This space is to share fun preschool ideas and activities. I am also passionate about children exploring their outdoor surroundings. Thanks for stopping by to see the latest Adventure with the Kerr's!

Friday, November 26

Simplify the Holiday Shopping

I love this time of year when the white snow blankets the trees and houses and there is a peaceful stillness outside.  It's great to cuddle up indoors under warm quilts, drink hot cocoa and listen to your favorite Holiday album. But this peaceful stillness and warm cozy moments turns into a frenzy once the advertisements begin to fill your mailbox and email inbox with the best Black Friday deals.  One step into the store and you see the giant sign stating of how many shopping days are left until Christmas.  All of this advertising makes you feel that you MUST buy, buy, buy and soon because time is running out!  Every toy catalog features the newest, greatest toys of this past year and the special awards earned. You begin thinking that you MUST buy these items or else your child will be disappointed and wish they had different parents. Parents who purchased every single toy featured in the best toys of 2010 catalog.

I will admit that I love good deals and it is fun to shop for new things your children will enjoy but the real question is, "Does my child need more stuff?"

In Simplicity Parenting, pg. 22, "Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their world."

So what stuff do we want to give to our children during this Holiday Season? What is going to help them explore their world? What is going to enhance their imagination? This is a personal question that deems discussion with your partner/family. Some families are committed to only homemade gifts, some ban all toys that need batteries, or some say no to anything plastic. 

A good friend told me that they just focus on 4 gifts for their children: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. This framework of 4 gifts I think really helps to eliminate potential stuff that isn't needed. 

Last week my husband and I were at Lowe's (our local hardware store) and I found a child-sized hammer and tool set. I was so excited! "This is the perfect gift for River, he can have his own tools and be a little wood worker just like his Papa," I thought. I quickly hid the tool set as I saw my husband, Eli, come around the corner with the kids. I took Eli aside and showed him the gift I was going to buy strategically so River wouldn't see. To my shock Eli said, "Why don't we just a wait until we know exactly what we are planning on buying." "But Eli CHRISTMAS is COMING! And what if this is not here next week!!" Then it hit me. I was totally engrossed in the "how many shopping days left until Christmas" coma. It took me a few minutes to wake up and realize that Eli and I haven't discussed together what 4 gifts we should purchase for River. Even if the tool set is one of the gifts we decide on I didn't HAVE TO BUY it right then.

So my advice to escape the shopping frenzy is to sit down and make a list together of the items you both think would be best for your children. Once you both have discussed what gifts you will be giving than hopefully you will be buffered from any future I-must-buy-this-now-because- it's-a-good-deal purchases. This way you can avoid buying gifts that are really... just more stuff.


Rachel Swan said...

Thanks for the link up, V! I'm doing a similar post soon, especially since I've just finished getting the 4 gifts for each child - I still want to make pjs + finish Sela quilt.

I think the best thing about doing just 4 gifts is that your kids can tell how much thought + planning went into each gift. I also tend to spend more since there are only 4 presents + many of them are handmade. My kids can tell that a lot of love went into each + every choice.

Another aspect to having a smaller Christmas list is that it takes you out of the stores + keeps you home with your family. You aren't worried about making it to a sale, clipping coupons, or braving the cold + crowds - you are at home enjoying the people who make this season so special.

Love you, V. We need to get together soon! xoxoxo

Sofia's Ideas said...

There are so many things I love about this post! You are totally speaking my language here!

Now, just trying to figure out how to email this link to relatives without them taking offense to the hint I'm giving... Lol! :)

I’m stopping by from No Time For Flash Card’s “Show Us Your Best”. I hope you’ll do the same! You can see read my “best” @
Sofia’s Ideas

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

I've always hated Christmas because of the stress that goes along with trying to find the perfect gifts for every person in my life. When Lance and I first got married I decided I wasn't going to spend my holidays like that any more, and I simply stopped buying gifts altogether. A little drastic, maybe, but also liberating. To my knowledge, not one person has stopped being my friend or relative (the latter would be pretty hard) because of this. And I now love this time of year. Lance and I have tried to figure out how we're going to handle things when kids enter the picture. I wanted to get them no Christmas presents, and instead give them a certain amount of money to go towards whatever charity they picked, and then go on a family vacation together. Lance has convinced me that that's a bit much, so we're trying to find some middle ground. I love the 4-present idea. Wow, this was a bit long.

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