It’s a handmade Christmas

So, how’s your Christmas shopping going? Is everything under control or are you anticipating a last minute desperate dash to the shops on Christmas Eve?

I’ve actually been relatively organised with my Christmas shopping this year, and managed to kick off my gift purchasing much earlier than usual. You’ll hopefully forgive me for therefore feeling rather smugly satisfied.

While I obviously can’t reveal exactly what I’ll be gifting to everyone before the big day, I can certainly show you a few of the places where I’ve been doing some shopping. There’s nothing quite like the comfort and convenience of online shopping!

I’ve done my best this year to buy only handmade / environmentally positive / independently produced pieces. This means that I feel good for supporting cleverly designed products by someone super talented, and the recipient will feel good because clearly my gifts rock!Β So here’s a little visual guide to a few of my Christmas stores of choice (actual presents selected have not been highlighted to protect the element of surprise for their intended recipients):

Store credits (from top to bottom, left to right):

There are so many lovely stores out there in online land, the only trouble is that in shopping at so many great stores for everyone else’s gifts, I ALWAYS find lots of stuff for me. I wonder, does this make me a selfish Christmas shopper?

Are you able to resist the lure of the ‘one for you … and one for me’ style of gift shopping? If so, please share your secrets of resistance with me!


  1. Gabrielle Bryden

    Congrats on being so organised. I had to do all my shopping early (at real shops this year – had a couple of bad experiences where I bought stuff and it arrived after the birthday) because all this rain is flooding access to the major towns around here and I don’t want to risk driving on the roads – well at least I’m organised for a change πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – I must admit that this year is probably the most organised I’ve ever been with my Christmas gift buying … and I even managed to do an early send off of those parcels that need to arrive before the big day … so I’m just patting myself on the back for all sorts of reasons! πŸ˜‰

      How annoying that you had some bad experiences with gifts arriving after a birthday … that’s happened to me once, and it is awful for both the gift-giver and the intended gift-receiver.

      It’s amazing how much rain has been falling of late … and this cold temperature is so very strange for December. I hope the flooding doesn’t get too bad and that you and your family stay safe and well.

  2. fairchildstreet

    Well done. It is a great feeling being organised, I would hate to have to go to the shops the week before Christmas. I am always tempted when buying presents to want to buy one for me. In November I bought a lovely picnic bag for my friend’s birthday (her request). I found a really nice one and had to get one for myself. Thought it would look lovely this summer down at the beach! (I am writing this post smiling) Look like there will be some lovely presents this Christmas. Charmaine

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Charmaine – I think a state of organisation is always my preferred way of being … but it seems that more often than not I exist in a state of rather dis-organised chaos. I guess as long as things magically come together for big issues or big events then all is not lost! πŸ™‚

      I’m so horrible at NOT buying things for myself whenever I do a little gift-shopping (I really need to get better at it). Oh that picnic bag you picked up for yourself and a friend sounds divine (honestly, how could you resist such a practical and pretty purchase?). I hope it treats you well when you’re enjoying your time in the sun and the sand (and the water) at the beach …

      I just know your Christmas will be wonderful! πŸ˜€

  3. Katie

    Wow, that’s super organised! I’ve got a few pressies but lots to go. I spent some time today a bit wide-eyed and worried. We do a secret Santa thing in my extended family and sometimes it is tricky to get a gift that suits the name you’re given. Thankfully there are a few more days of dashing around to find something, while trying to avoid buying myself extra presents.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Katie – I think the only reason why I’m pretty organised with my Christmas related things is that I started MUCH earlier in the year than I usually do. Just watch, soon I’ll be one of those people that shops for future Christmas presents in January each year! Haha! πŸ˜‰

      How is your present-buying travelling now? Hopefully those horrid Christmas crowds haven’t been getting you down, and that you’ve been inspired with lots of wonderful gift ideas. Secret Santas can be great, but as you say they can also bring a challenge when you’re looking for that perfect ‘something’.

      Best of luck with your ‘gift dash’! πŸ˜€

  4. Linda from Heartfire At Home

    Well done Tracey! I’ve been pretty organised, and have had most of my presents bought for quite a while. I still have one main one to get though. I know what it is, but when I went to get one last week, the shop had run out, and didn’t know if they’d be getting more in before Xmas…. so I’m ringing every day to see if more have come in (they told me there’d be 3 more shipments before Xmas, but they didn’t have control over what arrived at this time of year… head office decided according to which shops needed certain stock the most). So now I’m stuck waiting and hoping to see if this present ‘comes off’. I’ll have to get a back up plan sorted, because I could be out on Friday frantically trying to buy a different gift for this person! Aaarrggh!

