Toys for Christmas… to buy or not to buy them? That is the question.
This seems to be a recurrent topic surrounding Christmas. Everybody has different opinions and techniques to keeping the clutter at bay and their children grateful. I’ve heard the popular 5 thing list, you know, one thing to read, one thing to wear, and so on. I’ve heard the “gift experiences, not toys.” Then I saw someone proudly post a picture of their gift covered tree. They were severely criticized!
There are so many factors surrounding all these trends. Minimalism. The belief that if you give kids too much you will spoil them. The clutter that comes from all the toys. The fact that kids seem to forget how much they wanted a toy three seconds after opening it.
I know that we are all just trying to do what we think is best for our family, for our kids.
We all want our kids to know the value of things. We want them to be grateful for what we provide for them with our hard earned money. We want them to know that we love them, but that things don’t determine their value. Also,we go through different seasons. Some years we are able to afford a big Christmas, and some years we need to simplify.
Life is not black and white. The more I live and hear other people’s stories, the more I realize just how “gray” life is. How different we all are. How much we ALL want a good life.
However, there is another thing about life that I’ve known full well for a few years now, but that I seem to be reminded of often, more so lately: LIFE IS SHORT! I know this can go in many directions but here’s my two cents: If your kid really, really, really, REALLY likes that toy that he might forget about in a few days, don’t their anticipation and lit up face on Christmas morning make it worth it? If they have so many toys that you step on one every step, but you know that the Christmas toy/present they circled on the catalog will bring joy to their life if even for just a moment. Isn’t it worth it? If grandma or auntie want to show them love buying them the toy they want, doesn’t letting them have that relationship make it worth the extra toys around?
Kids will only be kids once. They will only be a certain age once.
The toy that they couldn’t possibly go on without today may be a thing of the past next year. I feel sometimes we focus too much on the things, the toy, the money, the clutter.
We forget about other more important things; the relationships, the joy, the fun, the anticipation, the excitement. All these are the spice of life.
My best Christmas memories growing up are when I got something I really, really wanted. I was so excited to get that thing I was so hoping for. I know there are several factors to consider, I understand life is not one size fits all. I am aware that we are all in different seasons and have different possibilities. All I’m saying is, let’s open our minds and not get so caught up in the pragmatic side of things.
Let’s say “YES!” more often.
Let’s not hold our kids to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. Let’s be honest how many pairs of shoes or purses or clothes that we “can’t live without” are cluttering our closet. How many times we buy a gadget that we thought would be the best purchase ever just to stuff it in the drawer when we realize it wasn’t as great as we thought. I am guilty as charged!
So in my opinion, toys for Christmas… why not? Let their desire be a conversation starter. Talk about people who are in need and maybe agree to donate some old toys they don’t play with anymore. Teach them about hard work and what it takes to be able to afford certain things. Discover gratitude, come up with practical ways in which you can all express gratitude. Life is a wonderful teacher and if we walk along side our kids there are plenty of natural lessons to be learned without having to force them.