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In addition to my work here on The Rock Father™ Magazine, I veer off in many directions. As some of you may know, I am a member of The Toy Insider's extended family - contributing to their website as a member of their Parent Advisory Board, and a frequent participant in their excellent toy-based Twitter Parties. When it comes to the holiday season, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Holiday Gift Guide as expansive as the one that The Toy Insider puts together, one that exists in print (together with Family Circle) and online, with selections chosen by a team of experts and sorted by age and interest. Even I chip in with a "Rock Father Pick!" Now, despite the fact that we're often swimming in toys here at Rock Father HQ (much of which we donate), my girls do have a small "wish list," and with that The Toy Insider sent a surprise. In fact, all of the Toy Insider parents received a mystery box, and with ours we did a little early preview of Christmas morning here at home. With just four items, the response from all girls is all that a parent could hope for - and one that makes me really think about the "less is more" approach to Christmas. A few well-targeted gifts will beat the "piles of stuff" any day, and the video below shows just that. Take a look at the video, and then read on for some thoughts on these four Hot Holiday Picks!

Toy Fair 2016If you've got little ones in the house, chances are you have a few things from Alex Brands... even though you might not know it. At the 2016 North American International Toy Fair, Alex Brands just announced over 350 new products, spread over numerous categories of play, including spa, crafts and DIY, outdoor/active, STEM, infant/preschool and licensing partnerships. Check out an overview of what you can expect to find from Alex Toys, along with a small selection of product images. This will all be coming to retail in the months ahead...

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, Barnes & Noble has been expanding their online product assortment and offering some very competitive pricing (even rivaling Amazon at times) in order to avoid a fate like that of the recently-departed Borders. That said, it's a good time for consumers, and I was surprised to learn that it's BABY WEEK at Barnes & Noble, and that they're offering 25% Off Hundreds of Baby Gifts and Essentials at BN.com. But that's not all. They have other great deals for parents on items for kids, and The Rock Father™ is sharing the info below...

Published in Family Savings

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