A wooden spoon? A secondhand rattle? A children’s museum membership? A ribbon? What are you planning to wrap up for your tot this year? If you opt not to give her a gift, don’t worry. She’d most likely play with the wrapping paper anyway. (Unless you decide to whip up a batch of homemade holiday fabric gift bags!)
We also love buying gifts of experience. Since they were activities rather than objects, they didn’t have to be stashed in baby’s tiny room and they always provided great memories.
Our baby was just six months old during her first Christmas and had no idea what was going on so she received a few secondhand playthings plus gifts from family and friends. Now that she’s older, we’ve found some amazing garage sale deals including a dollhouse and wooden pull toy, but she won’t be getting mounds of loot. How are you handling the holidays with your baby?
The dark has descended, the cold has hit, and the looming holiday lists are here. In the midst of the short term pressures in my life including boundless laundry, a floor that I sweep 17 times per day, and alternating screaming fits from both my children, it is critical that I remember the spirit of this upcoming holiday. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
The more we’re grateful, the less we get impatient about what material and situational things we can’t have–which usually don’t provide a true sense of lasting joy anyway. When I feel myself getting “the gimmies” (a term that I found in a Berenstain Bears book and instantly loved), I try hard to work on gratitude, even for those things that don’t at first seem to be gifts.
Gratitude while I nurse my 17 month old at 4am each morning. I try to keep my eyes open long enough to notice the curve of her cheek and the curl of her hair instead of grumpily wondering when, if ever, she will sleep through the night.
Gratitude for this tiny but cozy house that has to be cleaned about 137 times each day. I’m thankful there isn’t that much more square footage to pick up, and that it naturally limits the stuff that we collect.
Gratitude for that pile of dirty diapers that both my children have worn, that won’t make it to a landfill for years, and that has saved us heaps of cash to spend on other more interesting investments. (Such as dark chocolate and family vacations)
Gratitude for my spirited, hilarious, and endlessly creative kids. Although I am often humbled by the enormity of this job, I am also honored to be their mother. Also, so thankful to have a supportive husband! (I bow before all single parents in admiration and awe!)
Finally, I’m filled with gratitude for this green journey we’re taking together. For Rebecca, my first and most important green parent pal, and all we’ve managed to do for the last three years. For this blog, for our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide that went from being a distant dream to a real accomplishment, for all of you, our loyal and supportive readers and fellow green parents, and for our limits. (Both real and self-imposed). They help us appreciate what we have, respect our planet, and raise these babies with a sense of responsibility and appreciation. Have a wonderful week of gratitude and Happy Thanksgiving in advance!
(Those are my family’s feet. Yes, my toes are green and yes, my feet are the largest of the bunch. Did I mention that I’m grateful for having immense feet?)
In search of the perfect holiday present for the newest member of the family? We’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend The Eco-nomical Baby Guide first thing! But what if you have our masterpiece already, or you want to spend more than $13.95 on your baby’s gift? Here are some more eco-friendly choices:
First you might want to check out Joy’s baby splurge posts, in which she reveals the top three convertible high chairs and the best eco-friendly strollers. Looking to spend a little—or a lot—less this year? Perhaps your baby would enjoy one of the top ten baby board books this year. Goodnight Moon is always a classic!
Pat the Bunny is another popular baby board book
In this older post, we offer a whole slew of green gift ideas. Favorites from this list include the Melissa and Doug food groups set (which my daughter has played with weekly for the last two years), and the Monkey Foot Designs wet bag for parents to use with their cloth diapers.
We found a Melissa and Doug cutting fruit set at a garage sale for just $3. Audrey can play with it for hours!
Our Green Baby Guide’s green gift repository from 2008 has a few gems, such as Pedoodles shoes (so cute!) and our favorite baby accessory: Fuzzibunz pocket diapers and Happy Heiny’s pocket diapers.
Pedoodles shoes are made from leather remnants
In search of a gift for the pregnant woman in your life? This post has some ideas for making a gift basket for a new or expecting mother. The eco-friendly Lassig diaper bag would make the perfect present.
The Lassig eco-friendly diaper bag
Happy holiday shopping!
We like the emphasize that most babies will be utterly content receiving a cardboard box this holiday season, but if family and friends insist, we do have some excellent ideas for green gifts.
Looking for stocking stuffers for baby? Baby Legs are inexpensive, adorable, and long lasting. They come in just one size that can potentially be worn from infancy through the preschool years. And there’s no need to take them off when changing your tot’s diaper or setting your babe on the potty. Natural teething tablets are also a great addition to baby’s holiday loot.
The best present you may be able to give, is a full night of sleep for a newborn baby’s parents. And it costs nothing, has no packaging and requires no shipping or handling. We hope you find the perfect gift for the baby in your life this year!
A massage? A full night’s sleep? A box of truffles? What are you hoping to unwrap this year?
What do I long for? Slippers. I’m not even kidding. Mine are tattered after just one year of constant use and I want a sturdier pair to warm my feet for the long haul across these cold hardwood floors.
What do I recommend for those who have no idea what to ask for? Teething Bling pendants are a fantastic invention–elegant, chewable jewelry that soothes your baby’s aching gums while you look fabulous. And we’ll now shamelessly mention our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, for a quick, educational read that will save you thousands.
If your family is on a limited budget you could ask for regular foot massages, loaves of homemade bread, free babysitting sessions, or prepared meals. (Actually any of the things on the free list would make me far happier than anything material at this point!)
