For all the talk I do about non consumerism, the real meaning of the holidays, and living the simple life, I sure do manage to go overboard at Christmas. This year Elijah got an insane amount of toys from me, Jeremy, my in-laws and my mom, and I found myself noticing as Elijah unwrapped them this lack of gratefulness in his reaction. Like all of this gift receiving, while cool, was this totally unremarkable thing, and like being showered in toys was some mundane experience. This is when you start to wonder if your child is spoiled.
Today Jeremy and I decided to clean up his toy room and purge as many toys as we could to make room for the new toys he got for Christmas. But it’s very hard to purge toys once introduced. You find yourself saying things like “This is a really nice toy, though! It cost a lot of money!” or “He does like playing with this toy, but it takes up so much space …”. In the end we put a bunch in storage and a similar amount out for the next charity pickup that comes through our neighborhood. It felt good to purge the room, and when Elijah came home from his spend the night at Jeremy’s parent’s house, he was thrilled. He didn’t notice that tots were missing, but he loved how we put his toys on shelves and how everything was so much neater. He didn’t want to leave his play room.
The whole adventure got us thinking. If we all continue on the toy giving path that we are currently on, our house is going to be so filled with toys by the time Elijah is seven that there’s not going to be room for anything else. It sucks getting rid of so many perfectly good toys after every gift giving experience. And I’m starting to dislike Elijah’s reaction to gifts and his attitude for the things he has. I found myself the other day muttering under my breath that he was an ungrateful little jerk!
The best solution we could see was to limit ourselves to giving Elijah ONE toy each for every gift giving occasion. So, next Christmas I will get him one toy, Jeremy will get him one toy, and hopefully we can get all the grandparents and aunts and uncles on board with the one toy a piece rule, and that will slow down the flow of toys into our home. I just want Elijah to really appreciate the gifts he receives and the things he’s got, and to be able to walk through my house, lol.
We also talked about slowing down the pace of gifts given to each other too, which makes me happy now. The thing is, I know I might be feeling less this way come September when my birthday is rolling around and next December. It’s easy to say these things the day after Christmas when you’re trying to figure out where to put all this stuff, but hopefully Jeremy and I will be able to keep each other on track.
In other news, I’m pregnant again!