Did you shop differently this year?
So, are you ready? The headlong rush to Christmas is almost over, and I hope you're all reading this with feet propped up, lights twinkling, and a mug of something warm (and spiked, if you so choose). Or, if you're at work today and tomorrow's just an extra day off for you, I hope you're looking forward to something relaxing -- a movie, maybe (though it looks like Walk Hard may be a dud, if you're pining for boots and pearl button shirts, I cannot recommend No Country for Old Men highly enough). I somehow managed to get all my shopping and wrapping done by yesterday afternoon, much earlier than usual... makes today feel positively leisurely, since I know I don't have to dash home after work to tangle with ribbons and tape. You know who's not so lucky? Ron Voake. He makes wooden toys in Norwich, Vermont, and with every news flash about poisoned toys out of China, his business has received more orders, adding up to what he calls a "preposterous" year (the likes of which he hopes to never see again). I'd been wondering about just that -- if the problems with Chinese exports would have a perceptible affect on Christmas shopping habits -- and this, an anecdotal story, isn't conclusive. So how did you shop for kids this year? Did you check the "Made In" label on your gifts?