'Tis the season of giving--and frustration with hyper-gendered, sexualized toys. So, how about "fighting fun with fun" with some recommendations? There's my on-going, if badly organized, list on this site. But in addition, let's help each other out: What are you giving your children for Christmukkah? Tell us their ages, sexes and your gift ideas. I'll go first, since Chanukah is in four days. But I'm trusting you guys NOT TO TELL MY DAUGHTER!!! To reduce the greed-fest that the holiday has become, we usually have a latke night with another family whom she loves and doesn't see that often as one "gift." We also typically bake Chanukah cookies on the weekend as a "gift." There's also a "dreidel night" with gelt and/or M&Ms (yeah, it's teaching my kid to gamble, but heck, it's TRADITION). Sometimes on that we give a board game as well. This year she'll get a lot of games from relatives: my parents are giving her Seafarers of Catan an expansion set for The Settlers of Catan, which has been a favorite since she turned 9.
My oldest brother's family is giving her Forbidden Island.
My husband's family will also probably give her a board game. My other brother's family always gives her wonderful books or audiobooks for the holiday, usually picked out by their (now adult) children based on what they loved as kids. Later they can discuss the books together, which is a lovely way for cousins who are over a decade apart in age to bond.
Then we have calendar night (something my own parents always did), when I give silly calendars for daughter and husband. This year I think she'd like this one. Nine year olds love absurd, "in-joke" humor.
And we have an art night--this year she'll get this Klutz book and some pastels.
I'm putting my money where my mouth is this year and getting her an original Roominate kit. It's expensive, but I figure it's not just a toy, it's a political statement. Plus, I know she'll really dig it.
She will also get this book of optical illusions from my parents, which looked really cool.
That takes us through the 8 nights and more, really. And, ok, we are also mulling over whether to get her what she REALLY wants, which is a camcorder. Something like a Kodak Playsport or a Panasonic. Basically something akin to a Flip, which sadly no longer exists. But she's already getting a lot, so she may have to break down and use the allowance money she's been hoarding for four years to buy that one for herself. She'd also really like an electric keyboard; perhaps next year.
On Christmas morning, she generally gets a few stocking stuffers. Santa brings candy, tangerines and a few items that, COINCIDENTALLY, appeal to my husband's tastes as well as my daughter: little Japanese animation-based toys, a graphic novel (she is missing one from the Bone series) or a Calvin & Hobbes book, Plants vs. Zombies.
For other little girls on my list, I am doling out Rapunzel's Revenge.
So, what about you? What are you getting (or suggesting family get) for your little ones?