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The season to give to our friends, family and loved ones is upon us! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has selected her top picks for the eco-minded woman in your life!

Tiny Green Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide for Women

kigo flit

For the active gal who prefers to tread lightly upon the Earth while walking, biking or even playing tennis – the kigo flit is an environmentally sound and extremely stylish choice! With a Mary Jane look, the flit is made of post-consumer recycled materials and non-toxic dyes and glues. Shopping early? On Cyber Monday, you can receive 25% off site wide with the code HOLIDAYKIGO.

Lunchbots

A great find for your office pals, LunchBots are super cool lunch containers that are plastic-free and made from the highest quality stainless steel. Perfect for those who love variety, the orange Duo and yellow Pico feature a divider to keep everything in its place. Pack crackers and cheese, fruit and nuts, and all your favorite snacks to go.

Lonesome George & Co. T-shirts & Eco-Accessories

For the eco-activist, Lonesome George & Co. creates bold organic tees & eco-accessories that make a statement from production through to everyday wear! Rockin’ one of their super-soft t-shirts is sure to inspire – choose from a variety of messages, from Agent of Change to Fuel the Future. Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes available.

Fortune Wine Tote Bag

These Fortune Wine bags are perfect for housewarming gifts and holiday get-togethers! Xenotees has come up with a truly eco-friendly, whimsical packaging alternative to cheap throwaway bags you see at wine stores. You can comfortably fit a wine or champagne bottle and they make great conversation pieces!

Coffee & Sweets from Aspire Coffeeworks

Need something for the boss, mother-in-law, or older sister who can’t make it without their cup of java? This gift basket from Aspire Coffeeworks fits the bill with 2 pounds of certified organic, fair trade coffee packaged alongside 6 ounces of handmade chocolate from Chicago’s renowned Fudge Pot and 6 ounces of delicious, all natural artisan shortbread cookies.

City Saky

For the eco-urbanite, the Spotty Saky for Ocean Futures is a gift that will be appreciated and used daily! Not only does the purchase of the Spotty Saky give back to Ocean Futures, but this durable bag can hold up to 25 lbs. while shopping in the city! From groceries to gym gear, the Spotty Saky is as fashionable as it is functional!

Harvest Apple Basket

Know a budding baker or aspiring chef? Give her this lovely Harvest Apple Basket from Fischer & Wieser – filled with Harvest Apple & Brandy Pie Filling and Apple Crisp Mix. Packaged beautifully in a reusable basket, this is one gift that was meant to be shared!

Hadaki Insulated Lunch Pod

For your newly graduated daughter who is working at her first internship, the stylish and reusable Insulated Lunch Pod by Hadaki will be a welcome gift! Say good-bye to the boring brown bag – this planet-friendly and AZO-free tote is definitely a keeper! Available in 20 bold, bright color combinations and patterns.

Wildly Natural by Mad Gab’s

Fun stocking stuffers for your tween, teen, little sis, the new Wildly Natural line by Mad Gab’s includes Lip Butters, Lip Shimmers, and Lip Glosses in juicy flavors. Made with moisturizing shea butter and organic oils, the new line of products come packaged in clear recyclable plastic containers. Did we mention how incredible they smell?!

An interview with Dr. Jeffrey I. Dolgan, Senior Psychologist at The Children’s Hospital, offers insight on how to manage children’s expectations and disappointment during the holidays, as well as tips for managing stress.

No Chimney Full of Toys?

What do the holidays mean to children?

The holidays mean different things at different ages. Three or 4-year-olds don’t get the Christian meaning of Christmas, but they do get Santa Claus. They understand that they’re going to get some presents. It’s a time of imagination.

What is the idea of Santa Claus like for a 4-year-old?

Santa Claus is the giver of all good things. This is especially true if children have been to the mall and met Santa Claus and told him what they want.

What do 4-year-olds expect at Christmastime?

Kids are precise about what they want. It’s not a video game, it’s this particular video game. It’s not an action figure, it’s this action figure. They expect these precise things, especially if they wrote it down or visited Santa Claus. Children come to expect that all kids should have these toys, especially if the ads instruct them to, “Tell Mom and Dad” or “Make sure to mention this to Santa Claus.”

What should parents do when a child doesn’t get what he or she wanted?

The idea is that it’s not about getting, it’s about giving. Families can plan to volunteer at a shelter – or whatever it might be – to open up kids’ eyes to the fact that there are needy people. Parents can say: “This has been a tough year and many boys and girls have mommies and daddies who lost their jobs or are having a hard time staying in their houses. We can help Santa by doing some things that he would do because he’s having a very hard time providing all the food and clothes.”

