Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Present planning

Alright, Halloween is over, let's skip right to Christmas.

I'm trying to be on the ball and have been making my list this week of what I plan to give this year.

I had something, or multiple somethings to decide between, right off the top of my head for mostly everyone on my list. Things they would like and enjoy. Except for two very important little people. Two of my own little people.

My big boys.

I'm trying to buy non-clutter presents for everyone on my list, things that will actually be useful and loved and not just stuff, especially for my own kids. Because clutter they receive has to stay in our house! And I'm trying to buy more environmentally friendly, good for all of us presents. Less plastic, mostly just less in general. I also believe in the Waldorf ideals that children deserve and appreciate beautiful things and natural materials, toys that are healthier for them and encourage their connection with the earth and natural world around them, toys that provide a calming sensory experience. Check out this article on what makes a Waldorf toy. "Yes, these kinds of toys are good for the environment, but most importantly, they are good for children!"

For Claire and Max I have several cute ideas of simple, beautiful toys that I think they will really enjoy. Some things for me to make even.

But the big boys? Ugh..

Issue number one? What do they NOT have? They are very fortunate to have many people who love them, and to have received many gifts over the years. Our house is filled with toys of every kind. I actually have a roomful of extra toys all bagged up right now. Toys I don't want to get rid of, but that I have to figure out some sort of system of storing to cycle through or something. The kids noticably even play better when not surrounded by the chaos.

I left out their favorites, and my favorites because they encourage imagination and co-play and creativity. Lego, figures, a few dinos and animals and cars. Dress up clothes. Books, lots of books. And video games of course. We're pretty well stocked there too! I tried to keep out just a few of everything, an amount everyone is capable of maintaining some sort of order with. We're working hard on teaching the littles of our house some housekeeping skills right now.

I dunno. I also want them to be excited and feel treasured on Christmas morning. Each year we get them the new fad that they want, or more of something they already have. For Thane's birthday in September for instance, he received these Battle Brawlers, essentially spinning tops that knock each other over. He really wanted them, they were this season's new thing, the equivilant to our 'marbles' recess game, they were not in the least expensive and he was super pleased to receive them. But now they sit. Already.

I'm not blaming Thane, it's the cycle of the next big thing, the consumerism, the waste, the excess. All big topics I want to teach, but in a balanced way, not at the expense of my kids, especially on their Christmas morning. I don't want them to feel slighted because Mommy and Daddy have environmental agendas they likely don't understand, or at least understand the connection to their presents. I don't want them to feel let down or resentful, I want them to feel special and excited Christmas morning. But I honestly can't think of a single thing to get them that's not just stuff.

It's a dilemma we're furtunate to be faced with, but still a dilemma.
One thought I had was for Santa to bring us all snowshoes. Something that would enable memories, family time, encourage outdoor time connecting with the nature that surrounds us.

But I could totally see them not seeing the excitement there.

If you were an eight year old boy would you be totally pissed off if Santa brought you snowshoes?

I've got some thinking to do.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Victoria- so funny....if you were an 8 year olf boy would you be pissed off to receive snow shoes?
    I can totally get this....that you want to teach your children of the less is more ideal?
    I think in this case that it would be okay to get them each a trendy gift, but then focus on just a few extra small useful gifts like art supplies or a board game that you could all play together with.
    I like the family gift idea- something that you will all use together and the promise that come with it of time spent together.


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