Thursday, December 15, 2011

When is too much too much?

Sorry I have been gone for so long. Life gets in the way sometimes :)

Cartoon kids running toward christmas tree. Presents all around Stock Photo - 9362113
I don't know about many of you but how do you handle Christmas, or any other gift giving holiday, when it comes to your children? I mean do friends and family ask you what to get for your kids? How do you answer?
As a new mom I have found this interesting and challenging. I don't want Paige to grow up valuing monetary things? I want her to value the time spent with her family and I sure don't want her to think that Christmas is all about receiving. My mom asked me about a month ago if she could get her a playhouse, you know the life size ones. "She's only 17 months", I told her, "what the heck are you going to buy her when she's five?" That didn't go over really well. The way she sees it, as I'm sure that many do, is that she wants to spoil her. I had to put a stop to it. Below is an interview with Kim John Payne who wrote the book, "Simplicity Parenting". The interview discusses What Too Many Toys Can Do to your children.... it's an interesting piece.

Scary, huh?

Its already bad enough that she sees commercials for toys and is captivated. I can only imagine what it will be like when she's older and can conceptualize the holiday season! In fact, this season her father and I decided to get her only one gift. I just hope that my family can restrain themselves as there will be plenty more opportunities to give her things.

Remind you of anything?!

So, if you find yourself in this situation here are some alternatives you can tell friends and family in place of toys. After all, what do you remember most about your childhood? Is it the toy you received on your 6th birthday or is it the memories you made at the party???

1. Have loved ones put money into a saving account or a trust fund set up in your child's name....I'm sure it will go to good use once they reach college! I know that in this economy many parents struggle to put money aside, why not have family pitch in?

2. Suggest that family give your child the gift of time. Maybe they can set a date to take each child out alone to somewhere special such as the zoo or the museum. If family is out of town a sleep over is always fun.

3. Sponsor a child through an international Charity or better yet donate to a local charity. Maybe something that the child is interested in and if it's in their own "Back Yard" they can watch to see how their donation is working.

4. Get the child a annual pass to their local zoo, museum, fun park or water park. They can enjoy this gift over and over!

5. Pay for lessons. Maybe they enjoy ballet or karate, piano or guitar. The possibilities here are endless.

6. Adopt an animal at the World Wildlife fund or your local zoo. This way the child can watch the animal grow throughout the years and will enjoy visiting them too.

7. Give them the gift of gardening. Help them plant some seeds and watch them get excited as they grow and produce fruit or vegetables. You'll also be teaching them about taking care of another living thing and a life lesson in providing food.

8. The ultimate selfless act of volunteering for the holidays to those less fortunate. Help start a coat drive for needy children or serve food at the local shelter.

charitable gift cartoons, charitable gift cartoon, charitable gift picture, charitable gift pictures, charitable gift image, charitable gift images, charitable gift illustration, charitable gift illustrations
The possibilities are endless and the children will be much better off if they learn the value of giving instead of receiving. The value of time over objects. The value of memories over things.
Telling friends and family about these thoughtful alternatives may be difficult but if you explain their purpose I'm sure many would understand and get on board.

No comments:

Post a Comment