Annual Gift Guide 2008: Gifts You Buy

Since we always end up dividing the gift suggestions into three categories anyway, I'm putting up three separate posts: Gifts You Buy, Gifts You Make, and Gifts To Give Back.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything out there that is worth buying! It's just the stuff I'm particularly interested in right now. If I were Oprah I'd be able to get you all free samples, but I'm not, so I'll just describe the things in as wordy and conversational a manner as possible…

MoxieWear

I finally have my Cafe Press store up and running! It's sortof a random assortment of items, from baby shirts for tension
increasers or releasers to bumper stickers with the MXM logo so you can
identify other Moxie readers in traffic. Come take a look.

Books

I love books. They're just a really solid gift. The kind of gift that says "I like you. I take you seriously. I want you to be able to take a little break and lose yourself in a book."

For my dad I'm going to buy Ammon Shea's new book Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages. I'm hoping that's what my dad gives me, too. (Word nerds don't fall far from the tree.) The book is for anyone who likes words or dictionaries or geekitude or people doing absolutely ridiculous tasks. It's kind of like SuperSize Me, Into Thin Air, and the dictionary all rolled into one. Mark Peters did a funny interview with Ammon Shea about the book here. (Do you guys read Mark Peters' word columns on Good? He cracks me up, and not just because he's my friend and a fellow descriptivist. This one made me laugh. This one made me think. This one made me come up with a blindingly brilliant insight about language and double standards–feel free to comment on my typo-ridden comment there. Also, my photo there shows my current glasses.) I'm sort of ridiculously excited to read a book about reading a dictionary.

My shameful secret: I don't read much fiction anymore. I was a Comp Lit major in college, and read a book in English and one in Spanish each week. Those days are far gone, and now the only reading I do is nonfiction and the occasional review book (and probably a third of the books for my book club). So most of the fiction I buy is for other people.

My mom's been reading all the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, and I didn't know there were more series by the same author (Alexander McCall Smith)! I think it's going to be a 44 Scotland Street kind of Christmas for her. 

And that's what I know about books. X-treme wordnerdism and fiction for grandmothers. So I really really need suggestions from you guys in the comments of books in other categories. Please?

Computers for kids

The XO is back on sale again. There are still the same philosophical issues with it as before, but if you regretted not giving one, or buying one to give and one to share, now's your chance. $199 to donate one to a kid in a developing country, or $399 to get one for you and one to donate.

Handmade but not by you

You guys know about Etsy.com, right? Crafty people sell their crafts there, and you buy them. I've gotten some amazing things on Etsy, including a gorgeous painting that makes me happy every time I look at it.

If you have an Etsy store, put a brief description of what you make and put your Etsy link in the comments.

Kid Stuff

In all honesty, I just kind of don't have it in me anymore for all the different kinds of developmental toys and whatnot. I've requested a Wii for the boys from my relatives (they're all going in together) so that the boys have something 1) they can play together 2) that's relatively active 3) that can be done indoors when the weather is bad (that's January-April in NYC).

I'm all conflicted about Legos. I mean, LEGOS! They're the best toy ever. But LEGOS! They're all over the floor, digging into my bare feet and making so much noise when the cats play hockey with them at 3 am. If I do give in to more Legos, I'll probably get this set to make sure they have a full range of pieces.

Also, my kids are currently Uno-crazy up at their dad's place, so I'm going to have to get a deck to play at mine.

I know you all must have favorite toys for kids, so please list them in the comments!

Magazines

We're still in love with Sports Illustrated for Kids around here, and if I had a girl I'd be all over New Moon. My guilty pleasure is Entertainment Weekly.

I know we talk about it every so often, but what magazines give you and your kids and partners pleasure?

Skin Care

If you really want to spoil someone you love (or yourself), consider getting a skin care system from Daybreak Lavender Farms. They grow most of their botanicals themselves on their farm in Ohio, and everything's all-natural and gentle to your skin. The systems are expensive but last forever, and are completely worth it: I developed horrible skin problems from all the stress of the last few years, and tried almost everything (including Proactiv) and the only thing that keeps my skin clear is the Daybreak Zit-Zap System (it works through my whole cycle, too!). It took a full six weeks, but now my skin is clear and moisturized and happy. I've heard of similar miracles in treating rosacea with their Calmez Vous System. Again, they're pricey, but they work, are good for your skin over the long run, and last for months. Plus, the people are very nice and ship super-quickly.

Self-Sufficiency

The best $8 I spent this whole year was on a tool kit at Ikea. I can't believe I never had one of my own before. I find I use it once a week, at least. Consider giving a tool kit with hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers to everyone you know, and one for yourself.

Delicious Self-Sufficiency

Give a person some ice cream, and she'll eat it for a day. Give a person an ice cream maker, and she'll eat ice cream for the rest of her life. I've been using this ice cream mak
er
for years, and love it. My favorite recipe: Piña Colada Sorbet: 1 can crushed pineapple, 1 can coconut milk (not coconut cream), sugar to taste, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, dark rum (optional). Blend together the pineapple, coconut milk, and sugar. (Add in a little cream or milk if you'd like.) Stir in the coconut. Refrigerate for a few hours until it's very cold. Turn in ice cream maker. If using rum, add it in once the sorbet is mostly turned.

If you're a popcorn fan, you need the Whirley-Pop. It's an old-fashioned pan you put on top of the stove, but the lid has a handle you crank that prevents the popped kernels from burning on the bottom of the pan. You can pop almost every kernel without burning anything. And it's fun for kids.

Massages

Probably everyone you know is stressed. And probably everyone you know would love a massage. You could get a gift certificate from a local massage therapist for someone you love, who would then love you much more, and in a more relaxed manner. Or, if you have a massage school near you, get two or three massages at the student clinic for the price of one from a graduated professional.

Gift Card Alert

Someone recently warned me that there are retailers that will be selling gift cards this season but then closing stores after January 1, so the cards will be worthless in 2009. I was sent a list, but have no way of verifying it of knowing the source. So if anyone has a reliable source for lists of gift cards that will expire at the end of December, can you link it? Thanks!

Your Suggestions

Is there anything you're just completely in love with? post it in the comments. If you put in the leading http string, it'll link it automatically.

178 thoughts on “Annual Gift Guide 2008: Gifts You Buy”

  1. Mags – LOVE the New Yorker & Atlantic Monthly but just can’t keep up these days so we’re dropping our subscription. I also used to get Granta when I lived in the States but gave up that habit once I moved back to Canada.I’m trying for a fully-recycled, non-consumption Christmas. Chances are I won’t completely succeed but I’m going to see if I can do it. For example, my parents really don’t need anything and they’ve made it clear that they don’t want more stuff. So, instead, I’m hoping to hijack Christmas dinner. My mum’s back has been bothering her so my gift is to sit her in a comfy chair with some white wine, leave her and my dad with their ridiculously-adorable grandson, and make the feast with my husband and brother. It is, in a way, a gift to us too because we all love to cook but rarely get the chance to put on a big production meal. This is all in theory at this point — we’ll see if my co-conspirators are in.
    As for wrapped gifts, I’m going to try to get everything second-hand. Estate auctiokns are becoming a weakness of mine so hopefully I’ll score good stuff for the fam.

  2. Mags – LOVE the New Yorker & Atlantic Monthly but just can’t keep up these days so we’re dropping our subscription. I also used to get Granta when I lived in the States but gave up that habit once I moved back to Canada.I’m trying for a fully-recycled, non-consumption Christmas. Chances are I won’t completely succeed but I’m going to see if I can do it. For example, my parents really don’t need anything and they’ve made it clear that they don’t want more stuff. So, instead, I’m hoping to hijack Christmas dinner. My mum’s back has been bothering her so my gift is to sit her in a comfy chair with some white wine, leave her and my dad with their ridiculously-adorable grandson, and make the feast with my husband and brother. It is, in a way, a gift to us too because we all love to cook but rarely get the chance to put on a big production meal. This is all in theory at this point — we’ll see if my co-conspirators are in.
    As for wrapped gifts, I’m going to try to get everything second-hand. Estate auctiokns are becoming a weakness of mine so hopefully I’ll score good stuff for the fam.

  3. New to the blog, which is now bookmarked. Love this post – great ideas. Thanks.Have a lookey-loo at my etsy shop – filled with sweet gifts for baby and a few fun things for toddlers, too. I’ve got a few more things in the works (bibs, stuffies) so convo me if you’re interested in something you don’t see listed…
    http://www.inkiesandsmushies.com
    (which redirects automatically to etsy)

  4. New to the blog, which is now bookmarked. Love this post – great ideas. Thanks.Have a lookey-loo at my etsy shop – filled with sweet gifts for baby and a few fun things for toddlers, too. I’ve got a few more things in the works (bibs, stuffies) so convo me if you’re interested in something you don’t see listed…
    http://www.inkiesandsmushies.com
    (which redirects automatically to etsy)

  5. I’d love to hear what people’s kids are making for gifts. I think I’m going to have mine paint/decorate room signs “Amy’s Room” for their cousins. They usually do a gift per family, so this will count and they won’t do adults also. I’ve had them make plant stakes, ornaments (often) and bookmarks. They’re painting mugs for the grandparents.

  6. I’d love to hear what people’s kids are making for gifts. I think I’m going to have mine paint/decorate room signs “Amy’s Room” for their cousins. They usually do a gift per family, so this will count and they won’t do adults also. I’ve had them make plant stakes, ornaments (often) and bookmarks. They’re painting mugs for the grandparents.

  7. Excellent magazine for adults, especially time-pressed parents or just-out-of-college friends because it gives the news in a concise way yet not dumbed-down at all: The Week magazinehttp://www.theweek.com/home/toc
    The website doesn’t show how great the magazine is: slim volume with two or three short but in-depth articles about US and WORLD events. Plus, there are also a few gossip pages. So it’s like Utne Reader for news plus a bit of gossip and silly stuff, too. There’s always a terrific long article at the end. This magazine really helped my sanity when my son was younger; excellent to keep in my diaper bag for unforeseen nap times and helped in having a topic for adult conversations. (I am in no way connected to this publication; just a very happy subscriber. It is expensive but, well, sent weekly.)

