Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

Turn your child’s room into a magical night sky and provide a nightlight with Cloud B’s Twilight Sea Turtle. This plush toy illuminates a child’s room in soothing hues of blue and green as stars are cast onto the ceiling. A sea turtle storybook is included to teach children about these endangered sea animals, and an automatic timer switches the lights off after 45 minutes. Find it at http://www.cloudb.com or Bloomingdale’s stores.

Tuck copies of 3 Pigs and A Baby, Elmo’s Christmas Countdown, The Flight Before Christmas, and Tortoise vs. Hare from Genius Products under the tree. The Unstable Fables DVD collection features classic fairy tales with well known actors such as Brooke Shields, Jamie Lynn Spears, Tom Arnold, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway and Ben Stiller and adds modern twists for an outrageously funny result. Stock up on them at http://www.geniusproducts.com

Another timeless tale with valuable messages is the lovely Delgo from Farfelian Films, rich with full characters, solid role models and gorgeous animation. Delgo is a tale about acceptance of diversity, tolerance, patience – and what it means to be resourceful. Order it at http://www.delgo.com

Combine charity with gift giving by purchasing one of Ikea’s adorable plush animals, including lions, tigers, dogs and bears. Good for hugging, comforting and providing imaginary company, these toys have a charitable component: for every soft toy purchased through December 24th, IKEA will donate $1 to UNICEF and Save the Children. Head to http://www.ikea.com

Rosetta Stone software offers 31 different language courses and renders learning organic, fun, fast, easy and instinctual. Lessons are engaging and appropriate for any family member, so don’t forget to slip a Rosetta Stone gift to your favorite future polyglot. http://www.rosettastone.com

All y’all will be whislin’ Dixie after swaddling your little ones in fantastic Southern Brand clothing. Festooned with iconic Southern images such as Route 61 or a Hickory Smoked Bar BBQ sign, and made of 100% sweet, pure cotton, this line has a vintage wood-type look and feels as comfortable as a front porch swing. Visit http://www.southernbrand.com and choose your favorites.

Abe Lincoln Crosses A Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale by Deborah Hopkinson (Schwartz and Wade) brings Honest Abe to life for children and introduces our 16th president in a way that children can relate to and definitely enjoy. One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia is rife with info on everything you need to know to understand the world around you: nature, human body, science and technology, space, earth, people and places, history and arts and culture. http://www.dk.com. Space fascinates children, and Cosmic!: The Ultimate 3-D Guide to the Universe renders it even more exciting. Finally, Earth Matters for older children is a practical, comprehensive guide to what they can do to help preserve the planet during their time here on earth. Well-researched and dynamic, both of these books are also available at http://www.dk.com.

What would Christmas be without Alvin and the Chipmunks? Twentieth Century Fox has released a special edition set just in time for the holidays, as well as the classic Planet of the Apes series, which set the gold standard for sci-fi films – and much more for cinematic gift bedazzling. Find them at your local film store or at http://www.foxmovies.com.

Keep your clan cultured this holiday with books, and keep them happy with love.

Originally published December 2008
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