If families are struggling financially, parents can also talk about “Santa dollars.” They can explain that Santa has just so many dollars to spread across many families, so he has to do different things this year, like giving food and clothing instead of toys. Everybody’s not going to get exactly what they want and it’s important not to be apologetic about it.

Is it good for kids to deal with disappointment?

Yes. These are the building blocks of personality. Dealing with disappointment means both managing expectations and identifying feelings. Unless you master disappointment or an upsetting event early, it will be much more difficult to deal with it later on. Children who grow up without any disappointment become entitled and narcissistic. And that’s very hard to treat. Those who are truly entitled think everything comes their way and nothing goes the other. They think they’re the center of the universe. When someone thinks that way, who can they share with?

Kids should use their words instead of “behaving out” what they feel. In our groups here at Children’s, we use a five-step-process called the Assertiveness Formula of Good Communication to help kids – even little kids – express their feelings. We say something like, “When ____ happened, I felt ____ because ____. I would like ____ and in return Mom and Dad get _____.” This teaches children the importance of compromise and thoughtfulness and the idea of alternatives.

What life lessons do kids learn at the holidays?

It’s an opportunity to know some myths; it’s an opportunity to work towards a belief system; it’s an opportunity to reconnect outside of school. Doing something together is very, very important. If parents reflect on the best part of the holidays, they can replicate that. And they remember the worst part of the holidays and learn not to bring that back either.

Why is that good for kids to have myths?

I think it’s good to have a symbol and to believe. This is the beginning of a belief system, which we all need so we have something to hang on to later on. For little kids, it’s something to look forward to. If they disbelieve, they can become negative and they lose a kind of charm.

When is it appropriate for a kid to stop believing in Santa Claus?

I think it’s appropriate to believe in something about Santa Claus forever. There’s a lot of charm about this.

How can parents manage children’s free time during the holidays?

The holidays are a break from school, which we know is very structured. So when kids are home, parents should think through a day-by-day schedule. A child may beg Mom to go somewhere that day and Mom can respond by saying, “Not today, we planned that for Friday.” Map it all out and make a calendar. The other thing is to involve kids in the family lore and traditions. This keeps them busy and keeps the family heritage alive.

What do the holidays mean to the public in general?

The holidays are a time of family and togetherness and inviting in. If things have not been particularly wonderful then it’s amplified around holiday time. There could be a strange relationship with the kids’ grandparents, for example, and they pick up on that. Parents have to be careful about who they invite in and for how long.

How do parents control who comes in the house or comes to the family gathering?

It’s very hard because the primary concerns are about safety and security for their kids so that should come first, not a sense of obligation. Parents need to anticipate the behavior of their guests.

How do parents deal with that when there are family politics involved?

If there are two partners, then they should talk it over. The house is sacrosanct and you get to decide who comes in and out. If there’s someone who wants to come but you don’t want her there, then do something else with her.

What should parents be aware of during the holidays?

One that I always talk to parents about is the difference between “act” and “person.” The song lyrics say, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good…” A lot of parents talk about a “bad” child. They’re making a big mistake. They’re not talking about behavior. Good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things. I like that lyric because it’s about behavior.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

The Children’s Hospital has defined and delivered pediatric healthcare excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, The Children’s Hospital is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, The Children’s Hospital is known both for its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research and education programs as well as the full spectrum of everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. With more than 1,000 healthcare professionals representing the full spectrum of pediatric specialties, The Children’s Hospital network includes its main campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, 15 Network of Care locations and more than 400 outreach clinics. For more information, visit www.thechildrenshospital.org.

Wishing you a bright, wonder-filled holiday from “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom! May your day be filled with magic, laughter, joy, and yes – hopefully even tinged with a hint of green (and we’re not talking about the tinsel)! Thank you for all of your support in 2010, and cheers to a healthy & happy 2011!

For the chocolate-lover on your gift list, don’t forget to tuck a couple of packages of Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups into their stocking for a delectable treat! With five rich, decadent flavors to choose from, there is something for everyone, including Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cup and Milk Chocolate Caramel Cup. “Mom’s” favorite? Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, a decidedly holiday-inspired treat!

Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Seal, and both of the Caramel Cups bear the USDA Seal. To learn more about Newman’s Own Organics, to locate a retailer near you, visit www.newmansownorganics.com.

