WAR IS NOT FUN & GAMES!!! Every
holiday season manufactures prey on our children with pro-war
propaganda disguised as innocent toys. Don't let your child be a victim
of G.I. Joe! As you're out buying holiday gifts, make a point this year
to show little ones that war is not game. Set an example for the
children in your life and use the opportunity to teach them
non-violence. Below are great ideas and actions you can take to celebrate the Holidays ethically and Say NO to War Toys!
ATTENTION SHOPPERS! Dress
up in awesome pink camouflage gear or wear a fun holiday costume like
an elf and stand outside stores that sell war toys with anti-war toy
banners reminding gift buyers to shop responsibly. Hand out flyers to
shoppers about why they shouldn't buy them and give them suggestions
for alternative gifts they can purchase for the little ones in their
lives. Click here to download flyers.
For even more holiday cheer sing some fun alterna-holiday songs.
Click here to download song sheets.
OPERATION STICK IT TO THEM… Place
"surgeon general-type" warning labels on war toys in the stores. Simple
mailing labels that you can print off at home are perfect for this
action. Use the samples below or get creative and design your own.
GET SOME CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Get
a bunch of friends to go with you to each buy a war toy, and then go
back to the store later to return them. Create long complaint lines,
showing other customers (and hopefully you've called the media) why war
toys are bad. Talk directly to store owners and managers and ask them
to stop selling war toys. Tell them you and your friends are
considering no longer shopping at the store if war toys continue to be
sold. Make buttons that say, “Say No to War Toys” or “War is Not a
Game” and offer them to the employees.
Promote stores that are not selling war toys and give those stores certificates of appreciation to put in their windows.
TEACH PEACE THROUGH PLAY Ask
your child's teachers to talk about the negative impact of war toys and
start a campaign to ban war toys on the school playground. Suggest a
toy exchange for the school, where children turn in their war toys and
get some cool, peaceful toy like a hot pink Frisbee. Make it a class
project and involve the children in setting it up.
Click here to download a resource guide you can give to teachers to encourage them to use peaceful play alternatives in the classroom.
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT Talk
to your child about violent toys and why they are harmful; then ask
them to help you select a gift that promotes peaceful play to donate a
gift to a program that provides holiday presents for children from
families with limited resources.
GIVE A GIFT OF YOUR TIME Rather
than buying a gift for someone you love, make a beautiful coupon and
give them a gift of your time ... either in the form of babysitting,
helping to paint a room at their house or shoveling snow or garden work
in the Spring, making them dinner, food shopping, teaching them some
skill, or something else that they could really use help with! Your
time with the gift recipient shows real caring, deepens your
involvement with the recipient, and does not reward some manufacturer
for making things that no one really needs (their tenth sweater or
pocketbook or their newest hand-held electronic device).
GIVE AN INTANGIBLE GIFT Your
gift doesn't have to end up in a landfill. Be creative: give dancing
lessons, give tickets to the theater, invite friends to a movie or play
that you all go together, or give a certificate for a massage!
MAKE SOMETHING Have
you ever wished you had more time to... draw, sew, paint, knit? If you
can take some time, treat yourself to a local crafts course to learn to
throw pots, knit scarves or make other personal items that you can give
to people you love!
BUY LOCALLY Find
out about local merchants in your area to support, but go the extra
step of finding out about the goods they carry and where they come
from. Don't shop at Wal-Mart! Look up specific brand names and where
your dollars go:
BUY ETHICALLY Globalize
fair trade. If you don't live in a hotbed of local merchants who give
back to the community, you can still gift consciously. Check out Global Exchange's resources to help you find places where you can get fair trade
OR, BUY NOTHING AT ALL! Do
you really need anything else? Why not exchange absolutely no presents
at all! People may be put off for a moment at first, and you can see
why. In the season of conspicuous consumption, asking for less, rather
than more, is a radical act. They'll understand when you show them this
statement. For children, buy gifts that reflect your values--not
violent gifts or violence-oriented video games. And sit down with your
children to explain to them why the planet needs people to stop buying
things that use up the planet's rapidly decreasing resources.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. The name CODEPINK satirized the Bush Administration's color-coded, fear-mongering "security" alert system that has since been phased out. CODEPINK is a lively call for the people of the world to "wage peace." More...