  8. Excellent magazine for adults, especially time-pressed parents or just-out-of-college friends because it gives the news in a concise way yet not dumbed-down at all: The Week magazinehttp://www.theweek.com/home/toc
    The website doesn’t show how great the magazine is: slim volume with two or three short but in-depth articles about US and WORLD events. Plus, there are also a few gossip pages. So it’s like Utne Reader for news plus a bit of gossip and silly stuff, too. There’s always a terrific long article at the end. This magazine really helped my sanity when my son was younger; excellent to keep in my diaper bag for unforeseen nap times and helped in having a topic for adult conversations. (I am in no way connected to this publication; just a very happy subscriber. It is expensive but, well, sent weekly.)

  9. Excellent magazine for adults, especially time-pressed parents or just-out-of-college friends because it gives the news in a concise way yet not dumbed-down at all: The Week magazinehttp://www.theweek.com/home/toc
    The website doesn’t show how great the magazine is: slim volume with two or three short but in-depth articles about US and WORLD events. Plus, there are also a few gossip pages. So it’s like Utne Reader for news plus a bit of gossip and silly stuff, too. There’s always a terrific long article at the end. This magazine really helped my sanity when my son was younger; excellent to keep in my diaper bag for unforeseen nap times and helped in having a topic for adult conversations. (I am in no way connected to this publication; just a very happy subscriber. It is expensive but, well, sent weekly.)

  10. Jill, I’m going to put up the “making” and “giving” posts tomorrow. Writing this one and finding all the links exhausted me too much to do the other two last night….staceytronic–I knew someone would have a real list! Thank you.
    &Babymakes75, I’ve been hearing about The Week for years, and this may push me over into trying it. It sounds like everything I love about Entertainment Weekly, but with actual current events.

  11. Jill, I’m going to put up the “making” and “giving” posts tomorrow. Writing this one and finding all the links exhausted me too much to do the other two last night….staceytronic–I knew someone would have a real list! Thank you.
    &Babymakes75, I’ve been hearing about The Week for years, and this may push me over into trying it. It sounds like everything I love about Entertainment Weekly, but with actual current events.

  12. Ah, gifts. Well, I’ve finally gotten my family on board with not buying each other stuff we 1) don’t need and 2) will never use. We’ve all gotten each other charitble donations for the past 2 years. SU’s family, not so much….We’ve also stopped buying presents for nieces and nephews. We have 12 of them, and it’s just too much. We take all the money that we would have spent on getting each kid a little something, and are able to make a sizeable donation to a charity, which I think is more important than ever this year.
    For our own son, we get him clothes, books, etc. Santa gets him toys, markers, etc. We really do try to keep it minimal, though. I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than $100 on him.
    I have absolutely no control over what my in-laws buy him, so he gets CPC from that side of the family.

  13. Ah, gifts. Well, I’ve finally gotten my family on board with not buying each other stuff we 1) don’t need and 2) will never use. We’ve all gotten each other charitble donations for the past 2 years. SU’s family, not so much….We’ve also stopped buying presents for nieces and nephews. We have 12 of them, and it’s just too much. We take all the money that we would have spent on getting each kid a little something, and are able to make a sizeable donation to a charity, which I think is more important than ever this year.
    For our own son, we get him clothes, books, etc. Santa gets him toys, markers, etc. We really do try to keep it minimal, though. I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than $100 on him.
    I have absolutely no control over what my in-laws buy him, so he gets CPC from that side of the family.

  14. My mom and I have talked about making an Etsy store for ages (in fact, I joked about it in her Christmas letter last year and made this – http://www.almostamishcrafts.blogspot.com/ – to accompany said letter). Does anyone think that made to order chairs for kids would sell – it would cost about $100, including the polyfill, probably $80 if you wanted to stuff the cushions yourself, plus $10 for licensed character fabrics?She made my older daughter a Dora chair when she was one and has made them now for everyone else she knows with a baby, for a charity raffle every year, and now for my younger daughter.
    She also makes fleece hats, blankets, scarves, etc. Very crafty, my mom.
    She also has an excellent pattern for a blanket that can be made from old sheets, leftover material, etc. and given out to homeless people. It’s a great project for girl scouts, church groups, etc. etc. Anyone interested can email me at dcatteau at comcast dot net. The info about the blanket for homeless people is obviously free, free, free!

  15. My mom and I have talked about making an Etsy store for ages (in fact, I joked about it in her Christmas letter last year and made this – http://www.almostamishcrafts.blogspot.com/ – to accompany said letter). Does anyone think that made to order chairs for kids would sell – it would cost about $100, including the polyfill, probably $80 if you wanted to stuff the cushions yourself, plus $10 for licensed character fabrics?She made my older daughter a Dora chair when she was one and has made them now for everyone else she knows with a baby, for a charity raffle every year, and now for my younger daughter.
    She also makes fleece hats, blankets, scarves, etc. Very crafty, my mom.
    She also has an excellent pattern for a blanket that can be made from old sheets, leftover material, etc. and given out to homeless people. It’s a great project for girl scouts, church groups, etc. etc. Anyone interested can email me at dcatteau at comcast dot net. The info about the blanket for homeless people is obviously free, free, free!

  16. This year we’re getting our niece a flock of chicks from Heifer International, and I’ll probably get one for my one-year-old son as well. It’s going to be a new tradition for us–instead of presents for her birthday, my niece asked for donations to Make-A-Wish because she wanted to help sick kids. So I know she’s going to dig the idea of helping out kids around the world in such a profound way. I’d encourage everyone to check out HI–they work with people in extremely poor areas, teaching them how to take care of their animals and making sure they pass on the gift by giving the first offspring of the animals to someone else in the community. It is a profound gift that makes a huge difference not just for one family, but for a whole community.

  17. This year we’re getting our niece a flock of chicks from Heifer International, and I’ll probably get one for my one-year-old son as well. It’s going to be a new tradition for us–instead of presents for her birthday, my niece asked for donations to Make-A-Wish because she wanted to help sick kids. So I know she’s going to dig the idea of helping out kids around the world in such a profound way. I’d encourage everyone to check out HI–they work with people in extremely poor areas, teaching them how to take care of their animals and making sure they pass on the gift by giving the first offspring of the animals to someone else in the community. It is a profound gift that makes a huge difference not just for one family, but for a whole community.

  18. This year I am in love with the personalized super capes at http://www.constructiveplaythings.com. I should have thought about looking on Etsy because they have them as well, but they are about the same price. I should support real people, but I didn’t think of it.I got one for my son and one for all my nieces and nephews. No small pieces, nothing to break. LOVE IT! It helps that my son spends most of the time with a tea towel safety pinned to his neck so I’m pretty sure a real silky red cape will rock his world.

  19. This year I am in love with the personalized super capes at http://www.constructiveplaythings.com. I should have thought about looking on Etsy because they have them as well, but they are about the same price. I should support real people, but I didn’t think of it.I got one for my son and one for all my nieces and nephews. No small pieces, nothing to break. LOVE IT! It helps that my son spends most of the time with a tea towel safety pinned to his neck so I’m pretty sure a real silky red cape will rock his world.

  20. I hate to advertise myself, but as I’m a mom struggling to make ends meet (like so many of us!), I thought I’d suggest my services as a printmaker and portrait artist. I offer affordable portraits of children and whole families at:http://brooklynmama.typepad.com/molly_parkermyers/
    Check it out – and let me know if you are feeling the pinch and can’t afford my suggested prices – I’d be happy to work with you to find an affordable, creative and personalized portrait gift for your loved ones this year.

  21. I hate to advertise myself, but as I’m a mom struggling to make ends meet (like so many of us!), I thought I’d suggest my services as a printmaker and portrait artist. I offer affordable portraits of children and whole families at:http://brooklynmama.typepad.com/molly_parkermyers/
    Check it out – and let me know if you are feeling the pinch and can’t afford my suggested prices – I’d be happy to work with you to find an affordable, creative and personalized portrait gift for your loved ones this year.

  22. If your sons get a Wii I think it comes with Wii Play but Wii Sports is good too. Virtual bowling is fun!! The Mario games are good too. We have Mario Galaxy and it’s pretty cool.The older boy also loves Dance Dance Revolution – they have it at the aftercare he goes to but it’s an additional system, not just another game. Thinking about buying that.
    The baby who isn’t a baby anymore fell in love with the talking Elmo doll at Target. I think Grandpa is on board to buy that. We have so much stuff that he’s played with for about a week to never look at again I just can’t think of what to wrap and put under the tree for him. Maybe some of the stuff he’s forgotten he has?
    I want a Kindle but since I’d never spend that much on myself, I’m thinking about getting it for my dad. He just doesn’t have room for one more book – but I love books as gifts so I think this is a good alternative.

  23. If your sons get a Wii I think it comes with Wii Play but Wii Sports is good too. Virtual bowling is fun!! The Mario games are good too. We have Mario Galaxy and it’s pretty cool.The older boy also loves Dance Dance Revolution – they have it at the aftercare he goes to but it’s an additional system, not just another game. Thinking about buying that.
    The baby who isn’t a baby anymore fell in love with the talking Elmo doll at Target. I think Grandpa is on board to buy that. We have so much stuff that he’s played with for about a week to never look at again I just can’t think of what to wrap and put under the tree for him. Maybe some of the stuff he’s forgotten he has?
    I want a Kindle but since I’d never spend that much on myself, I’m thinking about getting it for my dad. He just doesn’t have room for one more book – but I love books as gifts so I think this is a good alternative.

  24. I realized right after I hit post that the “things to give” post was a different day. Haha! School makes me dumb.Take my comments and apply them to the appropriate day.

  25. I realized right after I hit post that the “things to give” post was a different day. Haha! School makes me dumb.Take my comments and apply them to the appropriate day.

  26. I heard on the NPR podcast, Planet Money, that the FDIC was going to start insuring giftcards. Not sure what the restrictions are, or how to get yourself re-imbursed if a store closes and you have a gift card, but something to look up if you have some stray giftcards.

  27. I heard on the NPR podcast, Planet Money, that the FDIC was going to start insuring giftcards. Not sure what the restrictions are, or how to get yourself re-imbursed if a store closes and you have a gift card, but something to look up if you have some stray giftcards.

