My kids have their toy catalogs circled in fat sharpie. Family have requested the lists. I know at least two people who plan to get a 4 a.m. head start on Black Friday. Bah Humbug. Sigh, not really. I like buying stuff and I'm not immune to marketing. I'm thinking about my shopping to-do list too.
I will do most of my purchasing for kids at Kid's Center, which is nearly the best place on earth. Their website isn't that exciting, but their tiny store is incredible. Their sales staff knows every thing about every great, fantastic, spectacular toy and book ever. Kid's center is pricey, but soooo worth it. I'll do a fair amount of shopping at other places.
A Greater Gift has a catalog of fair trade items from around the world. Purchases benefit the artisans directly. I have bought clever wooden puzzles and a few other things and have been pleased with the value and quality. It's like shopping at the UNICEF store. For fair trade clothing, I shop at Fair Indigo. Think Land's End with a conscience. Not much organic, but we all start somewhere.
Speaking of green choices, my sister-in-law Jennifer, the one in CA and not the one in TX, though I don't think the one in TX would be opposed, just that I have two sisters-in-law named Jennifer and the one in CA turned me onto Greener Choices. It's a Consumer Reports site that should aid in determining if a product is truly green or if it's a green wash. The easiest green gift guide I have found is, of course, at Tree Hugger. You browse by the interest of the person on your list.
Heifer International has been my place to go for wedding presents of late, but not everyone appreciates a rabbit trio they don't get to keep. Then again, if you are thinking of getting my kids rabbits, we would like to have them kenneled in another country. Donations to charities are perfect this time of year and great for the taxes in April. Speaking of which, I know a church in need of $90K towards their HVAC. You might be able to find their link to the left (the GSP website is temporarily down).
A Borton parent/pal, Alex, put me onto Etsy where people sell their folk art. You can even look at artists near you and purchase locally. There's plenty of knitery, jewelry, and stuff you wouldn't want. But there are also beautiful quilts, funky accessories, and, uh, stuff. I wouldn't have a use for these gloves but you have to admit they are CLEVER.
In the past, I've tried to ask people to not buy us stuff. We don't have the room, it sends the wrong message, blah blah blah, whatever my reasoning was. In retrospect, that's a ridiculous selfish request because people like to give, especially at Christmas. Darned everyone's generosity! I can only control my own choices and I won't be fighting the crowd at the mall grabbing one of a million factory produced doo-dads that we "must have" and try to pass it off as specially chosen for the special people in my life. I will try to focus on the people on either end of my purchases - those from whom I buy and to whom I give.