'Tis the season... We are without a school holiday fundraiser this year, but I'm asking my family to consider a Donation to Friends School in lieu of plastic-crap for the girls and for me. I am so grateful to FSP and know a strong school is the best gift we're giving our children at this time of their lives. I also continue to hope and believe that values-based education will help our whole community, by developing new conversations and queries about childhood needs, in general, and by graduating kids who will take citizenship and problem solving on in a big way! It won't replace a shiny bauble under the tree for them, but as I get older I do find donations are more fun to give and receive than anything from a big-box anything!
For some alternative holiday ideas, consistent with FSP values, check out these links (and the Consuming Kids DVD which is on the parents book shelf and a great conversation starter this time of year -should be a forum event next year!)
Center for New American Dream : http://www.newdream.org/ -- the simplify the holidays booklet has some useful strategies for resisting too much shopping.
Story of Electronics - somehow, we need a way to keep a little Annie Leonard in our head as we make sugar plums dance in the heads of our older kids : http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-electronics/ -- the old Story of Stuff might be worth watching as a whole family, just to talk a little about reducing consumption even at x-mas.
For those buying for younger kids, the TRUCE guide is now available : http://www.truceteachers.org/ and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood released their "toadies" of worst toys : http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/toady2011winner.html
Finally, the Maine Association of NonProfits has their gifts that give twice program featuring places to make donations and get a little something -- I'd love other people's ideas for good donations in honor of grandparents, etc!
Finally, Dan contributed his list of 5 best toys ever