  28. “Dudes. Seriously.” You crack me up, Moxie. I was thinking the same thing. :)I’m pretty stressed about Christmas this year. I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant, so … yeah. I’m torn between trying to get everything done NOW NOW NOW and just sort of getting things as I see them.
    The 2-year-old’s gifts are planned out. We’re getting her a tricycle, helmet, Mrs. Potato Head set, and some books. Goodness only knows what she’ll get from the rest of the family. The newborn is a little harder. I feel like I should have SOMETHING for him/her, but what on earth do I get in advance for someone I don’t even know yet? Any ideas would be appreciated!
    As far as other people in the family go, my husband and I usually use Christmas as an excuse to buy something we normally wouldn’t buy for ourselves. I think this year it might be a Wii Fit, if we can get our hands on one. I’ve yet to figure out what to get my dad and brother. My gift for my mom falls under the “things to make” category, so I’ll share that one next time. (I’m sure you’re all on pin and needle.)

  29. “Dudes. Seriously.” You crack me up, Moxie. I was thinking the same thing. :)I’m pretty stressed about Christmas this year. I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant, so … yeah. I’m torn between trying to get everything done NOW NOW NOW and just sort of getting things as I see them.
    The 2-year-old’s gifts are planned out. We’re getting her a tricycle, helmet, Mrs. Potato Head set, and some books. Goodness only knows what she’ll get from the rest of the family. The newborn is a little harder. I feel like I should have SOMETHING for him/her, but what on earth do I get in advance for someone I don’t even know yet? Any ideas would be appreciated!
    As far as other people in the family go, my husband and I usually use Christmas as an excuse to buy something we normally wouldn’t buy for ourselves. I think this year it might be a Wii Fit, if we can get our hands on one. I’ve yet to figure out what to get my dad and brother. My gift for my mom falls under the “things to make” category, so I’ll share that one next time. (I’m sure you’re all on pin and needle.)

  30. If you have girls age 9-12 or so in your life, try Discovery Girls magazine. http://www.discoverygirls.com/I'm a school librarian, and the girls at my school are all over it. It has a bit of advertising, but it’s really well done, really thoughtful, and really appealing to that age range.
    Here in Canada, many, many kids get Chickadee or Owl magazine – and they are great too.
    http://owlkids.com/
    I am so addicted to etsy it’s not funny. I buy stuff, but I spend a lot of time looking for ideas for things I can make myself (not to sell, I just use ideas to make my bad version of whatever it is.) I found this great seller who does spice kits in different sizes and themes. Very cool. That paired with a cookbook….. (just search under spice kit).
    For those of you in Canada, indigo.ca has a really good quality toy selection, free shipping over $39 and $10 off a $50 purchase (code ToyHGG08). I just knocked about 5 kids off my list online last night.
    I also like buying theatre tickets for hard to buy for people. Where I live, one of the local theatre companies offers flex tickets where the recipient can book for whatever show and time they want. (Vancouver, Arts club)
    Also in Vancouver, we have Vancouver Kidsbooks, an awesome store. Great teen selection too. My preteen/teen nieces always get gift cards for their own shopping trip.
    Sorry for all of the local information, but I think most of it could be used for ideas anyway.

  31. If you have girls age 9-12 or so in your life, try Discovery Girls magazine. http://www.discoverygirls.com/I'm a school librarian, and the girls at my school are all over it. It has a bit of advertising, but it’s really well done, really thoughtful, and really appealing to that age range.
    Here in Canada, many, many kids get Chickadee or Owl magazine – and they are great too.
    http://owlkids.com/
    I am so addicted to etsy it’s not funny. I buy stuff, but I spend a lot of time looking for ideas for things I can make myself (not to sell, I just use ideas to make my bad version of whatever it is.) I found this great seller who does spice kits in different sizes and themes. Very cool. That paired with a cookbook….. (just search under spice kit).
    For those of you in Canada, indigo.ca has a really good quality toy selection, free shipping over $39 and $10 off a $50 purchase (code ToyHGG08). I just knocked about 5 kids off my list online last night.
    I also like buying theatre tickets for hard to buy for people. Where I live, one of the local theatre companies offers flex tickets where the recipient can book for whatever show and time they want. (Vancouver, Arts club)
    Also in Vancouver, we have Vancouver Kidsbooks, an awesome store. Great teen selection too. My preteen/teen nieces always get gift cards for their own shopping trip.
    Sorry for all of the local information, but I think most of it could be used for ideas anyway.

  32. I am going to ask my family (big into holiday giving) to get dressup clothes for my daughter (“poor thing” only has one princess dress to her name) and Magna-Tiles for my son.We try to downplay the gift end of Chanukah. We’ll probably give a lot of books to my daughter (there is a whole world of I Can Read books that she’s plunging into). And if I remember a set of Uno–she learned how to play Crazy Eights recently and really likes it. And though we normal eschew noisemaking/lightup toys, my son would go absolutely gaga over this year’s Hess truck, so I foresee that in his future.
    I still love The New Yorker, although I am in 2 book clubs and get terribly behind in my magazine reading. There are a ton of food magazines out there that are interesting reading–one year for her birthday we got my mom a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. (I really dig the magazine but find it very hard to adapt anything for a kosher kitchen.)

  33. I am going to ask my family (big into holiday giving) to get dressup clothes for my daughter (“poor thing” only has one princess dress to her name) and Magna-Tiles for my son.We try to downplay the gift end of Chanukah. We’ll probably give a lot of books to my daughter (there is a whole world of I Can Read books that she’s plunging into). And if I remember a set of Uno–she learned how to play Crazy Eights recently and really likes it. And though we normal eschew noisemaking/lightup toys, my son would go absolutely gaga over this year’s Hess truck, so I foresee that in his future.
    I still love The New Yorker, although I am in 2 book clubs and get terribly behind in my magazine reading. There are a ton of food magazines out there that are interesting reading–one year for her birthday we got my mom a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. (I really dig the magazine but find it very hard to adapt anything for a kosher kitchen.)

  34. Oh, I wanted to add to my other post, I’d really really appreciate any suggestions you guys have about tricycles. I feel like the reviews I read for any of them on Amazon are just terrible. Surely they can’t all be bad? If anyone has had a particularly good or bad experience, I’d love to hear it. (You can email me at dashoff AT hotmail to keep this from derailing things too much.)Other gift suggestions I have for pre-school age children are Duplos and Play-Doh. My daughter can’t get enough of either one. If you need inexpensive niece/nephew gifts, Play-Doh is the way to go. You can buy huge packs of the stuff for cheap. Throw in some plastic cookie cutters and a toy rolling pin and you’re golden.

  35. Oh, I wanted to add to my other post, I’d really really appreciate any suggestions you guys have about tricycles. I feel like the reviews I read for any of them on Amazon are just terrible. Surely they can’t all be bad? If anyone has had a particularly good or bad experience, I’d love to hear it. (You can email me at dashoff AT hotmail to keep this from derailing things too much.)Other gift suggestions I have for pre-school age children are Duplos and Play-Doh. My daughter can’t get enough of either one. If you need inexpensive niece/nephew gifts, Play-Doh is the way to go. You can buy huge packs of the stuff for cheap. Throw in some plastic cookie cutters and a toy rolling pin and you’re golden.

  36. I always give my mother, my mother-in-law, and myself each a year’s subscription to Canadian Living magazine. I used to only read it for the recipes and food info, now that I have a kid I appreciate the family stuff too.At various summer farmers’ markets I picked up some locally made handcreams, which Santa will give to my husband and mother-in-law, and a pair of fleecy PJs, which he will give to my daughter. And I bought two cool metal bookmarks at an orchestra fundraiser, so those will go to my parents (courtesy of Santa, of course).
    Many organizations are fundraising at this time of the year, so if anyone is stumped for gift ideas, check out what your community groups have to offer.

  37. I always give my mother, my mother-in-law, and myself each a year’s subscription to Canadian Living magazine. I used to only read it for the recipes and food info, now that I have a kid I appreciate the family stuff too.At various summer farmers’ markets I picked up some locally made handcreams, which Santa will give to my husband and mother-in-law, and a pair of fleecy PJs, which he will give to my daughter. And I bought two cool metal bookmarks at an orchestra fundraiser, so those will go to my parents (courtesy of Santa, of course).
    Many organizations are fundraising at this time of the year, so if anyone is stumped for gift ideas, check out what your community groups have to offer.

  38. I make popcorn a couple times a week since I don’t like the stuff in the microwave kind so the Whirly Pop is on my list.At this time of year, it seems so obvious that my kids and the younger cousins in the family already have too many toys. So we are taking a little different approach this year.
    For my SIL’s family which is having to really count pennies; we are getting them a family membership to the zoo in their town. All 3 kids will get a zoo/safari themed activity or coloring book to go with the membership.
    My 2.5 yr old looooves trains, so he is getting a couple wooden trains to go along with a family membership to the local railroad musuem.
    Actually I got the family plus membership so we can bring up to 4 guests. Another mom friend of mine got a family plus membership to the local nature & science musuem. We trade off taking each others families as guests. So both families have access to 2 museums but only pay for 1 membership. For only $80/year, I consider that quite a bargain.

  39. I make popcorn a couple times a week since I don’t like the stuff in the microwave kind so the Whirly Pop is on my list.At this time of year, it seems so obvious that my kids and the younger cousins in the family already have too many toys. So we are taking a little different approach this year.
    For my SIL’s family which is having to really count pennies; we are getting them a family membership to the zoo in their town. All 3 kids will get a zoo/safari themed activity or coloring book to go with the membership.
    My 2.5 yr old looooves trains, so he is getting a couple wooden trains to go along with a family membership to the local railroad musuem.
    Actually I got the family plus membership so we can bring up to 4 guests. Another mom friend of mine got a family plus membership to the local nature & science musuem. We trade off taking each others families as guests. So both families have access to 2 museums but only pay for 1 membership. For only $80/year, I consider that quite a bargain.

