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20 Great Gifts for Kids of All Ages

another sexy santa

does this cat look indignant?
Put the Cat in the Hat

Hosting one of those ugly sweater parties this holiday? Let your pussy in on some of the fun. Who cares if the cat thinks it’s demeaning, this PetSmart exclusive Whisker City Pet Holiday Christmas Tree Hat is perfect for your furry one. Surveyed cats agree it’s soft, lightweight, and comfortable enough to wear (for short, supervised dress-up only) and makes an affordable last-minute gift too. $3.99, PetSmart.com

The dad jacket is like a diaper bag
Dapper Fleece Jacket Wearable Diaper Bag

Nobody wants to wear a diaper bag — until now. Created by the guys behind Dad Gear, this fleece jacket hides all the gear a sporty mom or dad needs to leave the house during those diaper years. Gift it to the baby in your life. They’re too young to know it’s really to keep their parent from looking like they’ve already capitulated to dad bod. Jacket hides a zippered chest pocket for baby wipes and another with headphone wire access for your phone or iPod, pockets inside for diapers and other stuff, two bottle pockets on either side that lie flat when not in use, and a slim-design changing pad discreetly tucked in a back pocket. Oh, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee and is American-made. $99, DadGear.com

mariah carey's christmas book
All She Wants is You, Baby

This children’s book is inspired by Mariah Carey’s beloved "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and illustrated by Colleen Madden. Using the lyrics as text, Madden adds beautiful illustrations that bring to life a story about a girl’s Christmas wish for a new puppy that features great festive moments with family, friends, presents, and of course, Santa Claus. Drink a cocktail and channel your inner Mariah for the kiddos. (Book is ideal for ages 3-7.) $18, PenguinRandomHouse.com

 

This dog is styling!
Plaid Is So Hot This Season

Plaid is totally hot right now! So bundle the fur kids up in one of these Red Tartan, Mulberry, or Wintergreen Plaid fleece outfits from Gold Paw Series. The seven-way stretch fabric provides fully flexible coverage for lounging by the fire or chasing bunnies through the snow, and the outfit comes in sizes that will clothe all body types from Chihuahua to Labradoodle (also available for cats in solid colors only, because they apparently don't have as keen a fashion sense). $20-$36, GoldPawSeries.com

Mini engine
For Your Mini Gearhead

If you or your partner know your way around an car and love tinkering with them, share the love with your little grease monkeys with Hammacher Schlemmer's amazing Little Car Lover's Engine Repair Set, a "toy” that allows aspiring mechanics to pop the hood, change the oil, test the brakes, change the air filter, and check fluid levels as soon as they are 3 years old. With a screwdriver, wrench, and other appropriately sized tools they’ll be pulling out the removable spark plugs and tightening wing nuts. The miniaturized but lifelike car components make this less like playing pretend and more like learning a skill. Once their repair job is complete, the kids can even get behind the wheel, turn a key and hear the engine roar to life. There’s also a working horn and headlights and all that power requires mad batteries (eight AAA). We sprung for rechargeable batteries, and the look on our niece’s face — and watching her working on a car with her daddy — was totally worth it. The 15 play functions include one with a track for Matchbox cars. Ages 3 and up; comes with a lifetime guarantee. $120, Hammacher.com

Queer Rock Love
Trans Parents & Wonderfully Imperfect Queer Families

An absolutely wonderful gift for moms and dads and those who love them, Queer Rock Love: A Family Memoir bucks memoir tradition by focusing not on just a couple or an individual coming out as trans or living as trans, but rather one about falling in love, making family together, and creating a world where a transgender family demands their space and happiness in the world. Author Page Schilt takes you on a fun, inspired journey encompassing feminist girly geekhood, singing sperm donors, rockabilly folk lesbians, tattooed kinfolk, and all that's wonderfully transgressive and yet so ordinary about our lives. (Professional disclosure: Writer of this gift guide also edited the book, but that doesn't make this book any less wonderful). $17, TransgressPress.org

Greenies under the Christmas tree
Season's Greenies

Greenies Canine Dental Chews are man’s best friend’s best friends. Low in fat and nutritionally complete, the favorites of pets and vets alike fight plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Pets will love their Greenies, and you’ll love their fresh breath; especially when they thank you for their holiday gifts with slobbery kisses. Also available in blueberry, grain-free, weight management, and senior varieties are sized from "teenie” to large. $9 and up for package of 22, Pet360.com

Rocking tees for kids with two dads
Queer Cuties: Cute Pride Tees and Onesies

Let your kid proudly announce “My Moms Rock” or “Two Dads Are Better Than One” with one of these adorable queer onesies and tees from Rebel Ink Baby, Mini Fine, and Psychobaby. $9 and up, Kitsel.com

Green feeder is interacted
Sit. Shake. Eat Slow

Green, the funky-looking interactive feeder designed in Denmark, slows your dog down and prevents her from wolfing all her food down at once. Slowing down eating helps reduce the unpleasant after-effects of eating too fast, resulting in a happier and healthier dog. But maybe your dog just wants to delve into this mentally and physically challenging dog dish. With a shape that mimics the contours of grass and looks like a piece of modern art, it has little nooks and crannies that make it difficult for her to inhale all her wet or dry food at once. Dishwasher safe, and yes, it's available for cats too. $15 and up, CompanyOfAnimals.us

