Mummy’s Christmas Shop

Star of Wonder

Photo: David Pascoe

When it comes to Christmas gifts for siblings it can be a little overwhelming when there are many brothers and sisters to buy for. We often get the children to make gifts and that works well for older kids but the younger ones are a little limited in what they can do. None of the children buy gifts for the adults, they make cards and small craft gifts like Christmas tree decorations.

I like the idea of the children working so that they can give gifts to each other. It then becomes a sacrifice as they spend money that they have given up time and energy to earn or give up time and creative effort to make something. I am hoping this will help in our quest to get them to think of others at Christmas time rather than themselves.

We have previously gone out shopping with the children and attempted to find suitable small gifts that the children can afford for each other, however the logistics of this is becoming difficult and we can’t always find appropriate items they can afford. The solution: Mummy’s Christmas Shop.

I don’t know the original source of this idea, but it is very simple. I gather together a bunch of small gifts that are appropriate for each child in the family. Just before birthdays or Christmas, each child takes a turn to visit Mummy’s Christmas Shop and buy something they like for their siblings. Items are not priced so that I can use a sliding scale; cheaper for the littlies who’s earning capacity is small and a little more for the older children (up to what I paid for them) who are able to earn a reasonable amount of money.

I have told them about the Mummy shop and everyone is keen to start earning money so they can start shopping. (I’d better find some stuff to put in there!) I do the rounds of all the discount variety stores ($2 Shop, Red Dot, Crazy Clarks and the like) and collect anything that is suitable. I also know that it is likely that the gifts will be in the right price range if I buy here, although the quality is often poor so I am careful not to buy toys that will break quickly.

Some ideas so far:


  • hair lackies, clips, headbands and other pretty hair accessories
  • stickers, activity books, colouring in books
  • glitter pens, gel pens, pencils, crayons, textas, scissors, note pads, novelty erasers and other stationery
  • patterned sticky tape, glitter, glitter glue & other crafty bling
  • dolls clothes, dolls house items, pretend play accessories
  • funky socks and cute knickers
  • ornament, trinket box or knickknacks
  • lip balm
  • nail file
  • costume jewellery
  • craft sets (eg plain photo frame and gems to glue on it)
  • recipe magazine or cookbook
  • coloured bandaids and the “Nurse Nancy” golden book (A little more expensive than the others but both little boys and girls love this gift.)
  • fancy toothbrush


  • small boxes of Lego ( the individual person , motorbike etc for around $6)
  • giant marbles
  • funky socks & manly underwear
  • glitter pens, gel pens, pencils, crayons, textas, scissors, note pads, novelty erasers and other stationery
  • tools (screwdriver, tape measure, adjustable spanner etc)
  • anything army print (hats, lunchbox)
  • water pistol
  • nail clippers (Master 8’s nails are getting out of control – any teenage girl would be jealous!)
  • card games and mini travel games
  • bluetac (weird I know but older boys love this stuff)
  • torch (flashlight), LED keyring light
  • wooden glue and nail together craft kits (make a boat/car etc)
  • bird or dog whistle
  • fancy toothbrush


  • dinky cars
  • stuffed toys
  • balls
  • puzzles
  • dolly accessories
  • hair accessories
  • picture books
  • playdough and accessories (biscuit cutters, rolling-pin)
  • pet accessories (dog bowl, basket, brush) for toy animals
  • pavement chalk
  • paint brushes (see water play)
  • sand toys (buckets, funnels, spades, scoops)
  • bath toys and squirters

I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions for inexpensive gifts so please leave a comment.