Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's Just Things

We have continued the deep cleaning that we started for vacation and today we tackled the toy room.

I just have to say it was one of the most depressing things I have done since we got home.

The kids are so hard on their toys, on the furniture, on absolutely everything down there.

Luckily I don't have to look at it very often, but getting down there and cleaning with the kids is a must if I actually want it to be cleaned.

Part of the problem is me.

I love to buy the kids things. I really do.

My parents often showed love by purchasing us things that we really wanted, and consequently, that is one of the ways in which I both feel and express my own love.

However, as a result, I think that the kids don't really appreciate the things that they have and I am feeling pretty depressed about it.

So...I am thinking that we need to have a material free Christmas.

Honestly, the only thing that comes to mind is that if they don't get as much stuff, maybe they will grow the appreciate what they have.

I am not saying that we don't have Christmas and that they don't get a few well chosen presents, but I definitely think no toys. Perhaps maybe an experience instead.

I don't know.

Do your children value their possessions?

How do you engender this feeling?

What are your thoughts?

Any ideas for Christmas?


onehm said...

Hey, did you just crawl in my head to write this post?? DH and I were just talking about doing this exact thing for this exact reason. :) At least I know we aren't alone.

Puhlman said...

UMMM YEP....everytime I go to the basement the toys are either broken or left all over. I am NOT buying toys this year either. But not sure what we will do. I was hoping you would give some ideas in your post. :)

Mariko said...

I just ran into this comment--

2) We've had a few "lean" Christmases in the past and they seem the most magical. My first married Christmas, my in-law family were all going lean. We had a second-hand/thrift Christmas. All the gifts had to be second-hand or homemade. The shopping was so fun--like a treasure hunt. Of course we were all adults, so it was easier. But some of the gifts were: denim quilt, a homemade cookbook, a little quote book bound at a copy store, an antique type writer, a foot massager (from the '70's for my quirky Bro-in-law).

For those lean years with the kids, we try to do the same thing, plus we made a point to do extra special things together that dont cost anything: having a slumber party under the Christmas Tree, Walking the neighborhood singing Christmas Carols (not really going caroling, just enjoying being together and singing), cooking together, driving around town, sledding (my kids don't think its Christmas unless we go sledding), etc.

Get the kids involved. Make it an adventure. "What can we make for gifts?" or "Is there anything that you could regift to your brother that he would love?"

on this blog--

It is more of a budget answer, but I think it can apply...maybe...

Monique said...

Hi Denise, so glad you back home and blogging! I missed you (and still do, over at SM!!!).
My parents always got us a book each for Christmas, and a board game to share. But, traditionally Christmas isn't the gift-giving holdiday in the Netherlands. But, I LOVED it!
The idea of a voucher for each of the kids to enjoy an exclusive activity with one of their parents speak to me as well! You might take one of the girls for a manicure, or any of them for a movie, sportsgame or theatre show.
My mum and dad usually brought us to 'the big city' (Amsterdam) in the run up for Christmas to enjoy all the shop windows and lights, but I'm afraid that's a whole different generation speaking. Not sure if kids today would appreciate something like that!
I'd love to hear what you and Troy decide ( and how difficult it will be not to cave in to the kids' high expectations...)

lbugsh2 said...

I have to say we did that last year and it was wonderful. We got them each one gift and then let the rest. I get tired of picking up toys so either they can learn to care for them or we just dont have them. It has made a difference for our older kids. Not so much for the younger ones.

Lara said...

We're on the same page. With the huge purge we just did in our basement, I'm so hesitant to fill it back up with "stuff". I want it to be more meaningful than that. I can't wait to hear what your solution is.

Gail said...

Every Year I resolve to do the same. I wish our neighbors would do the same-- even with the little gifts we pass around to each other. With the economy the way it is, as well, we should start a movement away from Stuff and toward service and our Savior. Let's do it.

Paulette said...

I love the thought Katie shared with me in regards to Christmas ...."Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read."

I love to buy I struggle and dont' stay with it. I do enjoy the experience gifts the best, tickets or passes etc.

Good luck hope it work out.

Kari said...

My kids are grossly spoiled and don't appreciate anything ... my fault, of course. This year we are buying Disneyland season passes for the family and investing in our family time together. With my parents living in So. Cal. and able to get us less expensive passes {and it only being a 5 hour drive} we know it is something we will use AND the kids treasure our trips to Disneyland!!

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