Thursday, November 18, 2004

'tis the season ... really? already?

'tis the season ... to be starting to spaz that Christmas is only 36 days away.  Was I the only one that noticed that the day after the elections that the airways began to be filled with commercials for Christmas?  That's way too soon.  I was delighted, after passing many houses last night on our way home to find one home celebrating Thanksgiving instead of Christmas.  (I can't believe so many have their Christmas/Hanukkah lights on already!!!)

I've been getting emails from family members asking what my children would like as gifts.  Clothes and books are my first replies.  They have so many toys that they don't all fit in the toy boxes.  I'd get rid of some, but they tend to play with them all.  They DO notice when one disappears, so it's not like they're saying that they play with it, they actually do. 

So with 36 days until THE day, let it be known that I am an early shopper.  I start on January 1st.  I'm done by November 30th.  Finding me in a store in December is, well, rare.  I'm what I call the "hit & run" kind of shopper.  I know what I'm looking for, I go in, I get it, I leave.  Unless, that is, we're talking about yarn.  Uh huh.  I say to the staff, "I'm gonna be there awhile.  Is that a lunch order being phoned in?  Can I get in on that?  I'm gonna be here awhile.  Thanks."

Now finding gifts for my daughter is a breeze.  Finding them for my son is a challenge.  It has nothing to do with him being picky.  Rather, he's not.  He's a very sweet boy that appreciates whatever is given to him.  My problem is WHAT's offered on the market.

I DON'T want him playing with items that promote violence.  Every action figure comes with a knife or gun.  Most vehicles are "ARMY."  Nearly everything I look at seems to be grossly disfigured.  What is this?  Why is this?  Even Lego's promote toys that tend to have a violent flavor.  Why can't toys be made to promote good things?  Why can't Barbies go back to being offered in yellow packaging, geared for both genders as they did when they were first produced?  Here's a few marketing ideas I had:
     A. a rock climber (perhaps it includes where thekid has to build the wall/rocks to scale and learns about harnesses & such)
     B. a cyclist (like that guy that had cancer & won all those competitions ... I just can't remember his name at the moment)
     C. a chemist (perhaps it includes a simple chem set for the kid to experiment with basic HARMLESS chemicals and see the results)
     D.  an architect (perhaps it could include how to build a bird house or something along those lines)

I could go on, but surely these are better for our children than teaching them that violence is OK.  Right?

So, the challenge is on to find gifts for him that don't promote violence.  I may have mentioned that one of the things the kids are asking for this year are new comforter sets.  They stated that they're "...a bit old for Winnie the Pooh" and are each asking for something more fitting for what they're interested in.

I found on the Domestications website a cute comforter set of Dinosaurs.  I showed my son and he seemed OK with the idea.  Then in today's mail, their catalog arrived and he leafed through it.  He found the same one and said it looks better in the catalog and that he'd love to have it. OK.  That problem is solved. (lol)

Now it was my turn to flip through the catalog and what I found was a hand-crocheted cotton coverlet for $59.99 and hand-crocheted cotton tablecloths for $24.99 -- both very pretty.   (Check out the image on the right; click onto it and it will lead you to the Domestications website.)

It's quite sad that they can offer hand crocheted items at such an "affordable" price in comparison to the crochet bag shown in an advertisement in the December 2004 issue of ELLE magazine -- it's being offered for $1,850 (only available at a Chanel Boutique).  Can you imagine how much the coverlet would cost if Chanel slapped it's label on it?  ... I think it would be more justified.

My point in bringing this up is that if you can afford it, buy it.  After all, your purchase DOES help someone somewhere around the world to afford to put food on their table.  But if you can afford (the time) to MAKE it yourself, then go for it!! Although with 36 days left, you may want to consider it to be a gift for NEXT year! As for us, my husband and I will be giving the kids a lot of art sets -- from crocheting to paint by numbers. J

1 comment:

astaryth said...

You know, when I was a kid my favorite gifts were things that I could do... Chemistry set, microscope, afgan kit <g>, origami paper and a book on how to fold it, a kit to make a radio... I don't know, I guess it was actually educational, but I didn't know it at the time!<LOL>
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind