I know that every household has their own way of doing Christmas gifts, but in our household, the bigger gifts under the tree are from family and friends and the stockings are left by the big man himself. For that reason, each year I want to make sure that the children's stockings are absolutely bursting with magic so that they feel as though they have just flown in directly from a workshop in the North Pole.
Here I've put together a few of my favourite little gifts, from small businesses wherever possible, which are guaranteed to add something special to your Christmas morning.
I always like to give my children something in their stocking that they can make or play with straight away without much adult supervision to keep them happy while we're cooking Christmas dinner or doing chores. I think our mini kits really fit the bill perfectly. Our Christmas shop is packed full of festive mini kits, tins of play dough, cookie cutters and stamps, all of which make for ideal stocking fillers.
My children are lucky to have a small collection of these adorable Maileg mice now and they are the sort of toys you can pass down through the generations. Kids love their tiny outfits and accessories, and with many arriving in the sweetest match boxes, suitcases and books, they're the ideal size for slipping into a stocking. Keep an eye out for the extra-special Christmas collection, which some small businesses have already opened their pre-orders for!
We love make believe and fancy dress in our home and Fable Heart is the place to go for the most beautiful range of crowns, wands and dress-up accessories. Designed and made by a mother of three girls, who loves to help them take their imaginations off to a far away place, their sparkly wands will let your children sprinkle a little magic of their own this Christmas.
Each year, Gisela Graham launches a range of festive snow globes and my heart skips a beat! For decoration or on the Christmas table, a snow globe makes a timeless gift whatever the age of the recipient.
You can't beat traditional toys in my opinion and every year I love to include a couple of classic toys in the children's stockings. Rex London have a wonderful selection of yo yos, slinkys, kaleidoscopes, puzzles and musical instruments.
Each year, a special part of our Christmas celebrations is taking the children on a steam train to visit Father Christmas. Obviously, last year we had to cancel our plans so instead I got the children a battery-powered steam engine from Brio to add to our collection. They loved reenacting our yearly visit to see Father Christmas and scenes from our favourite Christmas film, the Polar Express.
If there is ever a time to cover everything in glitter, Christmas is it! We adore all of Meri Meri's collections, but these sheets of temporary tattoos, which come in themed such as safari, mermaid, dinosaur, fairy and pirate, are the ideal size to pop in those stockings.
Ostheimer wooden animal toys are hand-crafted specially for children to hold. With minimal edges, shapes and colours, they allow plenty of room for imagination. I love the idea of including a winter-themed animal, such as reindeer or penguin.
Just look at this little Ambrosius Christmas Tree Fairy! The Easter Bunny left the children some springtime flower fairies in their basket and ever since then we've all been hooked! These beautifully hand crafted little flower fairies are made using wool felt, with wonderful attention to detail, and they're truly unique and magical, making a great addition to your stocking.
We don't go mad for sugary stuff in our house but you can't have Christmas without just a little treat can you?! This year I bought chocolate coins and lollipops from Polar Post's Merry's Sweet Shop for all of us (yes, even grown ups get stockings in our house!). Sadly they look as though they've now all sold out but these gorgeous Handsome Teddy Bars are still available and I think they might just be the cutest thing I've seen all day!
I hope that this has given you some inspiration to share with Father Christmas for your children's stockings this year - and of course, don't forget the orange!