  40. You asked for suggestions on fiction. I have just gotten back into my lifelong love affair with reading (my littlest one is 15 months, so no, I don’t read at home, but I do get an hour for lunch each day, that I usually waste on mindless internet surfing. Now I read instead.)I love Sharon Shinn (fantasy). I have read her whole Samaria series, and am working on the first book of the Twelve Houses series. I love that I won’t be embarrassed when my kids want to start reading adult books because there has been no smut in these. They are romantic, and they make you think, and the story lines have been great. She creates whole worlds, that must be real in some parallel universe because she *makes* them so real. I don’t usually re-read fiction, but I have read the Samaria series twice.
    My DH is a great fan of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series (also fantasy). My DH and I both are fans of Sara Douglass’s Wayfarer Redemption series (still fantasy, can you see a pattern here?).
    Sharon Shinn and Sara Douglass would definitely be appropriate for teens that enjoy reading. I’m not sure about Terry Goodkind because I haven’t gotten into his books.

  41. You asked for suggestions on fiction. I have just gotten back into my lifelong love affair with reading (my littlest one is 15 months, so no, I don’t read at home, but I do get an hour for lunch each day, that I usually waste on mindless internet surfing. Now I read instead.)I love Sharon Shinn (fantasy). I have read her whole Samaria series, and am working on the first book of the Twelve Houses series. I love that I won’t be embarrassed when my kids want to start reading adult books because there has been no smut in these. They are romantic, and they make you think, and the story lines have been great. She creates whole worlds, that must be real in some parallel universe because she *makes* them so real. I don’t usually re-read fiction, but I have read the Samaria series twice.
    My DH is a great fan of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series (also fantasy). My DH and I both are fans of Sara Douglass’s Wayfarer Redemption series (still fantasy, can you see a pattern here?).
    Sharon Shinn and Sara Douglass would definitely be appropriate for teens that enjoy reading. I’m not sure about Terry Goodkind because I haven’t gotten into his books.

  42. Just a word of warning…if you’re going to get someone a gift certificate for a massage, it would be worth it to be sure that it’s something they would like. I would NEVER use it; the thought of a massage is horrifying to me. I know quite a few people like me as well, so I’m not a complete anomaly. Now, if you could pay someone to just stroke me like a purring kitten, or just sit and brush my hair for an hour while I watch a good TV show, then you’d have hit the jackpot.

  43. Just a word of warning…if you’re going to get someone a gift certificate for a massage, it would be worth it to be sure that it’s something they would like. I would NEVER use it; the thought of a massage is horrifying to me. I know quite a few people like me as well, so I’m not a complete anomaly. Now, if you could pay someone to just stroke me like a purring kitten, or just sit and brush my hair for an hour while I watch a good TV show, then you’d have hit the jackpot.

  44. I really adore the Cricket group of magazines (www.cricketmag.com), and not just cause I’ve been an editor there for years. They are not the cheapest kids’ mags out there, but they are ad-free, very high-quality, and keepsake-worthy. Many people hang on to their back issues for years and years. My 3-year-old son and his 5-year-old friend both love Click, which is mostly science and nature. It’s great to have something that feeds their curiosity about how the world works.

  45. I really adore the Cricket group of magazines (www.cricketmag.com), and not just cause I’ve been an editor there for years. They are not the cheapest kids’ mags out there, but they are ad-free, very high-quality, and keepsake-worthy. Many people hang on to their back issues for years and years. My 3-year-old son and his 5-year-old friend both love Click, which is mostly science and nature. It’s great to have something that feeds their curiosity about how the world works.

  46. Carmen, you don’t like massage?How is that possible?
    I really just can’t even imagine. Do you have issues with touching? Or is it just the type of massage, like deep-tissue or Swedish or shiatsu?

  47. Carmen, you don’t like massage?How is that possible?
    I really just can’t even imagine. Do you have issues with touching? Or is it just the type of massage, like deep-tissue or Swedish or shiatsu?

  48. No massages for me either. Totally freaks me out.The Reader has been made into a movie. If you haven’t read it and like to read a book before you see the movie, I’d recommend it. I read The Reader and Atonement in one weekend a few years ago. Not really a combination I’d recommend but both good
    (if dark) stories.

  49. No massages for me either. Totally freaks me out.The Reader has been made into a movie. If you haven’t read it and like to read a book before you see the movie, I’d recommend it. I read The Reader and Atonement in one weekend a few years ago. Not really a combination I’d recommend but both good
    (if dark) stories.

  50. I don’t any issues with touching – I love to be touched. It’s the massage itself that I find very very painful – tear-inducing even. Because I tense up so much in an effort to deal with the pain, it ends up being stress-inducing, not stress-relieving, for me. I would like the massage to be so light that it becomes just gentle rubbing, so paying someone $65 or more to lightly rub me seems a bit crazy. I don’t need someone with special training for that! The whole thing is a bit strange anyway, because I have a fairly high pain tolerance, although perhaps a low threshold.My friends that love massages are perplexed, just as you are, that I don’t like them. They cannot wrap their minds around that concept as it’s completely foreign to them. 🙂

  51. I don’t any issues with touching – I love to be touched. It’s the massage itself that I find very very painful – tear-inducing even. Because I tense up so much in an effort to deal with the pain, it ends up being stress-inducing, not stress-relieving, for me. I would like the massage to be so light that it becomes just gentle rubbing, so paying someone $65 or more to lightly rub me seems a bit crazy. I don’t need someone with special training for that! The whole thing is a bit strange anyway, because I have a fairly high pain tolerance, although perhaps a low threshold.My friends that love massages are perplexed, just as you are, that I don’t like them. They cannot wrap their minds around that concept as it’s completely foreign to them. 🙂

  52. i’ll give my annual fair trade suggestions:catholic relief services (both religious and non) has an online catalog (and yes, the chocolate truly is divine): http://www.serrv.org/default.aspx?source=F083
    and we discovered the group we buy from every year (love their handmade books!!) when they come to church and have a sale also has an online catalog (again, not religious): http://handcraftingjustice.cedris.org/
    i am so confused though, since we’re doing suggestions of what to give back, these may fall under that category, so i apologize if my sleep deprived brain isn’t catching on.
    we bought the pnut a used old-school radio flyer red metal tricycle of of craigslist for her 3rd bday this year…so far, no complaints! buy a helmet to go with it and you can’t go wrong!
    i would love really good book suggestions for a 3.5 year old who loves a good story…

  53. i’ll give my annual fair trade suggestions:catholic relief services (both religious and non) has an online catalog (and yes, the chocolate truly is divine): http://www.serrv.org/default.aspx?source=F083
    and we discovered the group we buy from every year (love their handmade books!!) when they come to church and have a sale also has an online catalog (again, not religious): http://handcraftingjustice.cedris.org/
    i am so confused though, since we’re doing suggestions of what to give back, these may fall under that category, so i apologize if my sleep deprived brain isn’t catching on.
    we bought the pnut a used old-school radio flyer red metal tricycle of of craigslist for her 3rd bday this year…so far, no complaints! buy a helmet to go with it and you can’t go wrong!
    i would love really good book suggestions for a 3.5 year old who loves a good story…

  54. We just got reintroduced to Tinker Toys for my 3 yr olds. Great! And not too expensive. I’m giving those to some of “their” friends. Doesn’t seem so plastic but still inexpensive and promotes creativity. Might suggest giving along with a nice plastic container for the parents so they have a way to store all the little pieces.For my boys, I’m really eyeing the marble tracks (I think Moxie mentioned one of those once which is what got me started looking at them). They are pretty pricey (for the nice ones). I’m thinking of getting one set for one of my twins but he’d be able to easily share it with his brother.
    For gift suggestions to give to relatives (won’t work for babies), I highly suggest Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars. Each one is under $2 so makes for a very inexpensive gift. Sadly, my boys have WAY TOO MANY but they are still so excited each time they get a new one.

  55. We just got reintroduced to Tinker Toys for my 3 yr olds. Great! And not too expensive. I’m giving those to some of “their” friends. Doesn’t seem so plastic but still inexpensive and promotes creativity. Might suggest giving along with a nice plastic container for the parents so they have a way to store all the little pieces.For my boys, I’m really eyeing the marble tracks (I think Moxie mentioned one of those once which is what got me started looking at them). They are pretty pricey (for the nice ones). I’m thinking of getting one set for one of my twins but he’d be able to easily share it with his brother.
    For gift suggestions to give to relatives (won’t work for babies), I highly suggest Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars. Each one is under $2 so makes for a very inexpensive gift. Sadly, my boys have WAY TOO MANY but they are still so excited each time they get a new one.

  56. also, this may cross over to the gifts that give back again (sorry!) but the national wildlife federation has all those good kids magazines, for ages baby to school-age http://www.nwf.org/magazines/ that we’re getting the pnut this year…i love giving consumable art supplies for kids, i try to pick up a ton of them at back-to-school time when they are being given away…
    ps, thanks for reminding me to get my list started, moxie!!!

  57. ITA with the huge praise for “The Week” magazine!! It’s such a quick read & the best synopsis of everything in print media. Makes me look “smartur & more naligibuhl” of world events than I really am. 😉 “Lucky” mag is good for my inner fashionista, without any of the vapid-mean-women-hating-women articles so common in women’s fashion rags. I’m also a subscriber to BHG, yes, the banana head group aka “Better Homes & Gardens.” Fun light fare, but note: do not actually bake any of their crap pie recipes – the pumpkin chocolate layer pie on the front page of the Nov issue tasted just awful! (The best recipes these days are free on Epicurious, IMHO.)For the Wii, I’m loving “Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock” and “Rayman Raving Rabbids,” which features crazed bunnies doing these hilarious, quirky games. It’s a great gift for both kids & adults who like to indulge their inner kid. DH is getting some old school arcade games available on the Wii – Tecmo Bowl, Pole Position, & Pac-Man.
    My book club has picked “Twilight” for next month’s selection (lots of hype, no s-e-eks = not one for me personally), but if a young gal age 8-108 on your list has been living in hole somewhere and hasn’t read it yet, she’ll probably dig it.
    For grown-ups, “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell is such a phenomenal & underrated book. Even though I thought I hated sci-fi, I loved it & still keep pondering it.
    I also looooved the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, which I was inspired to read after watching “True Blood” on HBO. Good campy/ gothic/ romance/ mystery /supernatural grown-up stuff – someone calls it k-literature if you catch my drift. “Dead Until Dark” is book one, baby!
    Personalized stationery makes a fun gift for someone who is obsessive about handwritten notes. Tiny Prints (online) does some cute & relatively affordable ones; Crane’s does more po$h ones.
    DH would like a ginormous flat panel HDTV – Pioneer Kuro 60″ to be exact. I think Santa is going to bring him a nice snow blob instead & hope he doesn’t notice! 😉
    DS just turned one so he’s getting some fun cardboard boxes wrapped in cute paper from the Dollar Store. Yipee!
    My dad’s getting a Hollies Greatest Hits CD, by request. I love that 60s sound. My mom’s getting Tweezerman tweezers, also by request/constantly borrowing mine. Best ever, used by drag queens & makeup artists everywhere – they get those teeny tiny hairs & have a lifetime guarantee. Without them, I’d have hobbit feet and a unibrow for sure.
    For my “Secret Secular Gift Giver” exchange, I’m going to Target for those fancy-looking $10 boxed candles that smells like passionfruit.
    Enuf conspicuous consumption from me! Retail therapy is no good at all.

