Confession: I am a horrible shopper. Before my husband pipes up with an objection, let me qualify: I can shop. I can spend some meeeeaan bucks given the right store (ahem, Barneys.). What I'm not good at is competitive shopping. I never score something good at a sale. Black Friday gives me the heeby jeebies. I even abstain from Cyber Monday because I can't handle the pressure. I need to shop at my own pace, unburdened by the ticking timeline of a sale. Leisurely I browse my favorite sites, making notes about who would love what, until it comes down to December 22 and I'm forced to pay $30 in shipping for a book that costs $20. This year, I am resolved to be decisive and timely with my holiday purchases. I started my research early this year and will share with you the results in the first annual designpunch Holiday Gift Guides. That being said, hopefully my family doesn't read this blog too closely, lest I ruin the surprise.
I thought I would start this year's gift guides off with the little guys. I don't know about y'all, but there are suddenly lots of babies in my life. My best friend has one. My college roommate just had one. My sister has one. You get the picture-- babies galore. Despite this recent proliferation of children, I'm still daunted when it comes to shopping for the wee ones. Let's be honest: no matter how great the present is, a baby will always be infinitely more excited by the bow on the package. For example, I'm sure Santa was very nice to me this particular Christmas, yet to what did I take a shine? A pair of underpants. (When I look at this picture, I'm reminded of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..."with Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap/ Had just settled down for a long winter's nap." Is this a kerchief or a cap? Potato? Potahto?)
While this is technically my nephew's second Christmas, it will be the first one in which he will be an active participant. At eighteen months old, he loves to totter all over the house, pointing out things he can say. He's going through a big "D" phase-- any sort of winged creature is a duck, for example. And apparently, my parents' decor is bird-heavy, because when he's over, you can hear triumphant shouts of "DUCK!" all over the house. My dad's grandfather name is "Doc"-- also fun to say. Doc! Duck! Dog! (which sounds more like Homer Simpson's "Doh!"). Anyway, the point is: he's becoming a little person with his very own interests and opinions, and I tried to keep those in mind while shopping for him.
Clockwise from top left: The Three Ducklings by Sharon Montrose (Duck!), Frost Free Vest, Babiators, Periodic Table Building Blocks (science is cool!), Organic Tool Box (I only buy organic tools. I hate it when my hammer was grown with pesticides.), Eames blocks (never too early to start the indoctrination, I say.), Navy Cord Pop Tiny Toms.
I swoon for those Tiny Toms, I tell you. And neat fact: if the Babiators are lost or broken in their first year, the company will replace them.