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Each year we make our lists and check them twice. This years, going green can include giving gifts that last more than one season.

Each year, thoughts of sugar plums and twinkling lights dance in your head…right next to twirling dollar signs. Over the years, holidays have come to equal spending, lots and lots of it. Well, over the last few years, we (as a country) have learned that spending habits can and do have consequences. On this site, Jim talks to us about lots of different ways to spend and make money. This includes budgeting, learning about ways to reduce debt and ways to repair credit. You may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with eco-friendly gifts. Well, quite a bit actually. The money you spend this holiday season can enhance your enjoyment of life while not putting your credit card on overdrive.

Heirloom Quality

There are many lessons to be learned from different people’s shopping habits. Take for example someone would spends her hard earned money on things that she absolutely loves. This could be a pair of shoes or a piece of furniture and could be worth an entire weeks {or month’s} paycheck. One can wonder why she didn’t simply choose the similar looking item at a fraction of the cost at the discount store. While this stylish shopper spends the next 15-20 years enjoying her amazing , high-quality finds, the cheaper versions have long since disintegrated…along with the money spent on those items.

These are lessons to take to heart when considering where to spend money during the shopping season, especially around the winter holidays when the lure of quick fix gifts are so enticing. There is a new approach. Instead of choosing a bunch of small meaningless gifts that will make there way to the back of the closet before the first spring bud, make thoughtful spending choices. If you are a crafty diva or dude, then use your talents to create something personal, meaningful and full of your love for your intended.

If you are going to choose a store bought gift choose one or two high quality gifts that can be used for years and even passed down to the next generation. A great example is gifts for children. Bypass the big box stores with their shiny plastic boxes and make a choice that will last for years and can build imagination and create hours of amazing play.

Here are some great examples of high-quality, eco-friendly choices that will be sure to last many many holiday seasons:

Gifts for Infants & Children:

Stacking Rings $39.95stacking1

Stacking rings made from natural materials such as wood are great for hand-eye coordinating and can be stacked multiple ways to keep things interesting. The stacking rings can also be utilized to imitate moving parts and lend themselves easily to creativity and open ended imaginative play.

materials: Pine finished with a blend of pure oils (no peanut oils) and containing no dyes, perfumes or additives.

Natural Hand-Made Doll$49.95

Dolls have always been a great way to teach children about connecting with others and nurturing babies. Both boys and girls will benefit from relating to a soft friend they can carry around and use to share emotions. These dolls are made with very simple facial expressions so that the child can use their imagination to create their own sense of emotion and relationship with a new friend.

“Wool is inherently anti-bacterial, so they are non-toxic and also safe to chew on with no fluff to inhale. They do not contain any parts or accents that may come loose; therefore they are entirely safe!”

Tree Branch Blocks$34.95 – 74.95

Small hands are always eager to create, build and then knock down. These blocks made from Alder wood are quite different from the conventional stacking blocks. The possibilities are endless as each block created it’s own balance when combined with other round and non-conventionally shaped tree blocks. These blocks can also be combined with the other shapes and sets to create endless possibilities of open-ended play, creativity and hours of using imagination.

materials: Kiln dried locally sourced Alder. 35 pc. with Harmonic wax finish.

EcoDiva Tip: Remember, one or two high quality gifts are much better than a trunk full of plastic junk.

Originally published by Elena Lipson on