  58. I want to give a plug for the XO laptop. My husband did the “Buy One Give One” after seeing it on 60 Minutes. He uses the little laptop like a radio: we can get almost any station on the internet. Besides that, there’s iTunes and Pandora. If you hook the XO into some moderate speakers, it’s totally worthwhile. It’s a marvelous way to get the BBC or NPR shows that you’ve missed.

  59. I want to give a plug for the XO laptop. My husband did the “Buy One Give One” after seeing it on 60 Minutes. He uses the little laptop like a radio: we can get almost any station on the internet. Besides that, there’s iTunes and Pandora. If you hook the XO into some moderate speakers, it’s totally worthwhile. It’s a marvelous way to get the BBC or NPR shows that you’ve missed.

  60. Gifts I’ve loved in the past few years, that I imagine other moms would like, are (1) fancy baby/kids clothes (like from speesees) that I would never buy, and (2) a gift certificate to Picture People or someplace like it for cheesy but great professional pictures of the kiddos. I have also really appreciated gift certificates that I can use to buy clothes for myself as my size has fluctuated.For the kids, I think costumes are a great gift; inexpensive pop up tents and tunnels have also been a big hit at my house. The best though, I think, is tickets to live performances. I wish I could do so much more of that kind of thing with my kids but it’s so expensive.
    Also, my mom gave me a subscription to The Week and I love it too!
    And, just another data point here, I too would get no utility from a gift certificate for a massage. I got one once, at a company thing where I did not have to pay for it, and thought it was fine. But I would not give up a minute of my precious precious free time to get another one.

  61. Gifts I’ve loved in the past few years, that I imagine other moms would like, are (1) fancy baby/kids clothes (like from speesees) that I would never buy, and (2) a gift certificate to Picture People or someplace like it for cheesy but great professional pictures of the kiddos. I have also really appreciated gift certificates that I can use to buy clothes for myself as my size has fluctuated.For the kids, I think costumes are a great gift; inexpensive pop up tents and tunnels have also been a big hit at my house. The best though, I think, is tickets to live performances. I wish I could do so much more of that kind of thing with my kids but it’s so expensive.
    Also, my mom gave me a subscription to The Week and I love it too!
    And, just another data point here, I too would get no utility from a gift certificate for a massage. I got one once, at a company thing where I did not have to pay for it, and thought it was fine. But I would not give up a minute of my precious precious free time to get another one.

  62. @pnuts mama- some stories off the top of my head that my kids loved at that age, and still love at 6 and 8 yrs, boy and girl, are Olivia books; Blueberries For Sal; Muncha Muncha Muncha; Beatrix Potter stories; the Polar Express; anything by Eric Carle; In The Small, Small Pond; Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Click, Clack, Moo; and The Little Engine That Could. Just to name a few.I’m totally blank of ideas for any of my kids this year. I looovveee having the tree overflowing with oodles of presents and all the magic and excitement of Christmas Morning, but they already have soooo muuuch stuuuff… especially the older ones, and the poor little 2 yr. old gets to have everything passed down to her, so has double everything she will ever need.
    I really want to get them something really special, and lasting, and magical, and fun, and meaningful; something they’ll treasure and that will endure, but I’m starting to think that’s not really possible. CPC can be really magical and fun, but I so don’t want to go there.
    It just occurred to me that I may be paraphrasing a post I wrote last year on this very subject… oh well, here we go again…

  63. @pnuts mama- some stories off the top of my head that my kids loved at that age, and still love at 6 and 8 yrs, boy and girl, are Olivia books; Blueberries For Sal; Muncha Muncha Muncha; Beatrix Potter stories; the Polar Express; anything by Eric Carle; In The Small, Small Pond; Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Click, Clack, Moo; and The Little Engine That Could. Just to name a few.I’m totally blank of ideas for any of my kids this year. I looovveee having the tree overflowing with oodles of presents and all the magic and excitement of Christmas Morning, but they already have soooo muuuch stuuuff… especially the older ones, and the poor little 2 yr. old gets to have everything passed down to her, so has double everything she will ever need.
    I really want to get them something really special, and lasting, and magical, and fun, and meaningful; something they’ll treasure and that will endure, but I’m starting to think that’s not really possible. CPC can be really magical and fun, but I so don’t want to go there.
    It just occurred to me that I may be paraphrasing a post I wrote last year on this very subject… oh well, here we go again…

  64. My just turned two-years-old son received a set of these for his birthday and loves them. I love them too, no breaking, no requests for “paper off”, and non-toxic. He calls them his “drawing rocks”.http://www.crayonrocks.net/
    He is also very into floor puzzles which I frequently find inexpensively on craigslist or children’s resale shops.
    For the poster above, looking for trikes we have the Kettler Air Navigator:
    http://www.amazon.com/Kettler-Kettrike-Air-Navigator-Trike/dp/B000FOHM2U/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1227206490&sr=8-1
    It is expensive, but well worth it for our bumpy urban sidewalks. I considered it an investment as we are hoping for 3 – 4 kids and want something that will last through them all.

  65. My just turned two-years-old son received a set of these for his birthday and loves them. I love them too, no breaking, no requests for “paper off”, and non-toxic. He calls them his “drawing rocks”.http://www.crayonrocks.net/
    He is also very into floor puzzles which I frequently find inexpensively on craigslist or children’s resale shops.
    For the poster above, looking for trikes we have the Kettler Air Navigator:
    http://www.amazon.com/Kettler-Kettrike-Air-Navigator-Trike/dp/B000FOHM2U/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1227206490&sr=8-1
    It is expensive, but well worth it for our bumpy urban sidewalks. I considered it an investment as we are hoping for 3 – 4 kids and want something that will last through them all.

  66. @ pnuts mama: I am very into “collected stories of” books–we a lot of mileage out of them. We have the original 7 Curious George in one volume (my kids also love some of the other books HA Rey wrote/illustrated, like “Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys” and “Katie No-Pocket”), Make Way for McCloskey (The Robert McCloskey picture books–Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Lentil, One More in Maine, & others), and the collected George and Martha books by James Marshall.At age 3.5…Kevin Henkes was big around here. The Mercy Watson series (by Kate DiCamillo) is meant to be easy reading, but if the adult reads it a 3 year old can totally understand the plot. Age 4 we started with Zelda and Ivy books.
    For some reason my daughter never took to them, but I love books by Leo Lionni. She prefers William Steig (Dr. DeSoto and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble are particular favorites), but I think they can be a little dark if your child is particularly sensitive (mine is pretty oblivious).

  67. @ pnuts mama: I am very into “collected stories of” books–we a lot of mileage out of them. We have the original 7 Curious George in one volume (my kids also love some of the other books HA Rey wrote/illustrated, like “Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys” and “Katie No-Pocket”), Make Way for McCloskey (The Robert McCloskey picture books–Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Lentil, One More in Maine, & others), and the collected George and Martha books by James Marshall.At age 3.5…Kevin Henkes was big around here. The Mercy Watson series (by Kate DiCamillo) is meant to be easy reading, but if the adult reads it a 3 year old can totally understand the plot. Age 4 we started with Zelda and Ivy books.
    For some reason my daughter never took to them, but I love books by Leo Lionni. She prefers William Steig (Dr. DeSoto and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble are particular favorites), but I think they can be a little dark if your child is particularly sensitive (mine is pretty oblivious).

  68. Yes, yes to the Cricket magazines. We’ve been getting BabyBug for awhile and we all love it. They get re-read a lot. This year, we will be getting BabyBug for the baby and moving the toddler up to LadyBug.No ads and they are sturdy enough to withstand repeated readings, but disposable enough that if you leave one on the train, it’s okay. Also light and small enough for a diaper bag.

  69. Yes, yes to the Cricket magazines. We’ve been getting BabyBug for awhile and we all love it. They get re-read a lot. This year, we will be getting BabyBug for the baby and moving the toddler up to LadyBug.No ads and they are sturdy enough to withstand repeated readings, but disposable enough that if you leave one on the train, it’s okay. Also light and small enough for a diaper bag.

  70. Long time reader, first time poster. Trying to promote my little Etsy shop..moonblossomdesigns.etsy.com
    I make beaded jewelry– different styles. But my main feature is nursing bracelets. Made from semi-precious gemstones, they are a practical reminder in a elegant design. Four beads between twelve silver numbers make up the clock. Each bead represents 15 minutes. Move the charm between the beads to mark the previous or next nursing time. A great gift for baby showers or new moms!
    Thanks.
    Oh, I am in love with board games for gifts. Yahtzee and backgammon are favorites.

  71. Long time reader, first time poster. Trying to promote my little Etsy shop..moonblossomdesigns.etsy.com
    I make beaded jewelry– different styles. But my main feature is nursing bracelets. Made from semi-precious gemstones, they are a practical reminder in a elegant design. Four beads between twelve silver numbers make up the clock. Each bead represents 15 minutes. Move the charm between the beads to mark the previous or next nursing time. A great gift for baby showers or new moms!
    Thanks.
    Oh, I am in love with board games for gifts. Yahtzee and backgammon are favorites.

