06 October 2008

Yule Gift Ideas

It's that time of year again: when everyone is thinking about what to buy/receive for the holiday season. Be it Yule, Christmas, Hannakuh, or another religious holiday, people will be getting into the gift giving mood!

I LOVE this time of year: from Autumn Equinox to Yule, with Halloween in between, these are my three favourite holidays. Turning leaves, cooler weather, sunny autumn days, the first snow...ahh, I love autumn!

Which brings me to the point of this post: Yule. Christmas/Whatever...that consumerist, commercialised, giving holiday. For those who need reminding, Ben and I have a list of restricted/permitted items we'd like people to consider when buying Delilah a gift. This list actually applies all year long, not just Yule.

1. Buy/make handmade gifts if possible. Handmade is best! Check out Etsy if you can, it's amazing...your place to buy handmade.

2. No plastic! This includes seethers, rattles, and any kind of toy. Plastic is toxic to people and the planet. You can find wood and/or fabric versions of these things online, if you look.

3. Buy local! Support local artisans rather than sweatshops! Even if it's an artist from another country, at least it's an original or artistic item rather than one of a million items churned out by some soulless corporation.

4. No licenced products: no Disney etc. We'd rather see Delilah in a handmade sweater than a Winnie the Pooh hoodie. Let's teach her to appreciate the clothing, not the label. And rather than paying for the name on crappy clothing, pay for quality clothing! There are tons of SAHM (stay at home mom) businesses online where you can buy great kids clothes.

5. Buy organic! Always try to buy organic clothing items: Cotton uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants.). (Allan Woodburn) and the pesticides used end up in our air, water, and soil. It affects animals and insects as well as humans. Pesticides can cause asthma, cancer and other life-altering illnesses. Chemical fertilizers used also cause health issues and harm our planet. Note: when buying organic, try to buy Canadian or US products; consider the transportation required to get the item to your doorstep. Organic cotton from India, for example, is great but how much fuel did it take to get from there to here?

6. Buy second-hand: we really don't care if the item is brand new; in fact, we prefer to use secondhand items if possible. I realise that organic stuff is hard to find second-hand, we'll make exceptions for this. I'd rather see an item be reused than tossed out, so support the local second-hand shops (one here in London that is amazing is called Once Upon a Child, located in the plaza at the corner of Wellington and Bradley, the same plaza as Jack Astors).

As for sizing, Delilah seems to be a little long compared to most sizes for her age, so if you buy 6-12 or 9-12 they'll fit for a while yet, if you buy 12-18 mos they won't fit for a few months but they'll fit for a while. She'll probably fit into the 12-18 mo sizes in about 3 or 4 months.

You may think I'm being a bit of a princess when I state these requirements, think what you want. Just know that if we (or Delilah) unwrap a plastic toy made in China it's gonna end up at the Goodwill or the dump. So just don't buy it.

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