BY BRANDY McDONNELL Modified: November 23, 2008 at 12:48 am •  Published: November 23, 2008
It’s a Christmas scenario all parents dread: After the effort and expense of shopping, their child gets more excited about the crumpled wrapping paper and empty box than the actual present.

From high-tech stuffed animals to environmentally friendly tea sets, this holiday season offers many creative gift ideas for parents willing to look beyond the usual options.

Everyone loves a puppet show, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman carries hand-knitted finger puppets in a variety of species, from turtles to turkeys. All ages, $4.50.

The music of Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood, Johnny Cash and George Strait are converted into soothing lullabies in the "Hushabye Baby!” CD series. Infants; $16.98;

A colorful Muppet-like character named eebee helps tykes play and learn in the quirky ebee’s Adventures toy, book and DVD line, which includes a cute plush bowling set. Infants and toddlers; $17.95 to $38; Barnes and Noble and www.eebee. com.

This year’s Kohl’s Cares for Kids program includes books and plush toys featuring longtime favorite Curious George. The books and toys are $5 each, and net profits go to children’s health and education efforts. Ages 2-8; at Kohl’s stores.

An 18-inch-tall cloth Strawberry Shortcake doll complete with berry-scented hat is in this year’s catalog from the venerable Madame Alexander Doll Co.

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