  72. i volunteer a few hours a week at a daycare, and when i was there this week the 3 year olds were playing with mr. potato heads… and i noticed they came in buckets! quick search shows that a bucket has three potato bodies and 30 parts. now i know what i’ll be giving my sister’s 4, 3 and 2.5 year olds as a group gift. (the two older are her step-children, for those of you who notice the closeness in age of the two youngest)

  73. i volunteer a few hours a week at a daycare, and when i was there this week the 3 year olds were playing with mr. potato heads… and i noticed they came in buckets! quick search shows that a bucket has three potato bodies and 30 parts. now i know what i’ll be giving my sister’s 4, 3 and 2.5 year olds as a group gift. (the two older are her step-children, for those of you who notice the closeness in age of the two youngest)

  74. I’m only starting to think about Christmas. I hate the whole gifting-on-demand thing, so I often don’t do so well at gifts this time of year. Last year I mostly gave handmade and that made me happy, but I don’t know about this year. Oh well. Luckily there is still time!I do have an etsy shop:
    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5102267
    It’s cards, felt clutches (that are ideal for tampons and pads I only just realized!), and my book of poetry.
    And what I’ll do, is if you are a moxie reader, I’ll give you 10% off if you buy one item if you put ‘moxie’ in the seller’s notes and will refund you via paypal. If you buy two, the first item will be full price, but the second will be 50% off. This spur of the moment sale will end Sunday night.

  75. I’m only starting to think about Christmas. I hate the whole gifting-on-demand thing, so I often don’t do so well at gifts this time of year. Last year I mostly gave handmade and that made me happy, but I don’t know about this year. Oh well. Luckily there is still time!I do have an etsy shop:
    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5102267
    It’s cards, felt clutches (that are ideal for tampons and pads I only just realized!), and my book of poetry.
    And what I’ll do, is if you are a moxie reader, I’ll give you 10% off if you buy one item if you put ‘moxie’ in the seller’s notes and will refund you via paypal. If you buy two, the first item will be full price, but the second will be 50% off. This spur of the moment sale will end Sunday night.

  76. Funny you should ask…I blogged about my favorite guilty pleasure today: GLAMOUR MAGAZINE!!! Love it, love it.I like to buy the Philosophy Body Wash Travel Size packs and split them up to give to several friends. One of those plus some homemade cookies equals a great gift!
    We get our nephew something from Personal Creations each year on his birthday. He loves his step-stool, beach towel, sleeping bag and coat rack that are all personalized with his name.
    http://www.personalcreations.com/home.asp?referr=ls&cmpid=linkshare

  77. Funny you should ask…I blogged about my favorite guilty pleasure today: GLAMOUR MAGAZINE!!! Love it, love it.I like to buy the Philosophy Body Wash Travel Size packs and split them up to give to several friends. One of those plus some homemade cookies equals a great gift!
    We get our nephew something from Personal Creations each year on his birthday. He loves his step-stool, beach towel, sleeping bag and coat rack that are all personalized with his name.
    http://www.personalcreations.com/home.asp?referr=ls&cmpid=linkshare

  78. @Mo, which marble runs have you found that you like? I’m looking for one that’s complex enough to retain the kid’s interest but compact enough to fit in our smallish apartment and T’s largeish-but-filled-with-toys room…

  79. @Mo, which marble runs have you found that you like? I’m looking for one that’s complex enough to retain the kid’s interest but compact enough to fit in our smallish apartment and T’s largeish-but-filled-with-toys room…

  80. dudes…that is so cool that so many of you have etsy shops!! i love me some etsy!!!thanks for the book ideas, taking notes and filling my amazon basket!!

  81. dudes…that is so cool that so many of you have etsy shops!! i love me some etsy!!!thanks for the book ideas, taking notes and filling my amazon basket!!

  82. Oh my God Hush. How did you know my weakness for cute baby sweaters?!!!! So cute and WAY cheaper than the Hanna Anderson one I’ve been not so subtly pushing for. THX!!

  83. Oh my God Hush. How did you know my weakness for cute baby sweaters?!!!! So cute and WAY cheaper than the Hanna Anderson one I’ve been not so subtly pushing for. THX!!

  84. @Lisa – the one I’ve seen that looks nice (i.e., simple wood) is at KangarooBoo and is called the First Playing Ball Track Set by Haba (there are also add-on pieces you could add or other can get as a separate gift).Book ideas for preschoolers – my boys like the whole Mr. Putter & Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant. She also has does the fun Mudge series. I personally prefer the Mr Putter series (although I like both) as the Mr Putter ones actually make me laugh while reading them and they can be quite fun to read outload. The Mr Putter makes Soup one is really funny to read. These also turn into read-on-your books once the kids get older (they are soft back, paper books so they are also not too expensive). We also like King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. Other books that are fun (don’t really promote reading but are fun to do together) are the I Spy books. I just added Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons to our collection – LOVE IT and what it says (I also like every other Amy Krouse Rosenthal book out there).

  85. @Lisa – the one I’ve seen that looks nice (i.e., simple wood) is at KangarooBoo and is called the First Playing Ball Track Set by Haba (there are also add-on pieces you could add or other can get as a separate gift).Book ideas for preschoolers – my boys like the whole Mr. Putter & Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant. She also has does the fun Mudge series. I personally prefer the Mr Putter series (although I like both) as the Mr Putter ones actually make me laugh while reading them and they can be quite fun to read outload. The Mr Putter makes Soup one is really funny to read. These also turn into read-on-your books once the kids get older (they are soft back, paper books so they are also not too expensive). We also like King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. Other books that are fun (don’t really promote reading but are fun to do together) are the I Spy books. I just added Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons to our collection – LOVE IT and what it says (I also like every other Amy Krouse Rosenthal book out there).

  86. You asked, I deliver. I want someone to pay me to come up with gifts for people.Fair Trade Gifts (and chocolate)
    Callpod – products for the gadget collectors
    Giant Microbes – the only time someone will thank you for giving them syphillis…
    Felicitea – custom tea blends. Pricey but very personal
    Grameen Foundation – give the gift of a microcredit loan
    Little Hero Capes – these just rock
    Martina’s Creative Toyshop – because the kids really just want to play with cardboard boxes.
    My Boulangerie – Frenchie-goodies delivered to the recipients home
    REProduct Greeting Cards – Zero waste cards
    EmergeGlobal @ Etsy – jewelry that makes a difference in the lives of Sri Lankan women

  87. You asked, I deliver. I want someone to pay me to come up with gifts for people.Fair Trade Gifts (and chocolate)
    Callpod – products for the gadget collectors
    Giant Microbes – the only time someone will thank you for giving them syphillis…
    Felicitea – custom tea blends. Pricey but very personal
    Grameen Foundation – give the gift of a microcredit loan
    Little Hero Capes – these just rock
    Martina’s Creative Toyshop – because the kids really just want to play with cardboard boxes.
    My Boulangerie – Frenchie-goodies delivered to the recipients home
    REProduct Greeting Cards – Zero waste cards
    EmergeGlobal @ Etsy – jewelry that makes a difference in the lives of Sri Lankan women

  88. So, books:-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson– it’s a newly-translated thriller from Sweden, and let me tell you, IT’S WONDERFUL and much more interesting, character-wise and in every other way, than thrillers ever are (it’s the first part of a trilogy, although it stands alone perfectly — I’ve read them all but don’t think the second two will come out in English for awhile).
    -Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War — OK, so it’s non-fiction, but WOW. The best popular history I’ve read in years. What a great read, what a fascinating time — particularly enjoyed it right now around Thanksgiving.
    -The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, although it doesn’t have many women characters and that’s usually something I look for in modern fiction especially. But read the author’s notes at the back first.

  89. So, books:-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson– it’s a newly-translated thriller from Sweden, and let me tell you, IT’S WONDERFUL and much more interesting, character-wise and in every other way, than thrillers ever are (it’s the first part of a trilogy, although it stands alone perfectly — I’ve read them all but don’t think the second two will come out in English for awhile).
    -Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War — OK, so it’s non-fiction, but WOW. The best popular history I’ve read in years. What a great read, what a fascinating time — particularly enjoyed it right now around Thanksgiving.
    -The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, although it doesn’t have many women characters and that’s usually something I look for in modern fiction especially. But read the author’s notes at the back first.

  90. Because I am a selfless and helpful person, I would like to volunteer to take any massage gift certificates off the hands of any of you massage-haters. Just remember: I’m doing this for you, not for me.Seriously, if I could get a massage every day, I would.

  91. Because I am a selfless and helpful person, I would like to volunteer to take any massage gift certificates off the hands of any of you massage-haters. Just remember: I’m doing this for you, not for me.Seriously, if I could get a massage every day, I would.

  92. @Rachel, we LOVE Click here! And still like reading the old Baby Bugs and Ladybugs.For my son, science kits, easel, Brady Brady hockey books, and some kind of building kit.

  93. @Rachel, we LOVE Click here! And still like reading the old Baby Bugs and Ladybugs.For my son, science kits, easel, Brady Brady hockey books, and some kind of building kit.

  94. Snopes calls this Gift Card issue “partly true.”http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/bankruptcies.asp
    LOVE the book suggestions!
    The gift I’m in love with for 14-month-old Bean is the Sansa Shaker, a little MP3 player with a built-in speaker that he just has to shake to change songs. $25-ish bucks.
    Trying to get all the adults to do no gifts, or donations. Wine is always welcome, as well. 🙂

  95. Snopes calls this Gift Card issue “partly true.”http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/bankruptcies.asp
    LOVE the book suggestions!
    The gift I’m in love with for 14-month-old Bean is the Sansa Shaker, a little MP3 player with a built-in speaker that he just has to shake to change songs. $25-ish bucks.
    Trying to get all the adults to do no gifts, or donations. Wine is always welcome, as well. 🙂

  96. I’ll second the recommendation for The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It’s an amazing book, even if you’re not into sci fi. A great choice for a book group – lots to discuss.I love Vanity Fair magazine. Guilty pleasure, great photos, and investigative journalism, all in one place.