Please share what you’re longing for this holiday and inspire the rest of us to bulk up our wish lists!
Has anyone tried solar Christmas lights in an effort to save energy this winter? I’ll admit to owning a strand of these solar powered white Christmas lights for $19.95. Here’s the product description:
Solar-powered decorating lights – no outlet needed! Now decorate anywhere without dangerous extension cords or need for an outlet. Sun charges string of 60 lights by day, turn on automatically at dusk and run for about eight hours! No energy cost! Great near road, around mailbox or lamp post – now you’re not limited to nearby outlet. 26′ length.
These are the white solar powered Christmas lights I got for just under $20. The image is deceiving–mine are all white, not multi-colored.
My verdict? They work pretty well! I bought them last summer because I wanted some outdoor lights for my garden. If the solar charger is exposed to sunlight for at least six hours, the lights stay on for eight hours, as the description indicates. However, now that the days are getting shorter and rainier, I’m not getting much light out of them. If you want to use them as your only holiday lights, you might be disappointed.
The only other possible downside to solar lights is that they burn blue rather than yellow—so it’s not a warm, twinkling kind of light. I still like the look of them, strung out by the patio table over the rosebushes, cheering up the back yard.
Over the years we have reviewed some fabulous products that just might be a perfect find for the pregnant mother on your holiday gift list this year.
Short on cash? Why not put together your own gift basket, or offer to deliver regular meals during those early weeks with baby? What were your favorite gifts as an expectant mother?
Note to readers: I did not receive payment for any of these products, but I have to say that I have personally used the water bottle, the baby blanket, and the Ergo carrier and loved them. As for the book, I can only say that it’s my new favorite baby shower gift!
Most of us would swoon with delight if a new, eco-friendly crib mattress showed up on our doorstep. It could happen to you! Kolcraft (Sealy’s partner in this product) is sponsoring this month’s fantastic giveaway. If you’d like to read more about the product, check out our review of the Sealy Naturalis crib mattress with organic cotton.
Since this is such a huge prize, and we want to include listeners who are finding out about our site from the interview on Preg-tastic, we’ll be keeping this going for a full month. (Preg-tastic is also sponsoring a giveaway of The Economical Baby Guide, so stop by and check it out!)
If your due date is sooner or you don’t win, you can rest assured that this is still a very affordable product. The Sealy Naturalis crib mattress with organic cotton is currently available for less than a hundred bucks.
Our favorite part of this giveaway is all the ways you can enter:
1. Simply leave us a comment on this post.
2. Email friends or family and tell them about the giveaway (and comment)
4. Link to this giveaway post on Facebook or Twitter–tell all your friends to stop by (and comment each time)
5. Link to this post on your blog (and don’t forget to comment!)
***The contest ends on Monday, December 6th, 2010***
Winner will be randomly selected from the list of comments so don’t forget to note your multiple entries with one comment each!
We will notify the winner via email. Please Note: This contest is open only to U.S. readers. Enjoy!
On Tuesday we revealed our top picks for eco-friendly holiday cards. But buying a box of recycled cards and sending them far and wide isn’t the only way—or even the best way—to green your greetings. Here are some other ideas:
Go for greener photo cards. Photo cards and foil-lined envelopes cannot be recycled. Check out Peartreegreetings.com for photo cards that are recycled and recyclable.
This homemade Christmas card was easy to mass produce. I simply cut out the snowy house scene, glued it on thick blue paper, and wrote “Merry Christmas” coming out of the chimney with a silver pen.
Make your own cards. Do an online search for “DIY holiday cards” or “DIY Christmas cards” and you’ll find hundreds of cute, easy ideas—many of which require materials you have around the house. DIY Life has a great round-up of DIY holiday card crafts. I’ve made cards using my paper cutting skills for several consecutive years. Cut a simple tree out of an interesting page in a magazine, glue on a piece of thick paper, and voila!
One of my simplest DIY holiday card creations–cut out a dove, glue it on the card, and scribble on “Peace” with a green pen.
Forgo the card-giving tradition altogether. I know, I know—this tip is no fun at all. But if you don’t enjoy sending out cards, don’t force yourself to do it out of obligation. After all, it’s the green thing to do!
If you’re like most of us, you’re scrambling to handle those last minute Halloween decorating and costume creation challenges. We’ve put together a quick list of some great green Halloween tips for your festivities that are easy and cheap!
If you’re hosting a Halloween party this year, Rebecca has a lineup of simple and elegant Halloween crafts. You may want to cut out a DIY Halloween spiderweb, or if you’re feeling less ambitious, you can make a DIY Paper Jack-O-Lantern with your little one in a matter of minutes. There’s nothing quite as simple and spooky as the vintage DIY simple paper spider in its web from last year’s post.
Still haven’t picked up that Halloween candy? There are several Organic and Eco-Friendly Halloween treats to choose from, or you could fill a bowl with coins, marbles, crayons, stickers and decorative band-aids and let the kids pick their own loot.
Simple DIY Halloween costumes can be the best part of the whole celebration! They’re especially fun when you’re choosing family themed Halloween costumes or creating last minute baby Halloween costumes. If you want to get some laughs out of your pregnancy check out our list of DIY Maternity Halloween costumes.
How is your Halloween planning going this year? Are your spiderwebs in the windows? Are your costumes all set? Please share!