Baby Proofing for the Holidays

Yum!

Yum!

One of the stories re-told year after year involves my brother, a toddler at the time, eating a lightbulb off the tree. Despite my parents’ effort to place all the lights out of reach, he was still able to reach the bottom string and take a big bite out of one of the blue lights. This was when lights were the size of your thumb, not the little ones most trees have today.

The holidays are a magical time for children, and the temptations run high. The flickering candles on the table, the blinking lights everywhere, not to mention all the colorful ornaments and tasty looking tinsel. Or even the edible popcorn and cranberry garlands that are perfect for snacking.
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Greener Gifts

 

Ever since I was brainwashed by Woodsy Owl and the “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” campaign of the ‘70s, I’ve always been a bit of an environmentalist.  Most of the time my green values have dovetailed rather nicely with my tightwad spirit. But for some reason gift shopping has remained beyond my environmental considerations.

 

Although I get a weird adrenaline rush mining for thrift store treasures, we don’t always have the time to shop secondhand. Plus, I sometimes worry that the gift recipient won’t share my zeal for used goods. In the past, I’ve waited for sales, bought off-season, and just generally bided my time until the right deal came up.

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The Gift Wrap that Keeps on Wrapping

What would Christmas morning be without festive wrapping paper and fancy bows? (“It’s about peace and love and the birth of our Savior!” you answer.) Okay, but stick with me here. I’m talking about every kid’s much-awaited vision of Christmas morning. Will my daughter grow up deprived if I deny her the tearing-up-the-gift-wrap experience that is every American child’s birthright? Oh, she’ll have Christmas gifts aplenty—but this year, I’ve devised some eco-friendly alternatives to disposable gift wrap. If I start this practice before she’s speaking in full sentences, it should be easy, and she’ll never know what she’s missing.
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