Being a minimalist has its amazing perks: it is easier to get dressed in the morning, I have more money freed up for experiences like travel, and the ability to focus more on life, and living it with less focus on "stuff."
One time when being a minimalist and conscious shopper gets tricky is during the holiday time, especially those certain holidays that involve 8 days of gifts, or loads of presents under a festive evergreen tree. I do not want my daughter's memories to be fed by consumerist culture, I want to build memories based on family time spent together learning and experiencing life.
Being a mother and a minimalist means quite simply that I work my very best to purchase or acquire a specific type of toy for my child. Toys that encourage imaginative play, are made with fair labor standards, can be passed down and stand the test of time. This way, the toys and gifts are selected and curated in a way to add value, and not deplete resources or discourage imaginative play.
For me choosing a toy isn't about a "good toy" versus a "bad toy", rather it is about bringing consciousness to selecting purchases and what she plays with. Is it beautiful? Does it feel good to the senses? Does it leave room for imagination (or conversely do all of the thinking work for the child)? Will it inspire imaginative play? Is it made ethically, can it be sourced fair trade or second hand, and will it stand the test of time?
Below are my picks for a conscious, loving holiday.
In my opinion the best gifts are experiences, love and time well spent with one another, but a wooden tool set is also a great addition.
Dolls and lovies with sensory appeal and without fixed faces help a child develop their sense of exploratory imagination. Imagine cuddling a plastic hard toy with a fixed grin and playing a nurturing mother to this item? Children love to emulate and imitate adults and their daily activities. By giving children objects that are not fixed, that are malleable both in touch and image, the child can use that toy for more than one thing. A doll with a less fixed emotional face gives their imagination free reign. Waldorf dolls are warm and soft, so they are appealing to the senses and have a calming effect on a child. This minimal face helps the child cultivate their inner picturing abilities.
Playsilks can become a cape, a veil, a belt, a fort, a den, waves, a baby blanket...the list goes on. As a vegan I searched for ahimsa silk or non-silk playsilks but did not find any that were overall as eco-friendly and responsibly made as Sarah's Silks. If you have any other suggestions, please comment below. As always, finding these bright beautiful silks secondhand would also work.
With Love + Kindness,