Hubby and I like to have most of our Christmas shopping done before Black Friday. That way we can sit back, relax and actually enjoy December.
This year I plan on doing a good deal of my shopping at www.melissaanddoug.com and other such toy makers. USA made, educational, wooden toys are what I'm after. My children have toys from the whole spectrum and I've found that the simplest ones entertain them the most and the plastic ones often get ignored. The noisy ones usually end up getting thrown across the room (and not by me, I promise). There are some beautiful manipulatives out there. I'm also going to toss out most of the cheap plastic and paperboard toy foods they got last year because the pieces are small enough to choke on and they've been torn and smooshed and thrown about. Melissa and Doug have some lovely wooden sets of healthy foods. The plastic set was mostly fast food and junk food.
I'm searching, researching and choosing carefully this year and I plan to stay away from Walmart's toy department!