It's the time of year that I start collecting ideas for the next years round of gifts for my family. I have to start now because I just can't stand not being done by Thanksgiving. No Black Friday shopping for me if I can help it. Plus, it spreads the spending out a bit.
The first the first thing I do it create a document that list everyone I need to buy for. If there is a specific gift I know I am getting that person, I write it next to his/her name. For my boys, I list categories and then leave room for only two extras. The categories are usually: sibling gift, parent gift, technology, books, game, eco-friendly, stocking stuffer, child's choice.
This has helped me tremendously on cutting back spending and buying higher quality items that will actually serve a good purpose and get used as much as possible.
After the list has been created and saved, I create a folder in my favorites that simple says holidays. As I surf the web, I add items into the folder to be checked out again later. If I notice an items that is a definite buy, I go add it to the document.
Each month I check the document for "must" items and check the holiday folder. I purchase one or two items.
It's really simple. Most of my family thinks it's a bit anal, but it works for me.
Here are some recent eco-friendly or holiday finds that I have stumbled upon:
celestial play canopy: blue silk canopy adorned with stars that attaches to the ceiling of any bedroom or playroom; perfect for reading, napping, quiet time, etc.
water color pencils: used to create vivid line drawings or more muted watercolor effects; I saw some at Hobby Lobby yesterday for cheaper
tangle free parachute man: I loved this guy because he was table free. Yay!!!! My boys always want the parachute guys from the store, but the tangly mess drives this momma nuts. I think this will be a stocking stuffer.
You can google how to make a parachute and kids to get tons of ways to make this fun outdoor toy.
celestial cookie cutters: A family that cooks to together is a family that... I guess, is well feed. lol. These whimsical cutters are perfect for so many nature and seasonal celebrations.
bamboo rolling pin: This kids size rolling pin would be perfect for creating the celestial cookies from above.
twig crayons: I want to get these so bad, but they are price-y. The concept however is perfect. When the underbrush in Poland is being removed rather than burn it all down part of it is collected and used to make these awesome crayons. The size is great for chubby little hands to hold.
Yoga Pretzels: This book contains 50 yoga activities for kids and adults to share together.
earth wise kid gift set: comes with a jute bag, book, and t-shirt... you choose from trees, ocean, or wild life theme. Great for any cool eco-kid you know.
yesterday's news colouring set: made from old newspapers... This set of 12 colored pencils is cheap ($6) and earth friendly to boot.
digital camera: Perfect for taking pictures on nature walks, collecting memories, or making art. Leave it up to your child's imagination. The camera linked is the cheapest I can find with the highest mega pixel 8.0.
Here is a camera that is only 5 mega pixels but has a 8 time zoom.
trampoline: I am so considering a trampoline to get my kids outside and moving. I do not know of any eco-friendly varieties available, but the exercise factor of this product means I might just get it anyways.
inlaid wooden chess set: T Man is fascinated by this game at the moment. To cash in on this small window of opportunity, I think this set would be perfect. The board and pieces are made of wood. Under the board are two lined drawers to hold all the playing pieces. Since our family is just a mess, this seems like the best option. Maybe the pieces would stay where they are suppose to be.
play and freeze ice cream maker: Kick, roll, pass, and shake your way to homemade ice cream in just 20 minutes. Great way to exercise before you eat.
*cathedral*: I have already purchased this game for T-Man. As soon as it arrives, I can mark it off the list. Cathedral is a game of strategy. You are trying to build a city within the walls of a medieval village.
*shut the box*: I have already purchased this for JJ. It seems perfect for anyone just learning math. You roll 2 dice and add, subtract, multiple, or divide your way to a win.
Hope you find some great ideas for holiday gifts this coming year. OR can begin implementing my strategy to a stress free holiday.