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

By Susan Lower

Do you worry about glass bulbs falling off the tree and breaking around pets and children? Are you constantly yelling at little Jonny “Don’t touch that!” as he sneaks up to the Christmas tree?

Not only are salt dough ornaments environmentally and kid-friendly, they’re a fun and inexpensive way to decorate your Christmas tree.

Follow this simple recipe to create your own salt dough ornaments:

What you’ll need

1 cup of fine salt

1 cup of flour

½ cup of water

Christmas Cookie Cutters

Rolling Pin

Plastic Straw

Paint

Ribbon

Instructions

Mix salt, flour, and water in a large bowl. Knead until smooth and shape into a ball. Use some extra flour to sprinkle on a flat surface. Take small pieces of dough and spread out using a rolling pin. Your salt dough should be ¼” to ½” thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Lightly grease or line a flat cookie sheet with wax paper. Place salt dough shapes onto the cookie sheet.

Using the end of a straw, poke a hole in the top of each ornament. You don’t want to position your hole too close to the top so your ornament doesn’t break when you hang it.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Unlike cookies, you want your salt dough ornaments to be “hard as a rock” once they’re cool.

Place your baked ornaments on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. After your ornaments are cool, paint any way you desire.

Cut lengths of ribbon and thread through each hole after your ornaments are dry. Tie ribbon ends in knot to make a loop. Your salt dough ornaments are now ready to hang. To give your ornaments a more country look, you can cut stripes of checkered fabric to make ties instead of ribbon.

Romantic at heart, Susan Lower is one crafty mom. She has written over a hundred articles for venues such as ehow, triond, ezines, and newspapers. When Susan’s not writing, she enjoys visiting friends and a good cup of tea. To find out more about Susan Lower you can visit her site at www.susanlower.com.

Looking for a great last-minute stocking stuffer this holiday? SIGG, the manufacturer of premium Swiss-made reusable beverage bottles, CafePress, the online source for custom printed merchandise, and Paul Frank, renowned designer of the beloved “Julius the Monkey” character have come together to bring a fun-loving twist to the world of custom water bottles. You can now personalize SIGG water bottles by choosing from a wide selection of Julius clip art and adding your own text to create a one-of-a-kind SIGG bottle at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

These Paul Frank SIGG bottles make the perfect gift for anyone who is green but still wants to make a fashion statement. Made from pure aluminum and 100% recyclable, SIGG is the ideal alternative to plastic bottles and does not leach any harmful chemicals such as BPA’s, alleviating the plastic waste dilemma that plagues our oceans and landfills. The durable bottles have baked on, non-porous interior lining that is taste neutral so you can have lemonade one day and water the next with no lingering taste or odor.

Affordable, eco-friendly and fashionable, they make the perfect personalized stocking stuffer! Depending on size, SIGG bottles cost $26 – $30, and you can customize yours today online at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

The littlest member of the family can enjoy the bounty of the season with HAPPYBABY’s line of organic baby and toddler foods, with their nutritious junior versions of all the traditional holiday favorites! From Organic Gobble Gobble Pouches to Organic Apricot & Sweet Potato Pouches and yes, even Organic Apple & Cherry Pouches – the delectable seasonal favorites will be a big hit!

HAPPYBABY allows babies & toddlers to join in the festivities while reassuring parents that they are providing high-quality organic food for their children! With unique food combinations such as Banana, Beet & Blueberry to introduce young palates to new tastes to single fruits or vegetable pouches, as well as PUFFS, MUNCHIES, & MELTS, there is something for even the pickiest eater. To learn more about any of these or other HAPPYBABY premium organic products, visit www.happybabyfood.com to see the entire family of healthy foods.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Newman’s Own Organics new licorice twists, made with organic ingredients! Perfect as a stocking stuffer, these delightful twists are available in four tantalizing flavors, Black, Strawberry, Pomegranate and Tangerine.

Mom” could not believe how juicy and true-to-life Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists tasted! The three fruit twists just burst with flavor in the mouth, and are nothing like their non-organic counterparts. It will be hard for anyone to eat just one! Plus, the licorice twists are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol-free, and contain absolutely no trans-fats. This will definitely be the snack of choice this season (and beyond)!

Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists cost $2.99, and are available nationwide, as well as online at www.newmansownorganics.com.

