Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The ghost of Christmas (toys) past...

No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't remember.

We remembered one, but we knew there were so many more and yet, we couldn't remember a single one.

The only reason we remembered the one we did is because we consistently trip over it as it is never upright anymore - laying haphazardly in the middle of the girls' room.

Dumb plastic makeup table.

But the other presents, the hundreds and hundreds of dollars we spent, have faded into distant memory and into the depths of the toy closet to never be played with.

Which brought us to our conversation the other night as we were Christmas shopping yet again for more toys we knew would find their fate at the bottom of the toy closet. 

This year, money is an issue.  Ok, who are we kidding?  Money is ALWAYS an issue, but this year we actually have to pay attention and stick to a budget.  This new reality doesn't bother me in the least, mostly - but it does bother my husband.  He would love to have the bottom of the tree filled with toys and treasures for our whole family.  He would enjoy bringing boxes and boxes filled with things over to his family's regular get together.  But this year, it will be handmade presents and baked goods.  This year, if you are an adult you probably won't be getting a present.  Darn recession...darn job instability.

So we were talking about it as all good couples do and then we tried to remember all the things we bought for our children last year. 

It was a pretty good indicator that things and stuff don't make Christmas.  Things and stuff are fun, but they aren't memories.  Our oldest are only four - we still have time to set a precedent in our family that Christmas is about giving and celebrating that Jesus was born, not about getting and having so much that we never even touch the things we do have.

So, this year - our kids are getting one big thing.  This year, their one big thing will be something that highlights who they are - not just what toy they think is really cool.

Luke loves to draw - this year he is getting art supplies that will encourage his passion for drawing.

Emma wants to be a doctor and loves everything pediatrician - this year she is getting a real stethoscope (purple too!) and a book all about our bodies and how they work.

Lily loves being a mommy and being the boss - this year she is getting a baby doll so she can take care of and boss that baby around to her heart's content.

And baby Will, well, he is getting a truck.  A really big truck.  But he's one - I don't know what he wants to be when he grows up...yet.

So, in as much as I would love to spoil my children with endless amounts of stuff that won't ever get played with beyond Christmas, we are resisting this year and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas.

And, I think that's a blessing. 

This Christmas is your budget tighter than before?  Are you being creative in the gifts you get for your loved ones?  Or are you able to indulge this year?  I would love to hear!


Sarah @ Modern Country Style

That's a real challenge, actually. How many of last year's presents can I rmember...err....

*embarrassed silence*

Good point...


@jencull (jen)

We are doing something along the same lines as yourself. My eldest is 8 and doesn't know what he wants so has asked for a surprise. He is hugely into science so we have gotten him a chemistry set and some sciency books. My two little ones don't get it yet, they are too young. What you have chosen for your children sounds fab, hope it is very successful:) Jen


Home made gifts are the ones that touch our hearts:)

Melissa Sharon

@ Sarah - I'm hoping that maybe I will redeem myself and have a miraculous moment where I remember...but it's not looking likely. Hope your memory serves you better than mine!

@Jenn - Isn't that neat when you can tell what your kids passions are and the power you have as a parent to encourage them in that!!!

Not Blessed Mama

i'm conflicted. money is more tight this year than ever before- BUT, my husband had a horrible childhood with christmases with no gifts, and he loves to spoil our kids. i don't like wasting money or abusing the environment, so i struggle to find some where in between. :)

Melissa Sharon

@NotBlessedMama - I think there is a good place in between, but finding is probably so tough! I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas with millions of PRICELESS fantastic memories!

The Adventurer

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for following my blog and I am already a follower of yours:) Love the post. I just spent the weekend trying to declutter my kids toy room and had a heck of a time, because the kids didn't want to get rid of anything, even the things I know they don't play with. I am being very careful this year with gifts although I can't gear it to my daughter desires to be a dragonolagist when she grows up.:)


Smart! We are also scaling back quite a bit. It's really the only option.

Melissa Sharon

@NotBlessedMama - I think there is a good place in between, but finding is probably so tough! I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas with millions of PRICELESS fantastic memories!

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