As the Christmas season approaches, we begin to ponder about… where to put the new gifts our children will be receiving. Of course, we think about the reason for the season. Wherein the virtue of generosity and the importance of giving becomes the center of the celebration. Each year since our eldest had her first Christmas, our tree has been filled…filled with beautifully wrapped gifts. Now that we have 3 children, I can only imagine the amount of space their gifts will take up. (Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way bragging about how much gifts they get… I am just grateful that we have such generous family and friends who have so much love for all our children).
With this in mind, my husband and I try our best to purge and declutter our small home to prepare for the coming gift-filled holiday. As we purge through each room, year after year, we are faced with unopened boxes of toys, unused clothes, (sometimes) even still wrapped gifts. We are at a loss on what to do with them all. We mostly donate, share, to those who we think would need them or put them to good use. We try to teach the children the importance of sharing and living simple. How decluttering our surrounding acutally declutters our lives and our minds to make things simpler.
However, after this year, comes another, and another. Going through the receiving, keeping, sorting, giving, every year will be tiresome… and, I’m sure at time, wasteful. So what can we do to get the most from this season? In the recent years, we have realized that family and friends will give gifts, whether it be for birthdays or Christmas, even if you, in the best way possible, let them know that there is no need to send or give gifts. Our eldest is 9, and we have kept the best toys in good condition that her siblings are able to enjoy them until now. So, if each child would get the same amount of gifts our eldest would, we may not have space in their room.
So what can we do about all this? Do we send out a message via email or sms or even a post on social media to tell everyone not to send our kids gifts? It’s not about telling them not to give our kids gifts because we still want our children to enjoy the season. I say just don’t be ashamed to talk to those close to you, maybe your kids’ god parents, their grandparents, close friends. Let them know your kids have a simple wishlist.
Take time to sit down with each child to ask them what they’d want to get for the Holidays… but there’s no harm in guiding them with leading questions to make that list 😉 “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a movie date with Ninang when a nice movie is showing?” or “A double scoop of your favorite ice cream would be cool on a hot day.” Build a simple wishlist. It could include a small toy, a book, a dress, or even an afternoon playdate to be claimed later on (think home-made massage coupons you’d get for Mother’s Day). Something they’d be excited about that they could claim thoughout the year. Just remember to keep it simple. 🙂