What to buy for those girls in your life? They could be sisters, cousins, nieces, family friends, the family of children living under your porch. For that last one, I would suggest inviting them in for showers and food they don't have to forage for. They leave you a gift of your own, and here's hoping for a necklace of possum bones. So delicate, and truly handcrafted. But for the others, here are some of my favorites, divided into categories appropriate for different ages. Guess, though. Because I think a 15 year old could not be happier if you decided to get her that wooden pulley rabbit, or a tea kettle that was previously owned. "And probably used to boil URINE! GOD."
Toddlers love flasks, by the way.
All of this enchants me, and makes me want to have a child as soon as possible, if only to encase her feet in handmade felt slippers, her little hands in hand-knit mittens, and watch her play with handmade toys. All those 'hand's! But I've also included two pieces of art, one a photograph, which I think will delight the parents of the gifted one just as much as her. One day, at least.
She will like every single thing you could ever gift her. Between the ages of 3 and 10, any and every present will be met with squeals of delighted adulation. So work, for those squeals, and give her stuff worth piercing eardrums. I myself am partial to the print of the pouting princess, the hand-painted lace-ups, the little blooming cap and the coin purse. For her 'on the town' money. Don't think about her bank account, which is larger than yours.
Here is what I've learned, buying gifts for teenagers. Buy them not what you think they will like at their current, given age, but what you would like, for yourself, now. You will never fail. If the gift is five to ten years beyond what they are wearing, liking, allowed to wear or like, or would even think of? Then you're golden. Hence the 18k unicorn ring that would be considered a weapon by her school district, the bag from Amsterdam, the overpriced but worth-it zip up they will probably stain with pizza grease next week, and mildly obscene cards, for long-awaited Thank You notes. All in the name of etiquette. All in the name of etiquette.
I consider this to be my category, so picking things out was as simple as what I'm looking to receive from my younger sisters. I'm very interested, for instance, in specialty soaps to slough my aging body with. Simple color + ink drawings, in calendar form no less? Down, forever. The same style, but on CUPS now? Great. An Irish teapot? Thank you. If you really wanted to, you could fill it with some candy? And I would be even happier. But tell me, before I go to fill it with water. And the Keep Calm poster? I know it is now uncool to have one, but I love my red one from Barter Books that I bought almost two years ago, and Victoria has some beautiful color schemes in her shop, including this smoggy grey. Yes, with an 'e'.
They might be your own, they might belong to those you love or you may live next door. We all know a set, younger and older but only a year or two apart, who are often given duplicate items (which are lovely, but you are wild, like an untamed pony who lives on that island with the other ponies, I forget the name). This year, why not tread close, but forge your own path? A similar theme, rather than duplicates, is just as appreciated. So. give each girl a piece of art, a small grouping of button-related items, and then throw in what I find to be the best artistic depiction ever of old/young sister dynamics, in pillow-doll form. Also, if they make it through childhood, and aren't donated (or just thrown away) during the teen years, they'll be great on a bed or couch in some studio apartment, that (and whisper this in Oldest's ear) she won't have to share with her.