  97. I’ll second the recommendation for The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It’s an amazing book, even if you’re not into sci fi. A great choice for a book group – lots to discuss.I love Vanity Fair magazine. Guilty pleasure, great photos, and investigative journalism, all in one place.

  98. More to the love for the Cricket mags, although I have noticed some subtle sexism in the Click” that we got for my daughter. It has many aspects to recommend it though.She also loves her subscription to National Geographic for Little Kids. Pictures! Games! Animal cards! Fun!
    I also love Brain Child, and Bitch magazines.

  99. More to the love for the Cricket mags, although I have noticed some subtle sexism in the Click” that we got for my daughter. It has many aspects to recommend it though.She also loves her subscription to National Geographic for Little Kids. Pictures! Games! Animal cards! Fun!
    I also love Brain Child, and Bitch magazines.

  100. My mom embroiders pillowcases with initials and such…personal AND useful. I’m a big fan of useful. This year hubby and mom are both getting sneakers, I think. I have given to charity in year’s past and noted it in Christmas cards to members of the extended family that I sometimes buy for. It’s basically a “here’s your card and (insert charity here) thanks you for a donation made in your name.” Feedback was mixed! For those of you who want to support independent online businesses but aren’t into all things crafty, check out my mom’s astrology store. She does personal charts, relationship charts, kid charts and yearly forecasts. She’s currently advertising on AskMoxie’s front page! http://www.astrotalker.com. She thanks you!

  101. My mom embroiders pillowcases with initials and such…personal AND useful. I’m a big fan of useful. This year hubby and mom are both getting sneakers, I think. I have given to charity in year’s past and noted it in Christmas cards to members of the extended family that I sometimes buy for. It’s basically a “here’s your card and (insert charity here) thanks you for a donation made in your name.” Feedback was mixed! For those of you who want to support independent online businesses but aren’t into all things crafty, check out my mom’s astrology store. She does personal charts, relationship charts, kid charts and yearly forecasts. She’s currently advertising on AskMoxie’s front page! http://www.astrotalker.com. She thanks you!

  102. Adult/young adult book suggestion:Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn.
    Moxie, it is right up your alley! In a fictional town there is a statue honoring the memory of the man who created the famous sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. But, the letters on the statue start to come off… so the town council interprets it that the great man has decided that the letter is no longer valuable or needed, in fact it is banned! So, one by one, letters are banned from speech and written communications, (people in town face harsh penalties if they disobey this rule). It is a novel told in letters between two women. Read the title again, pronounced LMNOP. A great read; wish I could say I won’t reveal the ending but, actually, I haven’t been able to find time to finish it yet. But I am raving about how terrific it is so far! It is in paperback.
    PS: You won’t regret getting “The Week” magazine, too!

  103. Adult/young adult book suggestion:Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn.
    Moxie, it is right up your alley! In a fictional town there is a statue honoring the memory of the man who created the famous sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. But, the letters on the statue start to come off… so the town council interprets it that the great man has decided that the letter is no longer valuable or needed, in fact it is banned! So, one by one, letters are banned from speech and written communications, (people in town face harsh penalties if they disobey this rule). It is a novel told in letters between two women. Read the title again, pronounced LMNOP. A great read; wish I could say I won’t reveal the ending but, actually, I haven’t been able to find time to finish it yet. But I am raving about how terrific it is so far! It is in paperback.
    PS: You won’t regret getting “The Week” magazine, too!

  104. Adult/young adult book suggestion:Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn.
    Moxie, it is right up your alley! In a fictional town there is a statue honoring the memory of the man who created the famous sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. But, the letters on the statue start to come off… so the town council interprets it that the great man has decided that the letter is no longer valuable or needed, in fact it is banned! So, one by one, letters are banned from speech and written communications, (people in town face harsh penalties if they disobey this rule). It is a novel told in letters between two women. Read the title again, pronounced LMNOP. A great read; wish I could say I won’t reveal the ending but, actually, I haven’t been able to find time to finish it yet. But I am raving about how terrific it is so far! It is in paperback.
    PS: You won’t regret getting “The Week” magazine, too!

  105. Oh, one negative thing about “The Week” is that in their small “strange but true” or “good news/bad news” sections, they almost always have what the fake news story will be for the NPR news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Just fair warning if you’re also a “Wait Wait” fan… (and, if you’re not, podcast it because it is laugh out loud funny and also a bit of news)

  106. Oh, one negative thing about “The Week” is that in their small “strange but true” or “good news/bad news” sections, they almost always have what the fake news story will be for the NPR news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Just fair warning if you’re also a “Wait Wait” fan… (and, if you’re not, podcast it because it is laugh out loud funny and also a bit of news)

  107. Oh, one negative thing about “The Week” is that in their small “strange but true” or “good news/bad news” sections, they almost always have what the fake news story will be for the NPR news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Just fair warning if you’re also a “Wait Wait” fan… (and, if you’re not, podcast it because it is laugh out loud funny and also a bit of news)

  108. @pnuts mama, start looking for fun chapter books too! There are some super-nice illustrated editions of classic books. We did Winnie the Pooh, Wizard of Oz (get the facsimile 1900 edition from Books of Wonder if you can), and Alice in Wonderland, multiple times each before Mouse turned 4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a little later.For picture books, I find “When the Sky Is Like Lace” by Elinor Horwitz to be absolutely magical; look for fairy tales illustrated by Paul Zelinsky if she has any princess-related desires. They’re the original, non-Disneyfied versions and the illustrations are just unreal. There’s a Sleeping Beauty, a Rumpelstilskin, and a Rapunzel I think.

  109. @pnuts mama, start looking for fun chapter books too! There are some super-nice illustrated editions of classic books. We did Winnie the Pooh, Wizard of Oz (get the facsimile 1900 edition from Books of Wonder if you can), and Alice in Wonderland, multiple times each before Mouse turned 4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a little later.For picture books, I find “When the Sky Is Like Lace” by Elinor Horwitz to be absolutely magical; look for fairy tales illustrated by Paul Zelinsky if she has any princess-related desires. They’re the original, non-Disneyfied versions and the illustrations are just unreal. There’s a Sleeping Beauty, a Rumpelstilskin, and a Rapunzel I think.

  110. @Moxie, nothing shameful about non-fiction…but in case you’re looking for good fiction gifts:-Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in the past few years. Best aping of Jane Austen’s style I’ve seen, but essentially a Napoleonic Wars-era sci-fi book with magicians and the faerie world.
    -Neil Stephenson’s latest, Anathem, is much better and tighter than the System of the World trilogy, worth a look if you’ve been a fan but got turned off by that last 2700 page mess.
    -Also, I sometimes blush to mention this, but only Lisa knows who I actually am, right? I am a HUGE, obsessive fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. If you like amazing narrative, even if you don’t like fantasy in general, it’s a wonderwork. I bought the first one as a cheap paperback in an airport, grudgingly, because several friends had recommended it “even though they don’t normally like that sort of thing”…bought the second one immediately when I got home, bought the expensive paperback of the third because I couldn’t wait…and had the hardcover of the fourth on pre-order. Ditto the fifth, which is delayed and driving me bonkers with anticipation!
    -For a fantastic and strange American novel, try Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”–she was mostly a sci-fi writer (one of very few black women in the field) but this not really a sci-fi book. I believe it was Philly’s “one city, one book” book a couple years ago–it’s really cool.

  111. @Moxie, nothing shameful about non-fiction…but in case you’re looking for good fiction gifts:-Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in the past few years. Best aping of Jane Austen’s style I’ve seen, but essentially a Napoleonic Wars-era sci-fi book with magicians and the faerie world.
    -Neil Stephenson’s latest, Anathem, is much better and tighter than the System of the World trilogy, worth a look if you’ve been a fan but got turned off by that last 2700 page mess.
    -Also, I sometimes blush to mention this, but only Lisa knows who I actually am, right? I am a HUGE, obsessive fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. If you like amazing narrative, even if you don’t like fantasy in general, it’s a wonderwork. I bought the first one as a cheap paperback in an airport, grudgingly, because several friends had recommended it “even though they don’t normally like that sort of thing”…bought the second one immediately when I got home, bought the expensive paperback of the third because I couldn’t wait…and had the hardcover of the fourth on pre-order. Ditto the fifth, which is delayed and driving me bonkers with anticipation!
    -For a fantastic and strange American novel, try Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”–she was mostly a sci-fi writer (one of very few black women in the field) but this not really a sci-fi book. I believe it was Philly’s “one city, one book” book a couple years ago–it’s really cool.

  112. I second Brain, Child. Love it, great as a gift to new moms. I think they are running a subscription sale now.Carmen — have you tried Reiki? It’s like *fancy* touching. Really, it’s fantastic.
    Moxie and company — thanks so much for all of the great ideas! I can’t wait to look into the Cricket magazines, and my parents will love the Week.
    For the poster who mentioned personal stationery, I own a company that does this: http://www.wardrobe-stationery.com. Still not a fully interactive site (coming soon! so excited!!), but we are a small company and will turn a proof around for you lickety split. Mention Moxie and get free shipping.

  113. I second Brain, Child. Love it, great as a gift to new moms. I think they are running a subscription sale now.Carmen — have you tried Reiki? It’s like *fancy* touching. Really, it’s fantastic.
    Moxie and company — thanks so much for all of the great ideas! I can’t wait to look into the Cricket magazines, and my parents will love the Week.
    For the poster who mentioned personal stationery, I own a company that does this: http://www.wardrobe-stationery.com. Still not a fully interactive site (coming soon! so excited!!), but we are a small company and will turn a proof around for you lickety split. Mention Moxie and get free shipping.

  114. Holy moly. I’m so far behind. Granted, our finances are still behind due to the unemployment period.I need a nap, just looking at all the options. Good options, fabulous options, and the Moxie gear is going on my wish list…
    For lego, love lego, SOMEWHAT effective for management: http://www.box4blox.com/ We have two. They hold an absolutely INSANE amount of lego (and even some bionicle) parts. It’s reasonably easy to pick up and dump, shake, and disassemble to sort. The big issue is just getting them to the pick-up-and-dump part. Granted, we not only have 11 years of lego or so, for two boys, we also have the original lego from their dad. Seriously. We’re awash in lego. And we’ll keep getting it, because they keep building really cool shit out of it. It’s an active toy. (And I also don’t fret too much if some parts get vacuumed up, either – they never make the box item twice, so if there’s a part missing, generally they just find something else creative to work in that spot.)
    Train tables are also reasonably good at keeping lego from drifting.
    This year, not sure what they’re getting. Books are taking over the house to the same degree lego does (there aren’t enough bookshelves. or walls. or boxes, bins, buckets, containers).
    Someone give me a bigger house for Christmas?