A transgender fairy tale
For All the Princesses 

The Royal Heart is a modern take on the classic fairy tale with a transgender girl the focus of the story. What if the prince is really a princess? What can someone do if their outsides don’t reflect who they are on the inside? The Royal Heart takes readers on the character’s quest to find herself and presents familial love and acceptance as capable of conquering all. In The Royal Heart, Greg McGoon explores themes universal to all kids as they struggle through the difficult transitions of childhood and the struggle to know and celebrate their unique selves. Aimed at ages 4 to 8. $20, Amazon.com

a whale of a cute bank
Take Pride in Making Bank

Encourage your kids to save — whales and money — with one of these adorable smiling Save the Whales! Piggy Banks. Made of porcelain, they have a tactile rubber exterior and come in a rainbow of Pride colors (blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, and green). Each whale has a rubber plug in the undercarriage to remove coins when your young saver is ready to donate — or deposit — a whale’s belly full of change. Gives new meaning to making change. $25, MaiaMingDesigns.com

Mr. Darcy is sure furry now
Speaking of Pride (and Prejudice)

What’s better than Pride and Prejudice reimagined with zombies? This book: A Guinea Pig Pride & Prejudice, in which furry and very much alive guinea pigs are staged and photographed in the cutest Jane Austen revival ever. You’ll buy the book for your 5-year-old but then end up gazing dreamily into the big eyes of a handsome, whiskered Mr. Darcy and urging him into the arms of a furry and bonneted Elizabeth. (We hear that after several cocktails, the whole thing is wickedly funny too.) $13, Bloombsury.com

LGBT history for kids
A Better History Lesson

A first-of-its-kind book, Gay and Lesbian History for Kids shares some important moments of the LGBT movement in an informative yet engaging book for kids written by a former elementary school teacher. Though it may be whiter and gayer than some hope, the book by Jerome Pohlen has some diversity that will make sense to kids, including the history of a gay Revolutionary War hero, transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen (who, as Pohlen says, stepped off the plane from Copenhagen and into a mob of 300 reporters and photographers" after her gender-affirmation surgery abroad) or Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a lesbian couple who spent over five decades together but were married for only the last 10 weeks of Martin's life. For kids 9 and up, the book has 21 activities that can help young minds understand weighty topics without the biases many grow up with. $15, Amazon.com

A zebra and a unicorn had a baby and ....
What’s More Amazing Than a Unicorn? 

Calm down, unicorn lovers, don’t be haters. There is something more amazing than a unicorn, and it’s called Zoonicorn! (We believe it's what happens when a unicorn is gay for a zebra and they have a multiracial magical baby. Ta-da! Zoonicorn.) Zoonicorns are special creatures that visit the dreams of young zoo animals to help them through life lessons. Available in four heartwarming personalities, the cuddly doll is a great nighttime companion for, well, anyone. There’s also an accompanying book, Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns, that offers words of encouragement and fun illustrations. The purple Zoonicorn is named Promithea, a shy and loyal being who can be trusted with secrets. $10 (Zoonicorn) or $17 (book), Zoonicorn.com

Yomoto Scooter
Bad to the Bone

The company Prince Lionheart calls its YoMOTO Ride-On Scooter the coolest bike on the block, and it’s hard to quibble with that assessment when you have a badass 2-year-old. The sleek frame is narrow and lightweight but still has four wheels for stability. Although riders can scoot along by shuffling with their feet, the lean-and-learn design encourages the development of gross motor skills they’ll needed for future bike riding. The bike's assembly is stupid easy even for anxious parents: just snap in handles and it's ready to go. For 18 months and up, Or if s/he's a little bit older, try this awesome, two-wheeled Prince Lionheart Chop Balance Bike (pictured right). $80 and up, Amazon.com

Shaun the Sheep gang
Claymation for Kids of All Ages

From the beloved claymation creators of Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit comes Shaun the Sheep, an animated film about a little sheep with big dreams but a boring life on Mossy Bottom Farm. When Shaun takes the day off for some fun in the Big City, he gets a lot more action than he bargained for (much like that weekend in Provincetown). The Combo Pack has Blu-ray, DVD, and digital with a making-of documentary with behind-the-scenes footage and intros to the crew. $14.99, Amazon.com

over the river
Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure 

Linda Ashman takes the classic holiday song of the same name and refreshes it with a contemporary story of a far-flung, modern, and multiracial family traveling to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the holiday. With illustrations by Kim Smith featuring a family that includes interracial couples, gay parents, and adopted children, this inclusive sing-along storybook is a great way to get through those challenging holiday travel moments and remember the reason we’re willing to go over the river and through the woods to spend time with those we love. $9.85, BarnesandNoble.com

 

adult coloring books
Very Adult Coloring Books

Adults are finally remembering why we loved coloring books as kids: it fires up your creativity and helps relieve the stress of, well, adulthood. In Martyrdom: The Coloring Book ($16.99, Powells.com) the lives of the saints are filled with inspiring, tranformative moments — but the deaths of the martyrs are where you’ll find the real “Oh, hell no!” parts of history, and this delightfully dark adult comic book offers a bigger body count to go along with info on Catholic history and a lot of fun stuff to color (Hint: You'll want more than one red crayon.) You can't go wrong with best-selling author Millie Marotta's intricately designed coloring books, including Tropical World: A Coloring Book Adventure ($8.22, Amazon.com) and Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me ($9.88, Amazon.com), two of the most exquisite and exotic adult coloring books out there. Want something queerer? We love Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: A Body-Positive Coloring Book ($6.99, Amazon.com), Theo Nicole Lorenz's ode to 18 fat sci-fi heroines "trekking across the time and space, blasting off into adventure, and saving the day."

doodletopia
Or Help Them Hone Their Own Artistry

Doodletopia Cartoons by Christopher Hart is an awesome and fun interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that shows you how to draw, design, and color cartoons. And unlike other doodle books, this one is really easy to understand, with sometimes hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters. Every creative preteen goes crazy about this art book, but so will your artsy friends. $18.99, PenguinRandomHouse.com

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