Sure, I think it’s way cute when Middle diligently looks through a toy catalog and exclaims “awwww, cute!” or “Mommy, I want dat!”. But I know a) it’s not good for the budget to buy buy buy, and b) it’s not good for the child to buy buy buy!

For gifts, I much prefer a collaborative gift, clothes, an experience, or a season pass of some type that we can enjoy all year long. With 3 kids, my little 1285 sq ft of humble abode (that we often refer to as “a shoebox”) can easily feel like it’s bursting at the seams! While I don’t want to begrudge grandparents and loving friends giving my children things that make them smile, it is never a requirement. I know I enjoy giving the perfect gift.

Big got a beautiful toybox lovingly hand-crafted by her Uncle for her first birthday. Even for my type-A personality, I love that I can just throw the toys in the box and close the lid, and things still look tidy in the room, even though there is chaos in the box. However, the number of toys, over the years, has multiplied so much as to not fit in the box! In fact, I cleaned out our garage to make a playroom for them so that all of the toys weren’t all over the house! And I know darn well that they don’t play with all of the toys! It bugs me.

And then I get a dose of perspective.

Operation Christmas Child is a project that pops up around the holidays. The gist is that you pack a shoebox filled with hygiene products, school supplies, and small toys and the OCC folks will ship it to a child somewhere around the world that would otherwise have none.

A Shoebox. I could fit a LOT of shoeboxes in my “shoebox”.

And my kids have this:

It’s all about perspective.


3 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. We just had our “packing party” for OCC last week. One of the Moms in our MOPS group said her husband was in Africa a few years back building a school when the shoe boxes arrived. He said ALL (not some or most, but ALL) of the children thought the wrapped shoebox WAS the gift. They had to be shown they could open the box and there were additional items inside for them to play with. And that each individuals shoebox was just for them. They didn’t understand the concept of not having to share with their entire family/village! Talk about perspective!

  2. I took 90% of the small toys & such that my kids got all year long (in their stockings, easter baskets, at various birthday parties, etc) and put them in a box under my bed. They didn’t even REALIZE they were gone. I took 20 small stuffed animals (cause lets be clear, they have about 50) & hid those away too. Every time we went to the dentist & my kids got toothpaste and new brushes (cause I like spin brushes) those went under the bed. Without realizing it, my kids nearly FILLED 7 shoe boxes this year. I spent very little money buying school supplies in August to put in the boxes. My kids have SO MUCH. Seven little children in the Phillipines are going to have a smile on their face because I denied my kids a box load of stuff they don’t need. I hear you loud & clear.

    • Steph: That’s amazing! I’m going to take a page from you for this next year! I even have 2 under-bed storage containers I have emptied from the garage project that I’ll dedicate to this! AWESOME!

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