Due to a series of unfortunate events, the gifts for tomorrow's holiday party for my son's preschool class will not arrive in time. I've offered to do a last-minute emergency search for replacements. I have 13 girls and 10 boys to buy for. The dollar limit is $3 per child. Plus! As anyone with kids knows, these days any item entering a day care must not include chocolate, excess sugar, or have passed within 300 miles of any facility that has ever been used to process a nut. To meet prevailing parental sensibilities, it shouldn't involve anything to do with war, guns, or violence in general. It can't be remotely god-themed. Ideally, it should be environmentally friendly, produced without the use of sweat-shop labor, and, toughest of all, contain only minimal amounts of lead or other potentially lethal toxins.

So I'm thinking, what, organic beer in recyclable bottles? Alternative suggestions welcome.

--Michelle Cottle