For the active gal or guy on your holiday gift list, the new GreenLaces Collection by Hydrasip, reusable, stainless steel drinking bottles, make an excellent stocking stuffer! This eco-fabulous new collection are 100% (304) food grade stainless steel, extremely durable, and oh-so easy to clean! Both BPA-free and non-leaching, the bottles can be used for both hot or cold beverages, making them an excellent choice throughout the season & beyond! What “Mom” loves about the Hydrasip bottles is that not only are they recyclable, but each bottle arrives with two different caps, for your desired preference! The GreenLaces bottles are available in Classic ($16.99) and Insulated double wall ($19.99) styles and can be purchased online at www.hydrasip.com.

Founded by Women’s Professional Soccer Player Natalie Spilger, GreenLaces aims to unify environmentally conscious individuals and leverage athletics to reduce their environmental impact. A percentage of all purchases made of the GreenLaces Collection will benefit GreenLaces.org

To learn more about Hydrasip’s GreenLaces Collection or to order, visit www.hydrasip.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Three Last-Minute, Low-Cost, No-Craft Gifts You Can Make in an Hour

By Sherry Richert Belul

If you’ve got someone on your list who has everything, or you are one of those people whose bank account has barely nothing, then read on! I’ve got three gift ideas for you that you can easily pull together in the next few days. Any of the three can be done without spending a dime. And the best part? The recipient’s gonna love ‘em! (And you!)

1. Make ‘em a Love List.

One of my all-time favorite gifts for someone who has everything is simply a list of reasons why you love them.

Say you want to make this really unique gift for your husband. All you have to do is set aside an hour of quiet time in which you can focus on him. Just sit down with some paper or at the laptop and start brainstorming what you love about your wonderful husband. Jot it all down. Think about qualities that are unique to him, things he does for you, special times you’ve shared together. Think about his quirky jokes or stories. How he always spends time helping the elderly lady next door. The way he makes up songs in the shower. How he saved the day that time in New Mexico. Tell him you love that he always answers the phone with a hearty “Hey there!” That he taught the kids how to ride their bicycles. That he can always make you giggle. Tell him you love his eyes, his intelligence, his love of puns. Tell him you love how well he treats Champie, the family’s four-legged, furry gal.

Your list can have twenty things or two-hundred things. It can be written in pen on a plain white piece of paper. Or you can do a fancy design on the computer and print it out. You can add a photo or two. You can draw a picture on it. You can frame it. Use your imagination.

Alternatively, you could make a list of things you’ve learned from this person or your fave memories of times with them. Same process as above. It could also be three top ten lists: what I love best about you, my favorite memories of times we’ve shared, and things I’ve learned.

These lists are treasures for someone to hear. I swear to you, they are the best gift someone can receive. It is amazing to receive a gift that mirrors who you are. It is a gift to be seen. And unfortunately, people often don’t get to hear these kinds of things in their lifetime. For some reason in our culture, folks wait until funerals to express their love. Love Lists are a way to express your love and appreciation NOW!

Simply Celebrate has made it really easy for you by creating a free PDF download that is a ready-made gift. Check out the Love List at http://www.simplycelebrate.net/home.html.

2. Go for experiential, rather than material.

One of the other things I always suggest for those folks who have everything is a gift that can be experienced together.

Can you give a handmade certificate good for a free jazz concert at the community music center, an upcoming art festival, or a surprise adventure or beautiful hike? Does your loved one have a favorite hobby that you can join in somehow? Could you plan an afternoon at a historic location and the two of you bring your cameras to feed his love of photography? How about morning birdwatching followed by a cup of tea at a local cafe? Could you plan an art day with a child or teach your best friends how to dance?

What people of any age, but especially adults, really want is quality time with people they love. Give the gift of your time and attention.

3. Lend a Hand.

Another great gift for someone is something that helps them out. Again, think about making a simple certificate you can give them which could be handmade or printed out. You could set up a new program on her computer or cook a gourmet dinner at his house. You could make a gift certificate good for babysitting the kids one Saturday night so their parents could go out on the town. If you have handyman skills and you notice she needs something replaced, you could buy all the parts and do the work. You could make a gift certificate good for “Three hours of at-your-service help around the house.” Think about this person and what kind of help they need or what kind of help would make life more fun.

Sherry Richert Belul is founder of Simply Celebrate and author of Present Perfect: It Really is the Thought That Counts —an ebook that includes dozens of no-to-low cost gifts that are fun to make and full of love. (http://www.simplycelebrate.net/presentperfect_ebook.html)

Find her books or sign up for Simply Celebrate’s free newsletter at www.SimplyCelebrate.net.

Email Sherry to tell her your gift experiences or learn about the one-of-a-kind tribute books she makes at celebrate@Madmoon.com.