Saturday, December 06, 2008

Surfin' Saturday: Shop 'Til You Drop

A couple of hours of Christmas shopping on Tuesday with Elijah reminded me of several reason why I prefer to do most of our shopping online. And now that the Christmas shopping season is well underway, I thought I'd highlight a few interesting websites I've found and then ask for your favorites in the comments. I'm always on the lookout for great tips.

We like to keep things simple when it comes to toys for Elijah; we'd rather have a few quality, well-made toys that encourage creativity and learning than a house full of cheap plastic junk. We're not extreme about it; our little guy certainly has and enjoys plastic toys (and of course some of his favorite things to play with aren't even toys at all--an empty Coke bottle, a pair of sunglasses, a pot and a wooden spoon...). But in general we're trying to avoid batteries, licensed characters, etc. (not to mention all the concerns about toxic chemicals in toys--it's overwhelming!). In looking for these kinds of toys, I've found a few websites with really nice-looking products:

Oompa Toys
Nova Natural Toys & Crafts

Speaking of handmade, there's a great website you may not know about called Etsy - it's a place for individual people to sell all kinds of handmade goods, from paper crafts and handbags to children's toys and clothing. You name it, you can probably find it at Etsy - and there are all kinds of unique ways to browse and search if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Once you've purchased a gift, do yourself a favor and head to, where you can set up a service to monitor the price and notify you if it drops--very helpful for those companies who offer a 30-day price guarantee. Amazon used to, though I've heard they rescinded the offer this fall (bummer).

And finally, a little personal plug: if you plan to do any shopping at, feel free to click over via this link (also in my sidebar). I get a small referral bonus if you get there from my blog, and it costs you nothing :) Plenty of other blogs offer this, too, so if they recommend a specific product you're going to buy, by all means support them, rather than simply typing in your address bar!

What about you - what are your favorite sites for online shopping?


CRICKET said...

I agree with you on the toys, the best ones tend to not be toys. Right now my 15 month old is in her high chair with a tin full of crayons and markers. Life is good for a few minutes!

Anonymous said...

Landbridge Toys has a great selection and the best customer service.

Its Mom owned and operated, too.