This year I kept getting requests to do a Christmas gift guide type of blog post from my readers, but I procrastinated and shoved it to the back of my mind. Our family is such a quirky family that I wasn’t sure that the types of things we liked would be of interest to anyone!
For example, Finn’s very specific Christmas wish list included a large square of green astroturf from Bunnings (so that he could recreate a Plants vs Zombies garden patch in his bedroom), three trophies (to be engraved for “Best Asparagus” and “Animal Whisperer”), a fake ruby and a piece of honeycomb in a glass jar.
Dylan wants an All Areas Access Pass to Mum’s wardrobe and shoe closet.
Sean wants cold, hard $$$. I suppose that’s fairly typical of teenagers though.
Even our animals are quirky. We have a gay peacock called Pooky who is having a torrid affair in our bush with a wild peacock who turned up two days ago, calling plaintively to Pooky outside the orchard. They are now called Pooky 1 and Pooky 2, rather imaginatively.
And don’t get me started on our very silly singing alpacas!
Anyway in the spirit of Christmas, I present you with Gift Guide of Random Cool Things as selected by the Leahy Family!
- Awesome coffee subscription from 3000 Thieves. I bumped into this cool guy, Athan, on a self-sufficiency workshop in Daylesford. When we weren’t gutting rabbits, he told me about his business which sends coffee subscribers a different package of specialty coffee beans every month with the low down on why that particular brand is so amazing. I signed the Irishman up for Father’s Day and he has been in Coffee Heaven since! They deliver everywhere by post and have Xmas vouchers too.
- Polaroid Camera – There’s just something purely magical about watching a photograph bloom to life. I keep ours next to the Guest Book in our house and all visitors must snap a polaroid for themselves and one for the guest book.
- Toca Hair Salon Me – Download this from the App store and the next few hours are guaranteed to be full of giggles as everyone in the house gives horrifying makeovers to their freaky animated selves
- Water colour set & postcards – You can get these tiny little watercolour artist sets from art supply shops and they are the best things to whip out when you are feeling artistic on holiday
- Who doesn’t love camping? My kids have a variety of play tents permanently pitched around the house and their favourite is from Australian tent maker “Such Great Heights”. /www.facebook.com/sghsocial
- Lego Architecture model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater. An achievable family project!
- A subscription to Dumbo Feather – a intellectually stimulating magazine about “Conversations with extraordinary people” and part of Melbourne cultural psyche. http://www.dumbofeather.com/
- Sage Smudge Sticks – available at all hippie shops, for chasing bad dreams away and creating magical white smoke to cleanse the house of bad energies and impress children. http://www.treeoflife.com.au/Homewares/Fragrances/Pure-White-Sage-Smudge-Stick
- Everyone needs a good sewing kit, even grown men! I have this one from Dumpling Dynasty (pic from http://fromthelark.com/) but you could easy assemble your own in a cool tin.
- I customised these chopping boards and wooden trays for our house. https://www.etsy.com/shop/RichwoodCreations
- My current obsession is Bestmadeco.com which has stylish and well made camping equipment and boys toys (even though I am the one playing with most of their stuff). I love their pocket knives but Finn adores their Map notebooks which come with a dotted grid and compass rows on each page for you to plot your own real or imaginary map
- Lastly, anything that gets you outside as a family whether it’s a camping trailer or a paddle board. This was my early Christmas present and I love it! Thanks Santa!
Final thoughts – I’ve found this whole season completely overwhelming as a person who never celebrated Christmas as a child. What’s with this month long marathon of parties, shopping, ordering, preparing, decorating and frenetic activity? And in Australia, the school year ends at the same time so we have all the year end madness, school reports and concerts as well. Sometimes I just want to hide out in my bathtub and lock the door!
What helped me the other day was talking to a good friend who reminded me that Christmas is about our presence, not presents. So I have been taking big breaths and remind myself about being graceful under pressure, and reflecting on self-care, good boundaries but also being generous with my spirit and not just my time and effort. I hope all of you have a wonderful, intentional Christmas season!