My kids are already on notice that Hanukkah won't be an orgy of materialism. We started a tradition last year of taking one of the eight days to give instead of get, and Seth helped me pack a box of new books for his preschool.
This year, we already did some shopping, but at a very different kind of online catalog, where you can buy hope and joy and maybe some livestock too.
Seth naturally liked the alternative gift of planting trees in deforested parts of the world, but then I got an email from a group with a similar idea. Eco-Libris will plant a tree for every book you read: you can buy 10 trees for $10, and you get 10 of these nifty stickers to place on your books.
Stickers and kids and books and charity -- I'm sensing a winner here.
Eco-Libris has gathered some mind-numbing statistics on what book publishing does to our nation's forested land; now I can't look at my groaning shelves without blushing.
They're putting together a nice little holiday gift-giving guide at their blog, and this week they're featuring an Eric Carle book, The Tiny Seed, which encourages a love of green, growing things.
I hope I've planted a seed with all of you too.