  115. Holy moly. I’m so far behind. Granted, our finances are still behind due to the unemployment period.I need a nap, just looking at all the options. Good options, fabulous options, and the Moxie gear is going on my wish list…
    For lego, love lego, SOMEWHAT effective for management: http://www.box4blox.com/ We have two. They hold an absolutely INSANE amount of lego (and even some bionicle) parts. It’s reasonably easy to pick up and dump, shake, and disassemble to sort. The big issue is just getting them to the pick-up-and-dump part. Granted, we not only have 11 years of lego or so, for two boys, we also have the original lego from their dad. Seriously. We’re awash in lego. And we’ll keep getting it, because they keep building really cool shit out of it. It’s an active toy. (And I also don’t fret too much if some parts get vacuumed up, either – they never make the box item twice, so if there’s a part missing, generally they just find something else creative to work in that spot.)
    Train tables are also reasonably good at keeping lego from drifting.
    This year, not sure what they’re getting. Books are taking over the house to the same degree lego does (there aren’t enough bookshelves. or walls. or boxes, bins, buckets, containers).
    Someone give me a bigger house for Christmas?

  116. Two items that I personally own and love and that I am giving to a wide variety of people this year are1. These reusable shopping bags.
    http://www.envirosax.com/products/graphic_series/#botanica . Pretty, practical and green. If you do a froogle search you can find the pouch sets for less and you can also slit up the sets to make smaller gifts. I don’t think there is an adult female on my list that isn’t getting at least one.
    2. Sigg bottles. They are my favorite unisex young/old all purpose gift this year.
    http://www.mysigg.com/index.asp

  117. Hi pals,Here is smith and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some exciting news that Safety Direct is the leading supplier of health, safety and hygiene products in Ireland with over two decades of experience in sourcing and providing quality, reliable products.
    cheers,
    Personal Protection,Protective Workwear,Corporate & Service Wear,Aerosols & Precision Cleaning,Storage, Handling & Access,Fasteners & Fixings,Power Tools & Machines,Tool Kits, Cases, Tool Boxes,Footwear,Gloves,Fire Protection

  118. For a popcorn maker, I would totally recommend this one that works in the microwave:http://www.mendingshed.com/pcmp.html
    It air-pops loose popcorn (1/3 cup for 3 minutes = 1 bowl) and then you can do what you like with it–butter, salt, or not. So cheap! Healthy! Doesn’t take up a lot of space.
    Cook’s Illustrated recommended it, and they were so right.
    They also recommended this one, which is now a little cheaper (don’t know how shipping works out though), but I don’t own it:
    http://www.nordicware.com/store/products/detail/popcorn-popper/2265E7B0-7C89-102A-B382-0002B3267AD7

  119. I’m very into giving magazines. My FIL gets Sports Illustrated every year, one of my nieces gets Ranger Rick (which I got myself for years from an aunt). I use Christmas to renew my husband’s National Geographic and a few years ago convinced his mother to get my Mother Earth News instead of a multipack of bath supplies. Its not that I didn’t like the soap but I don’t get the time for a lot of baths so the bubble bath always got used by my daughter.I’m also big on books and calendars. everyone needs a calendar for the new year. I buy these at the university bookstore at the end of the season when they have a huge 25% off everything in the store sale. I buy the uni sweatshirt/tshirt for whoever is on deck as well–I seem to rotate that around the fathers. That way by the time the old one has worn out, he gets an new one.

  120. Moxie, I’m thrilled that you have a Cafepress shop! One suggestion for another adult shirt: “By any means necessary”, maybe with a Malcolm X fist and a sleeping baby? 🙂 I would have to wear that shirt every day!

  121. I received an email from Anne Taylor Loft, who was on that list of stores closing, and they called the list a “hoax to scare consumers away from purchasing gift cards.”The email list is correct about Linens N Things, though, they are going out of business and will probably not be open past the end of the year. I don’t think LNT is selling gift cards anymore though.

  122. @pnuts mama: my 3 yr old daughter can’t get enough of anything by Robert Munsch. My favorite thing about his stories is that he’s fun to read when you’re an adult and required to read the same book 6 times in succession. If you don’t know RM, a great place to start is with the Munschworks Grand Treasury (http://www.amazon.com/Munschworks-Grand-Treasury-Robert-Munsch/dp/1550376853/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227321084&sr=8-1). It has a nice selection of his older and newer stuff. A personal favorite of mine is “Something Good”. I tear up every time I read it.As for what we’re going to give. My daughter got the Plan Toys wooden dollhouse for her birthday (two weeks ago) so we’ll probably get her a couple of rooms worth of furniture. Apart from that probably some new books and some ‘craft’ supplies (stickers, glitter, sequins etc).
    I have a 6yr old niece and 3yr old nephew. They have a huge finished basement playroom in their house and we were thinking Crazy Forts (http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/toys/Crazy-Forts-by-Crazy-Forts/827912037234-item.html?ref=Toys%3aSection%3aNew+%26+Hot%3a1). If you haven’t seen this it’s kind of like tinker toys that you assemble and put a sheet over to make a fort in the house. I think it’s very cool and would get it for my DD too but our 800 sq feet wouldn’t accommodate it.

  123. Since the December issue of Mothering magazine just came out w/ their big article on toxins in toys and their best natural toys of 2008, I got reminded what my original plan for dds toy supply was & decided to act upon it. I gave away anything that I did not really want her to have & decided not to buy her the Fisher-Price talking kitchen & living room set for 6 – 36 months for Christmas, but instead take that money and buy her natural, open-ended toys. So, she is getting a set of rainbow stacking bowls, a yellow Nicki baby doll, a set of small wooden cubes, a set of baby-sized rainbow playsilks, and some fabric play food. DH and I decided to give natural or etsy-bought toys for all the kids this year, too. I am totally 100% digging the following toy sites: http://www.oompa.com http://www.threesisterstoys.com and http://www.atoygarden.comI really like Entertainment Weekly, but my sub is about to run out. Thankfully, my mom gets it, too, so she will save them for me 🙂 I have a couple other subs, but my new ones for next year are going to be Mothering and Adoptive Families b/c these are my 2 favourite parenting magazines.
    I order things from etsy all the time and love it! Here is my brand-new, barely stocked lil store. I make non-babyish baby blankets and lovies: http://noob.etsy.com

  124. For someone who likes to cook (and/or garden), a rosemary plant shaped into a Christmas tree is a great gift. It makes a great holiday decoration, smells wonderful, the herb can be used in cooking, and you can plant outside in the spring (or sooner, depending on where you live). I just got one at Home Depot, but I have heard they can be found in Whole Foods/grocery stores this time of year.

  125. Lego lovers, do you know about that Lego storage device where you pour all your legos in and it sorts them and stores them? So cool!

  126. ** TickleMe Plant – It Moves **A great green low cost gift that will make everyone smile is to grow a TickleMe Plant and watch it MOVE when Tickled! The leaves quickly fold and even the branches droop when tickled. I found this to be a great stress reliever in my office and what a conversation piece!. You may have seen the TickleMe Plant in the botanical gardens.. Now it can be grown indoors year round.
    No green thumb needed. I found it on line at http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  127. ** TickleMe Plant – It Moves **A great green low cost gift that will make everyone smile is to grow a TickleMe Plant and watch it MOVE when Tickled! The leaves quickly fold and even the branches droop when tickled. I found this to be a great stress reliever in my office and what a conversation piece!. You may have seen the TickleMe Plant in the botanical gardens.. Now it can be grown indoors year round.
    No green thumb needed. I found it on line at http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  128. I love Moxie!I am asking for books this year for my 8 month old. She loves to be read to but I’m getting a bit tired of the same old books I have already….
    I have an etsy store but the jewelry I sell is not for kids! All moxie readers will get 10% off orders placed before December 18th. Just mention this comment in the note to seller and I will refund the 10%.
    Happy holidays!

  129. I love Moxie!I am asking for books this year for my 8 month old. She loves to be read to but I’m getting a bit tired of the same old books I have already….
    I have an etsy store but the jewelry I sell is not for kids! All moxie readers will get 10% off orders placed before December 18th. Just mention this comment in the note to seller and I will refund the 10%.
    Happy holidays!

  130. About 3/4 of the way through “Reading the OED” right now, and it is just a joy to read. But of course now I want to read the OED itself….

  131. About 3/4 of the way through “Reading the OED” right now, and it is just a joy to read. But of course now I want to read the OED itself….

  132. Thank you for spreading the word of Etsy :o)My shop is http://www.SzetoBaby.etsy.com and I sell first and foremost Reminder Bracelets for new mommies. It is an original five minute interval design that helps you to track when baby was last fed (nursed or bottle fed), had her diaper changed, went down for a nap, woke up from a nap, took medicine, etc!
    I also sell adjustable tethers to convert any napkin, cloth or blanket into a bib or nursing cover!
    There’s lots more so please mosey over to my shop if you’re in the market for some innovative Tools + Jewels for Mom & Baby!
    http://www.SzetoBaby.etsy.com
    Sincerely,
    Christine

  133. Thank you for spreading the word of Etsy :o)My shop is http://www.SzetoBaby.etsy.com and I sell first and foremost Reminder Bracelets for new mommies. It is an original five minute interval design that helps you to track when baby was last fed (nursed or bottle fed), had her diaper changed, went down for a nap, woke up from a nap, took medicine, etc!
    I also sell adjustable tethers to convert any napkin, cloth or blanket into a bib or nursing cover!
    There’s lots more so please mosey over to my shop if you’re in the market for some innovative Tools + Jewels for Mom & Baby!
    http://www.SzetoBaby.etsy.com
    Sincerely,
    Christine

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