So It Begins

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Latimer: And so it begins… Christmas shopping… the last ride of the Rohirrim… 

Okay, that might (might) be an exaggeration! But I saw this funny post on Tumblr and it sort of fit:

It’s Christmas, you have one of two feelings:

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Or

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I’m not totally one way or the other, but it feels like this year, Christmas sneaked up on me – then knocked me out with a sledgehammer.

As I stumbled around half-dead for three weeks, I now find myself madly shopping in a delirium of, sweat, confusion and panic, blind panic!

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Over the past few years I’ve found myself buying children’s Christmas presents for nieces and nephews. The last time I had been in a toy shop was to… well, be the one who people were buying presents for! I was the last child I knew!

Now, I have five nieces and two nephews to be buying presents for!

And I panicked. When I stepped into the big toy shop to do my ‘buy, buy, buy SOMETHING… ANYTHING’ Christmas shop last weekend, I faltered. I got confused; really confused.

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I reverted back in time. I stood staring at the Sylvanian Families, laughing; “Aww, still as expensive as ever… oh! The Badger Family, I remember you!” 

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I was a child again. I forgot why I’d come to the shop.

I started looking at all the new dolls, thinking they were cool. Asking myself if a three year old could handle the awesomeness of gothic dolls based on monsters (no, thankfully I came to my senses on that one).

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I bought myself some glitter glue; which I needed for making my Christmas present tags for the kids, but it was weird because, I’ve not had glitter glue since I was a kid!

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Thankfully I did manage to leave the toy shop without going too crazy.

Although my last giddy thought as I left was; “I have money now… I could buy things if I wanted…I could buy the Sylvanian Families cottage/barge/windmill! Oh the POWER!”

I pray the power of the toy shop will not have grown stronger by next Christmas!

Gift Giving

ID-10037232Ridley: So it’s a bit early to be talking about Christmas (well actually never too early in my book!), but I have to say it’s my absolute favourite time of the year. I mean, when do we have such an absolutely fantastic combination of being able to eat loads of chocolate and at the same time give presents? Like, you have Easter, which is great for the chocolate side of things, and then there’s birthdays for the presents, but Christmas is like Easter and a Birthday smushed together! (and obviously I know the whole point of Christmas isn’t just presents and food, but work with me on this!)
Anyway, I love getting presents for people that suits them, it’s fun to see their faces when they open up something they’ve always wanted or least expected and never knew they wanted. So, while it’s still early, I have begun to look for the unusual presents you can only get online and that can take awhile to get here once ordered. In the interest of helping others with their present searching (cause I’m nice like that), here are some of the best things I’ve found for sale on my favourite craft site, Etsy.com (and yes, it is a case that I’ve been just sharing all my internet procrastinating haunts, but they’re good!!)

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Absolutely beautiful and colourful handmade jewellery. They’re a little like stain glass, aren’t they?

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Have a charm bracelet or want to start one? Here’s some Christmas charms! So dainty!

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Paper sculpture, so brilliant, there’s real craft gone into these. Usually the actually sculptures are a little expensive for my wallet, which no doubt reflects the skill and amount of time that’s put into them, but they currently have a sale on, and you can pick prints of the sculptures too.

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Handmade wool and felt toys! So unique, and you can get custom ones made for you!!

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I absolutely adore unusual notebooks and journals, here some beautiful and unique ones!

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Some really cute artwork and designs. Mind, there’s loads of fantastic artists on both etsy and on deviantart, maybe if you wanted something unusual for that special someone, why not think about supporting some of these unknown but absolutely fantastic artists?

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And everyone, just to get you into the Christmas spirit, here’s the new John Lewis Christmas ad. It really almost brought a tear to my eye. Absolutely stunning!!

 

 

My, My Little Ponies

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Latimer: I think my first real obsession was with My Little Pony. I adored them.

Recently, My Little Ponies have made an amazing comeback in the form of a cartoon; My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

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There was a cartoon in the 90’s too, that I used to watch. There were a few different ones. The one I remember most is the My Little Pony Tales, which is possibly what the new cartoon is based on?

Seriously though… how are those Ponies grabbing anything! They have no fingers!

The return of the Ponies is a complete shock to me, because they disappeared years ago without a trace. They were popular in the early 90’s, and then they just vanished – cartoons and toys.

When the toys came back, very briefly, I bought them, but I was getting older and I couldn’t squeeze myself back into the fangirl suit I used to own. But I tried… lord I tried.

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I tried but couldn’t love them again!

They didn’t stay around long.

I’m going to hit the nostalgia button now and bring you back to my My Little Ponies…

Yeah, I still have them. It’s because of all my old toys, these meant the most. I couldn’t toss them out or give them away. 

Taking them out of the bag was weird because I remember actually getting a lot of them. My birthdays always involved getting a My Little Pony.

They are chunky, clunky beasts, but they have this beautiful old familiar weight to them. The more I took out the more I remembered.

The bride Pony (with a cake, her veil is missing but I remember she had one, I think I gave it to Barbie) – with no bridegroom!

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Poor girl, you have no one to marry!!

The ballerina young Ponies. They were novel because you could move their legs. We were very impressed at the time!

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I had two teacher Ponies (Pony groups came in sets of 4 generally). I still have their school bags and their combs (all Pony groups had specific combs).

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The Beach Ponies where my very first set. I remembered that their hair was all matted and could never be brushed out, because of the carpets we used to have in my old playroom in the garage (I used to drag them over the carpet).

Memories!

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I got this beauty Pony after being in hospital for an operation during Halloween one year.

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This Pony smelt like sweets (that was her ‘thing’) – and she still does.

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These were tiny baby Ponies, so cute (they have massive heads and are weirdly-distorted).

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This is a funny one – maternity Pony. You flick the heart…

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and her babies drop out.

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Yup…

This baby Pony was an interesting one; not because it did anything, but because of what my sister used to say it could do.

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The Pony came with a baby’s plate. My sister would put crackers and coffee grains in the little sections, then she’d tell me;

“I can get your Pony to eat these.”

I was wide-eyed, “Really?”

She’d nod; “But you have to wait outside.”

So out I went (happy, believing) and I’d come back in and the food was gone – except the coffee grains.

“The Pony didn’t like them.”

I was astounded at the time. I wondered why I couldn’t make my Pony eat like my sister could.

The way I packed away the Ponies was also kind of sweet. I packed up all the combs in little bags and the accessories in another. It was like I fully expected to play with them again someday.

I vividly remember thinking, “What do grown-ups do without toys? What do they do all day?” Thankfully you realize people never grow up and toys of childhood morph into those of adulthood and it’s a relief.

I’m happy to see my old obsession has reinvented itself and flown off to another generation 🙂