Holiday gifts

Hey, there.

I haven’t posted in forever because I’m crazy busy.

But I have something for you. A gift, perhaps.

Go to and check out the toys you’re going to give the small people in your family. Or use it to check the stuff you’d really rather donate to charity, under the guise of making room for new toys by getting rid of the old.

Our government and our corporations do a really horrible job of making sure we can buy things that won’t hurt us. At least one major company has resolved not to use carcinogenic, hormone-disrupting chemicals in products for children. Good for them. But there is arsenic and lead and PBDEs and PVC in a lot of the stuff you or your loved ones can buy, gift, use, and enjoy this time of year.
Toxic phones, toxic car seats, toxic household products, toxic sunscreen, and toxic makeup and shampoo.

Some of the data is old, and a lot of new toys aren’t on the reports. But still. Do what you can. Nobody wants to give their niece a toxic piece of chemical waste for Winter Solstice. Right?

Find some healthier alternatives at Safe Mama. Her cheat sheets will help you find safer toys, lunch gear, backpacks, bug repellent, and more.

Be safe out there. It’s a gross mess of lead-tainted wrapping paper and tape and poison-PVC tinsel and lead-filled holiday lights out there.

It’s still an awful lot of fun though. Happy holidays, and enjoy all the fair trade gelt and organic candy canes, and whole-wheat winter solstice gingerbread you can eat!

Rantlets, little rants of the day (iv)

Hey, people who believe things: stop using your kids to campaign for you. It’s disgusting to have children who can’t form their own opinions holding signs for anything, let alone for hatred, discrimination, and bigotry.

Oh, and companies who make kids’ toys? So help me, if one more toy hollers out after being abandoned for 30 seconds, I’m gonna boycott your whole freaking company. Peanut actually has a toy that clears its throat and bellows, “Excuse me!” to get him to come back and play with it. Newsflash: you piss me off, I won’t buy your toys. Newsflash ii: toys that don’t know when it’s time to move on piss me off. Newsflash iii: when my kid’s falling asleep in the car, a toy that wakes him up to demand that he play some more really pisses me off. Newsflash iv: You know who you are, LeapFrog bastards. Unless you change your ways and announce your contrition publically, I’ll make sure you’re on the entertainment non grata list this Chrismakkah.

By the way, country: way to go on that election thing. I’m not totally pleased, vis a vis California ballot initiatives. But overall, you done good, nation. It’s nice to share this country with you.