remember, this is our personal stance on toys and such, so your view on toys may be different, just always do what is best for you and your family! So tell me, what sort of things did you buy for the little ones in your life? And if you still needed some ideas for little ones, I hope my list helped!
p.s. if you still need to do some shopping and are in the los angeles area, renegade and unique l.a. is this weekend and misha lulu and oh, hello friend will be at unique! actually, danni will also be at renegade in the form of nick. or buy some misha lulu at mini social today!

24 comments on “my shopping list”

  • Bel says:

    I love those all those dollhouses SO much.
    I debated over a dollhouse and play kitchen for my 2 year old. The kitchen won, but only because my mum has an awesome dollhouse at her house that the kids love playing with.

    I hear you with the toys, although my ideas of what would happen with toys while I was pregnant changed a bit once Sadie arrived I still do toy rotations and “hide” some undesirables. She's usually just as happy to play with containers in the cupboard as she is with “proper” toys.

  • Michele says:

    Those presents are absolutely AWESOME! I bet your girls are so excited for Christmas and I hope to see their reactions later via your blog. You guys always cheer me up. I hope that's not creepy…haha. Anyway, I wanted to mention that I love your family's standpoint or view of Christmas. If I had my own little family, I would be the exact same way. It's so nice to see that others such as you and your family are so giving and thoughtful of everyone in this world. 🙂

  • leah says:

    I also don't like to overload my kids with toys – the more they have the less the know what to do with them all. and storing them is a pain too! I read on jill hornby's blog a few years ago that she does the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” and thought that was a great idea. so that's mainly what i'm doing for my kiddos this year- plus some stocking stuffers- like new sippy cups and their favorite candy (m&ms) 🙂 THanks for sharing!!

  • Artsy Momma says:

    Thank you for the great links. I too am planning on a dollhouse for my daughter but hadnt started shopping yet (eek) but you did all the work for me *smile*

    Do you have a link for the cute kitchen set, I didnt find that in your post.

    We too have strict no battery/noisy toys and also we do go through the gifts and donate a few after the holidays. We have so much it is important for us to give back however we can.

  • How funny! I got my daughter (and in essence, my son, too) that Melissa & Doug dollhouse for xmas!
    However, the Nova Natural one (at the top) is my fav…but man, it was SOOO expensive.
    We keep it simple around here, too. We always (for bdays or xmas) do this for each child:
    *Something to wear (xmas = handknit sweater!)
    *something to read.
    *something to play with.

    That way, even on the years where we do spend “more” (i.e. a dollhouse!) they can be quality and last through hopefully grandkids! And we are ANTI-clutter so this really helps simplify and keep expectations low 🙂
    Love yoru choices, too!
    Sarah M

  • OhSydney says:

    I love your stance on toy abundancy! We actually DO open most of the toys, but ALWAYS keep the box (which my hubby hates, WHAT a waste of space… grumble grumble), but then when we donate the toys they still seem new because of the box!

    I absolutely ADORE the pink dollhouse with the balcony. Speaking from experience, you may need to turn that balcony into a room if you acquire dolls that are a little too tall for the rooms indoors. 🙂


  • We got our girls some cute jewellery and a torch (flashlight) each. They love to read at night with a torch but they are always nicking ours. We try to buy more creative things for them. Craft supplies and making things. I know they are getting from their Grandparents their own scrapbook sets and cameras so it will be creative central here. Which is perfect because it will be summer holidays here so they need stuff to keep them busy.

  • Rosalind says:

    Our minimal plastic and no junk, noisy, commercial toys get met with a groan by the family! We have LOTS of books and I round out the lack of too many toys with crafting! We have a few good 'activities for children' books from the 80's that have some gems in them.

  • Rosalind says:

    oh and we thrifted that exact Madeline book last month!

  • Bailey says:

    Those are the most amazing doll houses ever! I think your toy rules are great. Unfortunately I know my in-laws would never go for rules like that. I've been reading your blog for a while but I think this is my first comment. You have such beautiful girls!

