Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday—It must be the season of gift-giving again! And why not? What can be nicer than giving gifts to show people we care about and appreciate them? And what can be more gratifying than seeing joy and excitement when the recipient is a child?
But what to give? This is a season for celebrating love whether it is Love born in a manger on Christmas day; or the Love of God providing for an oppressed people at Chanukkah; or the Love of family, community, and culture acclaimed during Kwanzaa. Love is at the heart of all faiths and traditions. And it is love that prompts us to give gifts, especially to the children in our lives.
So let us be very thoughtful about the gifts we choose. Our children live in a society plagued by war, terrorism, street crime, bullying, and many other kinds of violence. They deserve much better from us. They deserve to play in ways that allow them to have fun free of conflict. Let the things you give nurture love, not fear or prejudice.
Consider toys that:
- Can be used in many ways
- Allow children to be in charge of the play
- Appeal to children at more than one age or level of development
- Are not linked to video games, computers, TV, or movies,
- Can be used with other toys for new and more complex play
- Will stand the test of time as children develop new interests and skills
- Promote respectful, non-stereotyped, nonviolent interactions among children
- Help children develop skills important for further learning and a sense of mastery
- Can be used alone or with others Can be enjoyed by boys and girls
- Toys for constructing, like building blocks and molding clay
- Toys that inspire creative arts, like craft supplies and musical instruments
- Toys that promote movement, like bikes, wagons, and sports equipment
- Toys that promote dramatic play, like costumes and props, puppets and magic sets
- Toys that foster cooperation and teamwork, like dolls and puzzles and some board games
- Toys that enhance the imagination, new ideas, and problem solving, like science and nature kits
- Toys that respect the environment, that can be reused and recycled And don’t forget books, magazine subscriptions, tickets to a show or movie, Teddy Bears, and you.
- There’s nothing better than YOUR time!
Thanks to www.truceteachers.org for the information presented in this flier. Visit their website, as well as www.responsibleshopper.org, and www.greenamerica.org for more ideas about gifts that promote the positive values we want for our children and have the extra benefit of being sweatshop-free and non-toxic.
Pax Christi MA and St. Susanna Peace and Justice endorse this effort.