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.