  • Laura says:

    My big girl is getting a doll house, too. And my little one is getting a cakies dollhouse :). I saved it secretly since August…which has been super hard to do, but I found really cute vintage furniture on ebay to accompany it, and some sweet dollies on etsy to live there. I agree that too many things is not good. It sort of takes the flash out of the gifts when there are lots and lots. A few make each one special. It often takes us DAYS to open all our presents because the girls like to play with each one for a long time before they open the next. Love what your girls are getting :).

  • i love this! i cleared out so many toys in our house this year. my 4 yr old daughter now asks me if we're going to share our toys with kids who don't have any. love it. i wanted desperately to get her a dollhouse, but the $$ just isn't there. instead, i'm going to (attempt)convert a cubby bookshelf that we have to a “dollhouse” for both my daughter AND son. princesses and toy story figurines unite! 🙂
    i like reading about other parents views on raising their kids…heck, i like it when people have taken the time to THINK about HOW they want to raise their kids! 🙂 thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • Anastasia says:

    We don't have any little ones to give presents to yet, but I always dremt of a doll house myself when I was little, but we didn't have money, so I know I will get my girls one some day, but got to get the girls first, right? I was also just the other day talking to my husband about all these plastic toys they sell in department stores, I know kids probably don't care, but I would want my kids to have something that has a character, that was made with love, and that is special in some way – wood and hand made – you said it!

  • sharyl says:

    When I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of having a dollhouse. But since we couldn't afford one, I just made by own by stacking shoe boxes and decorating them with cut up pictures from magazines.

    I was trying to convince my husband to get a dollhouse for his niece for Christmas coz “she would just loooove it!” (But really, I wanted it more than she probably does! LOL!)

  • Asha says:

    I actually love your philosophy on what toys come into your home. But I couldn't do it. Our kids love specific things: my son loves legos and my daughter loves tacky girly stuff. As much as I cringe when I buy her something she likes, like when she started liking Disney princesses, it's actually fun for me to watch her preferences change and how she gets excited for certain toys. Now quantity is something that we've restricted. We weed through all the old stuff constantly to get rid of the clutter and ship it off to the Salvation Army. I hate clutter!!!

  • Megan says:

    Longtime reader who loves your honesty about motherhood, faith and doing right by your family. Gave you a shout out on my company's twitter feed ( as we are trying to highlight green gifts this holiday season and your picks are a wonderful selection! Keep up the good work.

  • Oh, you don't know how happy it makes me to hear that True likes Eloise!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Eloise. I had “Eloise goes to Paris” as a child and that's responsible for the francophile that I am now! I also collected vintage Eloise books when I was younger. Now I am in awe of Hilary Knight (you may have noticed the influence in the toddler I drew a month ago!). I think you are a very wise mama… with such a giving heart.

  • Meghan says:

    Ruby! You have to check out Gilt—they have all this great wooden dollhouse furniture on sale, as well as a small wooden dollhouse. You have to become a member of Gilt (takes like 2 seconds), but the toys they feature are great—and good deals. I'm a Kindergarten teacher and am always picking up stuff for my classroom on there.
    Anyhow, I had to let you know 🙂

  • I do the same thing with my daughter. She's the first grandbaby and my only daughter. So she gets spoiled quite a bit. Half the time she doesn't even remember what she's gotten from birthdays or such, that if I see she hasn't played with something new she's gotten within the first week, I try and donate it to a toy charity. I feel the same way about having too much for one child when other kids have nothing. Our little townhouse can only accomodate for so much, so we too have the whole purging process before the holidays and her birthday.

  • these are great!
    I came across these amazing handmade fairies and a beautiful dollhouse and I thought I'd share with you all!
    check it out!

  • This is a great list 🙂 When I read the word “viewfinders” I gasped. Those used to be my favorite toys as I kid. Madeline and Eloise are great books, and really pretty girl names too!

    I really like your toy philosophy, I think I might adapt it when I have kids. 🙂

  • Madeline, Eloise, and dollhouses are such great gifts. When I read the word “viewfinder” I gasped. Those used to be my favorite toy as a kid.

    I really like your toy philosophy. I think I might adapt it when I have a kids 🙂

  • SweetMelissa says:

    I love your toy philosophy! You are so kind. I admire you that you teach your daughters to think of other children who are less fortunate! Great post!

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