Gift-Giving from the Heart and Hands, Not the Wallet

by Rita Brhel on November 19, 2009

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This week on The Attached Family online, Attachment Parenting International members can read the debut of the “Professional Parenting” series, a column written by Judy Arnall, Canadian mother of five and author of the widely acclaimed Discipline without Distress – you should see my well-worn copy of the book that gives parents real tried-and-true discipline techniques without resorting to spanking, yelling, or the infamous timeout.

This first column of Judy’s, “Gift-Giving from the Heart and Hands, Not the Wallet,” is so timely as the biggest shopping day of the year arrives the Friday following the American Thanksgiving Day…and another season of holiday gift-giving will soon commence as soon as we’ve all finished our turkey and pumpkin pie. Thing is, well, this recession we’re in…I can tell the economy is better than it was a year ago when announcements of job layoffs and company bankruptcies clogged the television news hours, but you know, it’s not to the point where many of us are willing to spend freely on non-essential living expenses. My family included, certainly.

In her column, Judy gives a long, long list of wonderful ideas for gifts that toddlers, preschoolers, older children, teens, and even parents can make themselves – with more heart than opening up the wallet. Let me tell you of some of my favorites:

  • For toddlers…plant seeds indoors in clay pots, decorate the clay pots, and the flowers will bloom by spring. What a great idea!
  • For preschoolers…make a batch of cookie dough and give it with a set of cookie cutters, oven mitts, and a pan. Genius!
  • For older children and teens…now this list is basically endless but includes a variety of arts and crafts that, with a child’s natural creativity, could turn out just as good as anything you’d find in a store.

Read the whole list: Gift-Giving from the Heart and Hands, Not the Wallet. Access to The Attached Family online – the online extension of API’s quarterly print magazine – is a benefit of membership to API. Find login information on the Table of Contents page of the Summer 2009 “Feeding Our Children” issue of the magazine, or if you’ve joined recently, contact memberships [AT] attachmentparenting [DOT] org for more information. Not yet a member? Take advantage of our current membership special.

What else is being talked about this week’s The Attached Family online articles?

  • Marian Tompson, co-founder of La Leche League International, discusses breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS in an interview about the AnotherLook nonprofit organization.
  • Riet van Rooij, author and mother of two in the Netherlands, opens up about her book, Pregnant with Heart and Soul, now translated into English and German.
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Rita Brhel (183 Posts)

Rita Brhel, BS, CLC, API Leader, lives with her family near Hastings, NE, USA, where she works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She also writes for Mothering and La Leche League's New Beginnings.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Bignell November 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I’m new to this forum but wanted some feedback. I am a family photographer as well as a dad of 4 who belives in attatchment parenting. I often see the ‘Contented little baby book’ at the homes of clients and I want to warn them of its ideals. If you arn’t aware it advacates seperation from your baby/ children.
What are the thoughts of members of this forum and can they offer some good advice , maybe an antidote book to recommend?


Annie @ PhD in Parenting November 20, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Thank you for those wonderful gift ideas and for the book suggestion. I have a friend that could really use that book right now I think. I’m going to pass along the suggestion.


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