The heart behind Boutique Mini-Cycle has always been to help parents buy less and buy better for the sake of our planet. At Christmas time, when messages of consumerism abound, we don't want to contribute to the noise. The societal pressure to fill your homes and closets with things you and your children don't truly need is the antithesis of our business model. That said, we understand that the Holidays are a time of generous gift-giving and children grow so quickly, and do need clothing.
With this in mind, and staying true to our ideals that less is more, we've made a gift guide that we think will resonate with our like-minded community. We hope it helps you find the perfect gift for your loved ones, and provides memories that will last the whole year!
A Minimalist Gift Guide
1. Something to Do
We love gifting experiences to our children because memories last far longer than stuff! Shared time together and meaningful experiences take up zero room in your home and usually don't hurt the environment one bit either. In years past we've gifted trips or memberships to museums, zoos, and educational centers such as the local science center or butterfly conservatory. We've gifted classes such as pottery or robotics and purchased movie or play tickets. This year with Covid-19 impacting many of these options, we're looking at board games, films, online classes and tentative plans for next summer.
2. Something to Read
When a child is old enough to hold a book, start giving them as gifts! Though children don't typically begin to read for themselves until Kindergarten or Grade 1, an interest in words, pictures, and stories develops far earlier. For parents of older children who are already reading, an eReader could make a great and eco-friendly option. Second hand books can always be found in excellent condition as well. We often sell books in our Re-cycle section! Some of our favourite places to find whimsical children's books are The Wonder Cabinet (based in Canada) and Lil Bellies, both of which ship internationally.
3. Something to Wear
The holidays conveniently falls at the beginning of a long cold winter for most of us, which signals the need for warmer clothes.
4. Something They Need
This is a great time to purchase any winter outerwear or accessories your children don't yet have. If it weren't the holidays, you'd be buying it anyway, so it's a nice way to feel like you're saving! While "need" is a term that will change for each family, this is often a category where we purchase sporting equipment like new skates or sleds, and fun every items like bath robes or blankets.
5. Something They Want
This is every kid's favourite category of course! We're all for being practical and keeping things minimal, but it's a magical time of year and gift-giving is meant to be fun! Delight your little one by making a wish come true! We love wooden toys or toys made from recycled materials and there's nothing like the quality family time a good board game provides. Our favourite local place to buy these goodies is Vert Imaginaire, who ships internationally. For toys, we also love Linden Bee, The Wonder Cabinet, Nest Pics and Veille sur toi.
Mini-Cycle Gift Ideas
Babies 0-2 years
It's likely your little one sleeps right through Christmas morning or the evening lighting of the Menorah, without understanding any significance, but the traditions are shaping nonetheless!
This year, some of our top gift ideas come in small packages. Our Donsje baby booties are luxuriously soft inside and made of durable leather on the outside along with a charming animal design (you can choose from a fawn, unicorn, or bear as well as lace-up booties in a variety of neutral shades). We also love the Fin & Vince baby Christmas Tree Blanket for their nursery or anywhere else in your home. Bibs soothers and Mushie swaddle blankets make the perfect stocking stuffer, too.
Toddlers 3-4 years
The Oeuf crown in sizes 0-3y and 3-6y comes in four colours and works equally well for playing make-believe or dressing up for a special occasion. Chasing Windmills thermal long johns are also the perfect thing to layer for outdoor play all winter long. They also double as light yet toasty pyjamas, and you know we love clothing that does double duty! Speaking of pyjamas, you will fall in love with this year's winter options from Parade Organics. Festive enough to dawn on Christmas morning proudly, but neutral enough to wear all year.
Kids 5-8 years
This winter we're loving Red Caribou sweatshirts, winter dresses, sweatpants, and leggings for the kids. Warm and high quality, this collection highlights nature and wildlife in all of their designs. We also love Collegien socks and tights and Miniature outerwear accessories for stocking stuffers.
If you're still out of ideas, consider a gift card to Mini-Cycle! We also offer gift wrapping with eco-friendly paper, twine, compostable sticker and a festive garnish for $4.50. And remember, we guarantee to buy back everything you've purchased from us.
The Holidays are upon us and we are so thankful for your support of our small business and the circular economy!