kids, Christmas and lots of stuff

It is such a tempation to buy lots of stuff for kids. I’ve been emailing back and forth today with my sister-in-law about Christmas. We’re spending it with them in another city and want to make sure that the loot is distributed evenly amongst all of the children. They’re getting to the age where they will count how many each kid gets. We’re not quite at the point where the quality needs to be there too, but here’s where it gets sticky. Do I want a bunch more plastic stuff from China? I know my daughter will, but it seems that the fun is in the getting, not in the actual usage of the gifts later. How many will be broken before the day is over? How many will be cast aside in the onslaught of wrapping paper and bows?

We also have a very small house. Our little bungalow in the downtown area can only hold so much. All of her toys, clothes, shoes, books, etc. must all fit in her room. And only her room.

So we’ve set a limit on the number of presents coming from Santa, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to get quality items, maybe even made here in the USA.

I also just finished reading a book called The Real Toy Story by Eric Clark. The subheading is called “Inside the Ruthless Battle for America’s Youngest Consumer”. This is a really interesting look into the business of toys. I especially liked the chapter that talks about the independent toy stores vs. the big box stores and the discussion of how Walmart has played a huge part in the demise of many a toy store (among other companies). So when I got the email about the holidays from my sister-in-law, this book was fresh in my mind.

So I’m going to stand firm and resist the temptation this year to shower the kids with things that they don’t need, won’t miss, and can definitely live without. It’ll be me that has a hard time with it.