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Kids Christmas Gifts – No more stuff!

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  • Posted: December 6th, 2011

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    By: Dawn Juntilla

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas - time with family, giving gifts, and of course all that yummy holiday food.  But, this year, I am just a bit exhausted by the whole idea of giving gifts to my children.  They truly have every toy they could possibly need, and then some.  And, with each new birthday and Christmas, the pile of neglected toys grows.

    In the past, I made efforts to combat the constant flow of toys with acts of giving.  We sponsor families at Christmas, give to Toys for Tots and participate in programs that provide food for less fortunate children.  Our children participate in all of these efforts either by helping select gifts, physically putting the gifts in the donation box, or helping to make food rations. These are all valuable experiences and I intend to continue them simply to counter my children’s notion of entitlement.  However, I just wonder if they fail to get at the root of the problem – too much stuff!

    Then I had an epiphany – don’t give stuff!  I am not saying that I will not be giving gifts to my children this holiday season, I just won’t be giving toys, games or the like.  Instead, I am giving my children experiences, opportunities to keep their minds and bodies active, and a chance to find new passions.  This year, I am giving the Gift of Activity. 

    So, no DS, Ipod or American Girl for my daughter this year.  Instead, she will be going to a play with me and her best friend.  And, her grandparents are giving her the chance to take horseback riding lessons.  No more Thomas & Friends trains for my son. This year, he is going to visit the local the train museum and we are signing him up for skiing lessons and floor hockey.

    Are they still very lucky children who should be grateful for the gifts they are receiving?  Absolutely!  However, this year, I can be sure that their gifts will be used and will help them grow rather than simply ending up as clutter. I feel better about this Christmas already!

    Comments & Discussions(4)
    • Jacki

      December 11th, 2011

      I agree with this idea. Our kids have so much "stuff". I am trying to get my husband on board with this concept as well. I would much rather create memories and talents for my chilfen rather than buy them toys. I'm not saying that toys are beneficial, but as they get older I think it's important to have them experience more and discover other interests. Also, I think that we need to continue with physical activities and healthy lifestyle choices.

    • sarah

      December 19th, 2011

      I hear you! :) We joined a cool program that gives our kids "new" toys every month by renting them. It is so fun every month getting the new ones delivered and being able to return the ones that they have been playing with has cut down on so much clutter in our house and I have totally stopped buying toys. When we see stuff the boys want we just say we can look for it a TREP. They have all the toys online so the kids can help me pick out the toys! It is very cool! And I am NOT going overboard this christmas :)

    • sarah

      December 19th, 2011

      oh the website is www.mytrep.net if you wanted to see what i am talking about :)

    • caterina

      January 3rd, 2012

      Since it is starting to get colder, it has been so hard for me to find <a href="www.greatwolf.com">Indoor Activities for Kids</a> that will keep my kids occupied. They are sick of going to the movies. Someone recently told me about Great Wolf, I think I'm going to try it.

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