Sunday, November 18, 2007

China-Free Christmas = Lots of Wood

Toys, that is ...

After resolving not to buy children toys made in China this year, I have discovered that if it's plastic or cloth, it's almost always made in China. So the girls can have anything they want so long as it's plywood, ash, or bamboo. Mark my words, "Log in a blanket" is likely going to be a very hot seller this year among parents who care. Or at least among parents who are paranoid about all the toy recalls like I am.

Actually, log jokes aside, there are some very cute European-made toys out there (such as the ones shown above, by Haba). Unfortunately, they are insanely expensive compared to the 70-80 percent of toys manufactured in China. So we'll be buying a lot fewer toys than usual this year because the costs are so much higher.

Case in point: I bought these adorable blocks for Little A's upcoming birthday, and they cost $35 for only 28 blocks. This German-made mermaid doll -- the sole nonwood Christmas item I bought for one of my kids -- is also completely charming. But if you want something soft and cuddly with your China-free, it costs even more dearly than the tree-derived toys do. That doll was 40 bucks on sale, and she is only seven inches tall.

Christmas has me feeling schitzoid this year: On one hand, I'm happy that I have enough money to decide to buy fewer but higher quality toys this year. On the other hand, I never thought I'd be paying so much for something I couldn't inject into my arm or wear on a gold-filled chain around my neck.

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