The season of giving is (mostly) behind us. We have been inundated with presents, cookies, candies, etc. We have also given so much and tried to find the perfect present for our loved ones. Now, it’s time to find a place for it all and see what we actually use and what we actually needed/wanted. It’s a weird time because most of us have been very blessed, but now we feel a bit overwhelmed by it all, especially if you have kids.
Christmas morning, my newsfeed was full of pictures showing off lit Christmas trees with dozens of packages underneath. Our tree was no different (more thanks to the grandparents than us). My husband and I have made a rule: 1 “toy” or something they want, clothes, and books. 3 gifts total. Now, I will say that I sometimes find one or two more things that I know that would really love. For example, my daughter is very much into jewelry so I gave her earrings. Both my kids got an extra “toy” and received cozy headphones for their electronics. Overall, we really try to keep it to the three gifts because we know they get so much from others.
Almost a week later and all those people posting their present laden Christmas trees are now posting, “I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the things my kids received.” “How do you organize all the new stuff!” One recent post I saw, from my friend at Good Enough Motherhood Community wrote:
Looking for some suggestions…
My husband and I are already feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the amount of gifts my son had gotten, many of which are not toys that we really want him to have or play with long-term…
We’re grateful for the generosity of our family and don’t ever want to come off as being controlling or snobby, and we know that it comes from a good, well-meaning place. We’ve started seeing the “more more more” and “mine all mine” mentality from our kid and we’re not loving it.
Any suggestions regarding any of these things would be super appreciated!
How you handle the influx of new toys and stuff from the holidays
Having respectful conversations with family regarding gift-giving (or do you just deal with it?)
Not raising an entitled/spoiled/hoarding child (because SERIOUSLY.)
SPEAK IT!! That is how a lot of us are feeling and at the same time, I feel like many of us just take what we are given, say thank you, and move on. It’s the polite thing to do, right? But I know with my kiddos, they are truly blessed to have a lot throughout the year, yet they don’t really yearn for much or really play with toys (which many people don’t believe). Yet, how do we find a balance between showing our love and giving gifts without drowning our houses (or other’s) with more STUFF or just dumping \STUFF on the kids that they don’t really need or necessarily want.
I have written about this before and I have often asked friends/family for these for gifts, but unfortunately, many people don’t see this as a “good enough” thing because kids can’t necessarily open something to enjoy immediately. (Instant gratification is a whole other topic that I don’t want to get into right now.) I love to take my kids places and my kids LOVE going places: the aquarium, local zoos, gym classes, indoor playgrounds, pottery making, swim lessons; but guess what, these places cost money! My kids would so much rather go to the zoo or aquarium instead of getting another truck or doll.
I get a lot of push-back with this though. Like I said, people want to give GIFTS- something tangible for the kids to enjoy and hold. Even in my own gift giving, I am guilty of this, but I try very hard to give an experience or something consumable (gift cards to local ice cream places or arts & crafts items, so it’s not permanent clutter). I found the best way to give experiences WHILE also giving something tangible, pair your experience gift card with a small tangible gift that goes along with it. So instead of buying 5 things for the child, you give them money you would have spent on 4 gifts toward something they would enjoy doing and pair it with ONE tangible gift. I’ve complied some ideas for you all for future gift giving to a kid (or adult) you love and want to spoil.
Gifting Experiences with a Tangible Gift:
Zoo/Aquarium membership: favorite stuffed animal
Swim lessons: Googles, new bathing suit, new float device
Pottery making: paint or something to use with what they can make (tea or teapots/cups; piece of jewelry for a small dish; coffee/tea/hot chocolate for a mug; etc.)
Art classes: New art materials- brushes, paint, crayons, etc.
Cooking class: New apron or new kitchen gadget
Amusement park gift card: New bag. (Disney- new Disney dress up or disney related toy)
Museum membership: pair it with something that corresponds with the particular museum. Science museum? Pair with a science kit. Air and space museum? Pair with a toy plane. Train museum? Pair with a new Thomas train.
My favorite gift my kids are getting this season is a pajama party with their aunt. So instead of her buying them another toy, she is getting them each a pair of pjs, coming over, and spending time with them. Win-win-win: she isn’t spending a lot of money, kids love having her around, and mom and dad get a free date night out of it!!! WHAT?!?!?!
So before you go and buy the latest toy craze that will find it’s place on the floor or the bottom of a toy chest in 20 minutes, give the gift of time or experience. If you feel the need to provide a gift with it then pair it with something small that they can enjoy. I can’t tell you many parents (and kids) would appreciate these gifts more!! I have a whole newsfeed full to back this up.