Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas presents for kids

So we spoke about the Christmas presents for big people.

Let's talk about Christmas present for the little ones.

MandyH posted this three weeks ago and I'm only now getting around to respond.

First, the background

I didn't grow up with a lot of Christmas gifts (I can only remember getting 1 gift) and I honestly didn't even know any different until I was about 9 or 10 years of age.

D and I used to buy about 5 things each for a good few years until it got awkward with the families. We'd all open one and then D and I were still at it while everyone else was done - terrible :)

One year we opened our gifts together, just the two of us, and then later did the family ones.

Then I got into the decluttering and simplifying mindset nearly 6 years ago. And now I believe that less is more, I really do.

I now prefer one thing I really love rather than 10 things I'm only lukewarm about. There's just more things to store! Or that you have to find a place for.

I get clients telling me they're thinking of moving because their house isn't big enough. I used to be one of those. And it's probably more accurate to say, "you have too much stuff" :)

Speaking of which, I need to declutter my study once again.

Now, the kids.

I honestly believe most kids have too much. And when there's too much, they're overwhelmed and don't really SEE any toys.

We see it with our kids and you know how minimalist I am with toys.

In fact, I may as well share this with you. I split all their current toys into two piles. I hid one pile away in one of those plastic storage containers and kept one pile out.

I changed them around after 4 weeks and it was like Christmas - they rediscovered all these "new" things and were in baby heaven :)

I've seen some things on the blogs about giving 3 gifts like Jesus got when He was born - lovely idea but even that's too much for me.

If they had 3 gifts total from everybody, that would be fabulous.

So I'm still undecided. Their father and I are book crazy (I declutter, he doesn't - in fact, I've just taken 13 off my bookshelf to go to the 2nd-hand store) and D bought them about 3 books each - we've given them one each and I think the other two should be Christmas presents.

They'll get gifts from the grandparents and our sisters and they don't need anything. Except money for education but let's not go there :)

D's mom has already bought them lots of clothes, half of which actually can't be worn OR exchanged as she insists on removing all the tags and I told her the last time I refuse to go again and try to explain to the people that yes, this item was actually bought at your store, on my MIL's word.

What are you doing about your kids and gifts?


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  2. It actually makes me a little nervous that no one has asked what the girls would like for Christmas. Either that means gift cards - which would be fine - or I'm afraid we'll get things I won't know what to do with. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I am particular about what I like the girls to have...and about HOW MUCH I want them to have, too. I completely agree that too many toys can be overwhelming for kiddos (not to mention mommies!). :)

    I feel a little guilty on one hand, as I think a big part of the joy of the holiday is buying for kiddos, and I don't want to take that away from my family...but I would love to balance it just a bit.

    If nothing else, we're spending Christmas here, just the four of us, so at least any "overages" will be spread out a bit. :)

  3. Oh gosh, watch out for my post coming post Christmas. The toy volume may kill you :) We do it BIG around here. My parents have always done big Christmas, and that is when we get the majority of our wardrobe. Now that they are grandparents they get lots for the grandbabies, as do Nick's parents.

    As for me and Nick, we spend about $175 on Henry and about $100 on each of us. I got Nick maybe 4 presents. Henry will get maybe 10 things from us... I can't remember the exact number. Then the three sets of grandparents... lord only knows :)

    We also buy for everyone on both sides of the family, plus all of our friends kids. Which makes my christmas buying list consist of 33 people. But I love it!!

  4. The girls have 3 gifts, a chair and blanket each, and some crayons. I can see DH crawling in his skin, but he understands. I also put toys up and re-introduce them. We currently have a small, round clothes basket full of toys, a basket of letter blocks, and one fold out town thingy [all the pieces are in the basket]. It is starting to over flow so I will have to de-clutter and pass the baby toys along, but only when DH isn't home. They have a bin of toys he refuses to let me pass along!

    My problem is family. I have one person on my side, my cousin, who purchased us new diapers to replace some of our ratty, over-used ones. My aunt is getting them a table and chairs set which is functional furniture which I am fine with. Everyone else is going to inundate us with toys, clothes, and crap. That sounds so ungrateful but you understand.

    I grew up in a house where quantity was over quality, but even back then I preferred the quality! I just hope my children are thrilled getting that one magical gift and don't hate me for piling gifts waist high, I am certainly not going to back down.

    Let's discuss education! Why is everyone so opposed to making an education fund donation? My family and even my mother actually laughed at that request! I would so rather have that! Or even a small gift and a donation. I am still paying off my own school debts and I'm sure tuition isn't going to go down-EVER!

  5. Phoebe is getting some things she really, really wanted. I need to help her declutter her toys though. She really has way too much!

    The boys we do the same thing about putting things into a bin, putting that away and then bringing it out in a few weeks. We got some older age toys for them for Christmas they we bought months ago.

  6. Husband went nuts this year, but we did declutter. I even set up an appointment with our donation center for them to pick the bags up and then promptly neglected to put them out on the designated day. Thankfully I was able to arrange a different day a few days before Christmas. Let's see what else I can get rid of!

    We've also had an issue where family has asked us to hang on to certain items for a younger sibling or relative in case/when they have kids. Blech...

    That tag thing would put me over the do you not physically harm her for doing that??? j/k...I rarely physically harm my MIL!

  7. Last year, I got a little worked up trying to control what family bought for the girls. My family is fairly simple on the Christmas issue, but Jeremy's family goes way overboard (in my opinion). I have relaxed a ton since then, and I did answer the request for a 'wishlist', but it contained lots of things that will be put in the closet to come out later in the year. I also included things like a good pair of tennis shoes in a bigger size for the summer, etc...

    As for us, they are getting a kitchen and bean bag chairs as their main gifts. I picked up some books (I don't mind lots of those laying around!) and other stocking stuffers, and a couple of smaller gifts to wrap. I want them to be able to open a few packages Christmas morning, since their main gifts are too big to wrap.

    I also plan on clearing out their current toy selection during the next week or so!


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