The holiday season doesn't usually drive me to swear this much. But I guess somewhere between the third breathless press release for the cheesy department store baby clothes, a Disney Princess catalog that's so nauseatingly pink it makes Pottery Barn's kitchen look like the set of Jarhead--and those Little Piggies In Prada, I had recommendation fatigue. I realized that the last thing I wanted to do right now was to cull through a bajillion toys and clothes and pieces of gear and create an arbitrary must-have holiday shopping list. And without a sense of conviction, my list would be just a self-serving combination of posing and commission-grubbing.
The cold hard fact is, I don't think there's much that I --or the kid--"must have" at the moment. We've got a lot, and we keep getting more all the time without factoring in Christmas. So I've been thinking about the kid's Christmas--she knows what it is and has already been to see Nieman Marcus Santa; she up and told him she wanted a bunny--and I realized that I'm actually making several things for her already.
And then I realized that some of the coolest things I've seen lately have been things people made on their own. And the more time I burn on these little projects, the more I realize that making a gift means giving time. And thought, but mostly time.
The kid's sweet, Mini-boo toy stroller will roll right over all the money- and status-based calculus and the nonsense about sparing no expense for your child; she'll get a great design, sure, but she'll also get hours of effort and attention from me.
Anyway, if you're serious about a unique gift for your kid this year--and you're not satisfied with buying something awesome from an independent hipster artisan like the ones Dutch has listed up, go ahead and make something yourself. You've got just under two weeks. If you're not going to get finished in time for Christmas, consider celebrating Channukah; it'll buy you a few more days. If that doesn't work, go for Kwanzaa, and so on, until you get to Russian Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7.
Here's what I'm doing, plus a couple of other very cool, very doable suggestions. If you're making something for the holidays, I'd love to hear what it is:
What am I missing? [image: rdanderson.com]