With a large family to buy gifts for, christmas shopping can sometimes teeter dangerously on that fine line between pleasure and a chore - you know what I mean?
The truth is that, while I love to find gifts to wrap and leave beneath the tree, the things I have the most fun finding are the smaller gifts for the christmas stockings that appear before dawn on Christmas day at the foot of every bed in our home.
A mix of small, and inexpensive treats that are simply there to bring a smile to everyone's face at the start of the day. A silly pair of socks, a lipstick, a small box of chocolates ... in this house everyone has a stocking waiting for them on Christmas morn - even the dogs!
The stockings in the pictures were made from some worn out pieces of tapestry that I found in a country fair one day - they don't hold much, but they are sort of pretty and timless.
So here are a couple of my favourite gifts that are being slipped into stockings this year ... with a decidedly Parisian theme ....
from the wonderful Maison du Chocolat, these little chocolate beads, that are ready to mix into warm milk to make the perfect hot chocolate
For a much loved dog I would buy a dog collar from Hermes ...but won't actually because my dogs would simply lose the collar in the forest, so they'll get a nice looking collar without the Hermes price tag ......
one lucky girl will be getting this sweet little book by the talented Betty Lou Phillips, The Night Before Christmas in Paris, not only are the illustrations delightful, the story charming but it is all in rhyme which I adore!!
another will receive Fragonard soaps , a major favourite of mine, and Fragonard is one of the oldest French perfumers. The packaging is perfectly parisian and the soaps smell divine, I love to keep them in cupboards until needed.
If my girls were still little enough, I would buy the classic by Bemelmans, Madeline. I love the illustrations of Paris, and actually I know this book practically by heart, having read it out loud so often.
A notepad is always so useful, and this one comes from the Louvre museum boutique. The cover is an extract from a painting by Eugenie Boudin - just love those colours ...
and of course there'll be many many more little gifts, but I can't sit here writing about them or they'll never get wrapped!