toys, toys, toys – how much is too much?
Christmas is fast approaching and if you’re like me you’ve been “makin’ a list and checking it twice”, especially when it comes to presents!
I love gift giving. It’s one of the things I most look forward to at Christmas.
I tend to do my shopping all throughout the year as I see gifts or things go on sale so as not to blow the budget in December and also to avoid the manic Christmas shoppers rush. But it never fails that come December there are still so many expenses that creep up! Ingredients for baking, “special” food to cook for a Christmas meal, postage for cards and packages, Christmas lights because the old ones burned out, “secret santa” gifts, etc. etc. etc. And… there’s always that temptation to buy one. more. gift. that so-and-so just neeeeeeeeds.
But it’s not only the finances involved in gift giving that can get me agitated… it’s also the culminating mountain of “stuff”.
We don’t even have a two-year-old yet and already I feel like our house is filled with toys! I can only imagine this compounding over the years as multiple children and birthdays and Christmases draw in the stockpiles of toys, toys, toys! I get a little worked-up just thinking about mountains of wood and plastic and stuffed things taking over our house.
So how much is too much when it comes to toys and gift giving at Christmas?
I want my children to grow up having wonderful things to play with and enjoy and help them learn, but I also don’t want them to grow up feeling a sense of entitlement as gift-giving holidays approach. Like all intentional parents, I want them to learn generosity, not selfishness.
I’ve heard a few ideas for gift giving at Christmas:
- Four gifts for each child: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
- Three gifts for each child inspired by the three wise men: Gold – the big gift they’ve been wanting; Frankincense – something for their body; and Myrrh – something for their spiritual or personal development. (This one I heard from Jessica.)
- A present from mom and dad and draw names for the kids to give/receive one gift each.
- One present from each person in the family.
- One big gift and lots of little gifts in the stocking.
This year we’re giving the boys each new pajamas (on Christmas Eve), a present from us and a present from each other on Christmas morning, as well as some fun stocking stuffers. (We figure that will be plenty since they will also get gifts from grandparents and aunties and uncles.) We may reconsider our approach next year, but for this year it feels right.
Oh, and speaking of gifts… look for a fun and meaningful giveaway coming next week!
Dear friends, what do you do for Christmas gift giving in your homes?