    Your shop selections are fab…. and lots of good Aussie ones in there. I love the shoe stickers, will definitely be visiting there.

    As for the one for you, one for me problem…. I’m pretty good! I don’t have a huge budget so it really comes down to reminding myself about what I can afford to spend, and who the focus is supposed to be on. It’s always veeerrry tempting though, and I few sneak by – lol.

    Linda. xox

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Linda – That’s right … I remember you mentioning before that you’ve been pretty organised with your gift shopping for Christmas (that means you deserve a big WELL DONE back in your direction too!). How did you go with that one main one you had left to buy? It certainly sounds like you were doing everything you could to get it sorted … between product sell-outs, phone calls, running around and head office involvement … what a drama! I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you that everything worked out well. It’s awful when you’ve found the perfect something for someone only to find that it can’t be purchased or delivered on time. I was caught out like that once with a present for my husband … not only was it late to be sent from the US, it was then held up in customs for ages … I have complete confidence that all will work out very well for you and your gift recipient!! πŸ˜€

      I’m glad you liked my little shop collection … there are so many wonderful stores online and so many talented artists and crafters to support … the only difficulty is in choosing! You should definitely buy some shoe stickers – not only are they reasonably priced and look cute, but they’re also nice and thick so they look fantastic when applied!! πŸ™‚

      I’m in completely awe of your ability to resist buying too much for yourself. I don’t really have a huge budget either, but I always use the excuse of ‘well I’ll just sell something on ebay to balance it out’ … that paypal balance can be all too easy to spend! πŸ™‚

      PS. I’m very happy that you sneak a few lovely bits and pieces through for yourself from time to time … everyone should spoil themselves occasionally! πŸ™‚

  5. bobbi

    I always buy more gifts for myself than for others. I am selfish and very proud!! The only person I buy more than one gifts is my mommy (and my cats, but they don’t seem to appreciate as they should ). This year I bought a new tv…I wanted it for ages. And I am not done yet. I still have to go to my favorite bookshop.

    And I am addicted to Sylvanian families, I really have to have that caravan.


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Bobbi – Haha, I’m glad I’m not alone in seeming to buy more gifts for myself than for the people I’m actually shopping for!! Sometimes I feel bad for being unable to limit myself … so it’s refreshing to hear that you’re ‘selfish and very proud’. I think I need to embrace a similar philosophy! πŸ˜‰

      I love buying people gifts (especially close family members too) … and I love buying things for my pets too (though I think they’re happy enough just having human company). Buying a new TV for yourself is pretty exciting … I hope you also treat yourself to some wonderful books! πŸ™‚

      I can’t believe you’re also addicted to Sylvanian families … I thought I was the only ‘grown up’ who loved them so! … That caravan is DIVINE! I want it all!! πŸ˜€

  6. Erika Lee Sears

    I love all the gifts you bought! I love Gretchen Mist’s art.

    I love handmade anything also- I think it’s the TLC and thoughtfulness. The problem with handmade is that for me I have to plan out the buying to make sure I go to enough craft shows so that I have time to buy online if I need to.

    Happy Holidays πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – I’m so glad you like my little Christmas gift selection … I’m too embarrassed to do a similar list of all the goodies I ended up treating myself to! πŸ˜‰

      Buying handmade is fantastic … it gives me the ‘warm and fuzzies’ to know that I’m contributing to such a wonderful artistic community. So much time and effort goes into creating things with care – it’s lovely to support that! You’re right though, the only challenge with buying handmade is being organised to visit markets / craft shows far enough in advance … I suppose that’s why online shopping works so well for me.

      PS. Your little package arrived in the mail this week … can I just say that you are lovely beyond lovely?!?! Not only are the Christmas cards divine, that ‘little something extra’ you included absolutely made my day … I’m still smiling about it. You are a truly talented artist Erika and I am so very glad to have you as a friend! πŸ˜€

  7. Mel

    Good for you with your philosophy of buying handmade and environmentally positive πŸ™‚ I’m done shopping-wise, and have been for some time, because I buy a lot of my gifts online and start by about September most years! I still have a fair bit of wrapping to do, but tomorrow’s the day I hope to finish that…. xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mel – Buying handmade and environmentally responsible gifts can be a challenge, but I think it’s also a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

      Well done with getting your shopping done too … especially seeing as you’ve had it done for quite a while. Shopping for Christmas gifts in December is a level of organisation that I doubt I’ll ever be able to achieve … but there’s always hope for the next year! πŸ˜‰

      I hope all your gift wrapping goes smoothly (sometimes that can take some time).

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