Dinosaur Sweatshirt and Tail, $55 KidHub
For the holidays, I got you a two-year old T-Rex shouting “ROAAAR!”
Moluk Bilibo, $30 Amazon
These things are awesome imagination pods. Kids use them as chairs, shells, boxes, you name it.
Upper and Lowercase ABC Blocks, $22 Uncle Goose
Blocks that look artsy when your kiddo leaves them scattered over the floor.
Submarine Bath Light, $10 Amazon
Everything in childhood is more memorable if it happens when it’s dark outside.
Left Right Ergonomic Crayons, $5
Crayons that fit perfectly in tiny fists.
Plui Bath Toy, $13
David Bowie Rock n Sole’ Baby slippers, $39 MrsBojingles
Amost everything in this shop is amazing. Go consider all the tiny baby feet in Daft Punk slippers.
Felt Grey Whale Baby Rattle, $20 Newmies
Call me Ishmael.
Grimm’s Wooden Stacking and Nesting Bowls, $32
A pretty developmental toy.
Boon Marco Light-Up Bath Toy, $9 Amazon
1,000 Leagues Under the Sink Faucet
Rhino Toys Oball Original, $7 Amazon
These balls are so easy for babies to grasp.
Natural Disk Rattle, $21 Cooper Hewitt
Playable Art Ball, $30 MoMA Store
Also have a look at Toys that are Good for Baby Brains, 0-6 Months.
Toddler wakes at 4:40 a.m., and dad brings him into bed. Little guy struggles against sleep for half an hour, whispering “play” and “oh hi!” every few minutes. Finally he drapes himself over my neck, one knee in my right boob, and konks out. I’m laying here trying to decide whether this is more or less comfortable than being nine months pregnant.
Tea keeps your hands warm, and your worries at bay. Let’s get all cozy.
Sori Yanagi Stainless Steel Kettle, $78
I bought this a few months ago, and it’s one of my favorite things. The handle feels beautiful when you lift it, it’s not heavy when it’s full, and the lid is loose enough that you can keep your hands away from the steam when you lift it for a refill.
Matte Grey Kitchen Canister, $20 on Letliv
Pretty for storing loose-leaf tea on the counter. Or weed, if you live in one of the seven hippie states.
Friend Mug, $28 on Aurelie Dorard
Hi, little guy. Handmade in France.
OXO Good Grips Anniversary Edition Uplift Tea Kettle, $80
Cork handle is so genius. Plus, when you lift the handle of this kettle, it triggers a lever that moves the whistle so you can pour.
Kusmi Tea Collection, $105 on Amazon
Kusmi tea tins are gorgeous, I save all of mine. This sampler set contains fifteen mini-tins, and the tea is very good quality. If you’re looking for a more modest gift, consider their tins of Prince Vladmir black tea ($18), or Rose Green Tea ($18).
Takeya Double-Wall Glass Tea Tumbler, $20 on Amazon
If your tea person drinks whole-leaf tea, half the point is watching the leaves unfurl.
Robot Hanging Tea Leaf Infuser Strainer, $7
Tea robot. Crucial.
Gifts are my thing. If you’re looking for more, here’s my gift board, which will likely have these items pinned to the top.
I just launched Shop Blue, a gift guide for Democrats.
Shop Blue features product listings from stores owned by Democrats who are women, religious and ethnic minorities, or members of the LGBTQ community. Those are the folks I feel will be most negatively affected by a Trump presidency, and I’d like to do what I can to support them.
Thanks to those of you who submitted stores to me via Facebook or Twitter. If you’d like to submit more stores for consideration, you can do that below, or email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s only a handful of products listed now because I wanted to get it up in time for Black Friday, but there will be lots more in the coming days and weeks. So send me more shops you love!
If you’d like to, please share the site with friends, or on your social media channels. Every purchase helps support someone who thinks the United States should be a safer, more just country. We’re together in this.
Advent calendar roundup! Nine days until we get festive AF.
Advent Calendar Kit Mini Cards, $12
I’m so glad someone finally did this. Advent calendar cards inscribed with 24 holiday activities, for those of you who prefer the ice rink to the mall.
Advent Grab Bag, $35
Nostalgic toys that are as much fun for grownups as kiddos, with 20 percent of profits going to IntraHealth. (As you likely already know, we make these. Which is why they’re so awesome.)
Scandinavian Specialty Coffee Advent Calendar, $150
Twenty-four advent packages of single origin specialty coffee, roasted to order. Holiday stamina in a box.
Susanne Kaufmann Advent Calendar, $178
A beautiful Advent calendar filled with various bath and body products to try.
The Whiskey Advent Calendar, $156
They Whiskey Advent folks expanded their line to include gin and vodka offerings as well, so stock up on mixers.
24 days of tea, $40
A new cup of tea every day while you wrap presents.
The Beauty Advent Calendar, $76
Includes skincare, makeup and hair care. A scattershot option for pleasing teens who like to point out that you bought the wrong brand.
Wine Advent Calendar, $129
A glass of wine every night. You win Christmas.
I was all up in the Kon Mari thing last year, but these are the questions I ask myself now about stuff:
• Would I buy this again today?
• If I threw this away, would I need to spend money I don’t have right now to replace it with something better?
For me, those are better decluttering questions than “Does this spark joy?” Because if you’re not going through a joyful period, but you’re feeling industrious, you can find yourself in an echoey room with no couch. I may not feel joyful about my couch, but I need to sit down, and I don’t have a spare thousand dollars in my account.
Yes. I’ll sometimes buy subpar things because I need them. Then I just tell myself “Well, if I find the perfect, most beautiful tablespoon measures later, ones that make me feel like dancing in the rain, and I can afford them, I’ll get those and give these to someone else. But tonight I am baking cookies.”
I don’t need less stuff to be happy. I just maybe need to mop more.