It's that time of year when we are filled with good cheer and good will toward our fellow humans and encouraged to show it through presents. Of course, the best present is your presence but sometimes that is sadly not enough. Let us take this opportunity of gift-giving and make what we choose to give have meaning and value...not simply something we purchased our of guilt or manipulation.
I've compiled a list of a few of my favourite things for all the ladies, young and old, on your list. These products were chosen with care and good intentions to leave a positive message with the the gift-giver, receiver and world in general. Presents that give twice or more, so to speak.
What is the right age to develop a social conscience? Is any age too young? I don't think so.
With that in mind for the young girls ages six and up on your list there is a wonderful line of dolls called hearts4heartsgirls. This line includes six dolls that reflect different looks and regions of the world. Currently available are Lilian from Belarus, Rahel from Ethiopia, Nahji from India, Tipi from Laos, Consuelo from Mexico, and Dell from the USA. A portion of the proceeds from these dolls go to World Vision. Each doll also comes with a friendship bracelet and a storybook to help girls learn about and understand needs all over the world. Available at Canadian Tire, Sears and Target. $34.99
Another empowering, fun and inexpensive gift is the Cahooti, perfect for ages 7+. This is a revamped version of that great old cootie catcher of yore which we used to make ourselves with numbers and colours and silly fortunes. You need 2 or more players and the first player starts out by making a choice on the top panel. I really like the Girl Wonders edition which has Happiness, Peace, Love and Planet as the initial choices. The person holding the cahooti then moves it one move for every letter. The picker then chooses another panel with 8 choices including day dream, joy, harmony and friends. Again the answer is spelled out and moved and finally the picker is asked a question from the revealed panel. This part can be customized using the 20 stickers provided with great questions that really makes the girls think and have a healthy discussion. Stickers include "If you could start a charity, what would it be?", "What makes you the most happy?" and "Have you ever protected someone at school against a bully? How so?". Available for $7.99 @ Target
Magnetic Poetry Kit. I adore these little boxes of creativity. They're a great tool to unleash the inner poet and can provide tons of amusement. I especially like the themed boxes. Anything from The Artist, The Book Lover, The Lover - tag line, with 200 words to seduce and delight to Zen and Zombie packs. Perfect for any age. $11.95 from Magnetic Poetry.
Moving on up to the teenagers on your list may I recommend the book 'I am Malala' by Malala Yousafzai and I recommend it for girls 14+. The...