While a holiday feast and perfectly trimmed tree go a long way, nothing delivers the magic of Christmas quite like the presence of a child. Just the other day, Camille was saying that Phoebe has already changed everything about the holidays for their family, and it’s hard to believe that in a few short years she’ll be flying down the staircase on Christmas morning waiting to see what Santa left behind. So it’s with children in mind that we’ve saved the best for last in our holiday gift guide series: Sarah Klassen is the curator of the absolutely magical online boutique, Leuie. Her elves have been busy this year creating only the loveliest toys and clothing for good little boys and girls… Oh, to be a kid again! I can only imagine my delight in opening a box to find my very own set of luggage or a Lady Margaret Coat in grey velvet. We know that while Santa works all year long to secure just the right gifts, he’s been known to do some of his finest work in the eleventh hour… So without further ado, we’re pleased to employ the advice of one his top employees.
A few of Sarah’s favorite gift ideas for children (and grown-ups, too!):
1. For the home: A scalloped chalkboard — memorable and usable each day. Complete with a personal little note, card or postcard tucked in on the side!
2. A darling character from the Rose Minuscule limited edition Noel collection — so dreamy, whether framed or hung above a bed for sweet dreams ahead.
3. For storage, for travel, for fun — beautiful and classic patent luggage, wonderfully handmade in Spain—complete with interior pockets and straps.
4. Artisan mini salt cellar — such a charming dainty gift for the person who appreciates even the tiniest of beautiful details in their home.
5. Astier de Villatte Emily mug — quite an exquisite way to start the day with a cup of coffee! (or, hot chocolate of course)
6. An exquisite Napoleonic French jeweled pocket watch holder makes for a striking addition to a bedroom or dressing room.
7. Emile Henry pieces are sure to be a delight — from baking dishes to woks, there are many, many pieces to suit different styles and tastes.
8. Cinq D’étoiles, handmade in France: a fabulous decoration over a bed, desk, or even in a window, with twinkling lights, a banner or, for a bit of a nautical look, by itself.
9. Swedish Sheepskin: I grew up having sheepskins during the cooler months of the year, and have always loved their cozy look. Tuck on an icy chair or on the floor for instant comfort and warmth.
…and a few questions for Sarah about her favorite holiday traditions and memories:
What do the holidays mean to you?
It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
What’s your favorite thing about this time of year?
The magic — the beauty of tradition and fond memories. The time to reflect and appreciate, and celebrate.
What’s on your wish list for this year?
There are a few fun things on my list, but I find that as I get older I also enjoy the element of surprise. That being said, I have left a few hints for a new key chain, scent and a few stylish pieces for my wardrobe.
What’s a complete “splurge” item you’d love to give or receive this year?
I would love to give the gift of love and care to those in need. Local fashion company Obakki truly makes a difference by creating positive and sustainable global change. They also offer a donation gift online, perfect for Christmastime,to help with their foundation. This gift is ideal for the person who has wishes to give back and make a difference to many, many people. 100% of donations go directly towards their projects.
Do you have any go-to gift ideas for co-workers or acquaintances?
I enjoy supporting local companies as much as possible, and may send beautiful French macaroons from local favourite, Kitchening & Co., or one-of-a-kind vintage pieces I’ve discovered and collected throughout the year. The gift needn’t be pricey, just thoughtful — such as a tiny jewelry box, with a little note to be discovered inside, or a dainty and unique espresso cup for the person who enjoys coffee. To me, it’s about thinking of that person — who they are, and what they might enjoy, that makes gift giving fun.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
I have a few that seem to top the list: heading off to church in my long, sweeping velvet coat, eagerly awaiting hearty Christmas carols and a beautiful message. Being tucked in with dear ones at home, watching films… working away on my computer in my Mother’s grand kitchen, as she bakes and cooks and decorates (and sometimes, all at once!) their home. The sound of everyone in the house, all together, all enjoying and partaking in the celebration of Christmas.
Do you have a favorite holiday movie?
Admittedly, I repeat a few classic Christmas movies throughout the winter season: The Polar Express, Home Alone, Love Actually, and a few others… especially lovely while spending hours and hours wrapping up parcels!
Are gift cards a “do” or a “don’t”? (If they are a “do”, then where from?)
I do like giving and receiving gift cards, but with intention. A couple who deserve a special evening out may really enjoy a gift card to a wonderful new restaurant. Or a neighbour, who is always so considerate and kind, may appreciate a gift certificate to the theatre. I believe they are a lovely idea, and attached with a handwritten card, and perhaps a small token, are fabulous in some cases.
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your very special store and thoughts on giving with us this year. We wish you (and all of our readers) a very merry Christmas!