Following on from my earlier post about stocking fillers for toddlers and babies, I’ve also been giving a fair bit of thought to the bigger Christmas gifts we’ll be giving this year.
The thing is, our children already have absolutely all that they could ever need. So many toys, so many clothes, so much stuff. Don’t get me wrong, they play with (almost all of) it, and they wear (almost all of) it. A lot of it was received as gifts and we are really grateful for those gifts. However, they just don’t need more t-shirts, puzzles, stuffed toys or whatever.
Have you seen this year’s Ikea advert? It is so touching. Little children are asked what they want most for Christmas. The answer: to spend more time with their parents. They also want guitars, pianos, unicorns, Wiis, and loads of other stuff, but if they could only have one thing? More time with their parents.
It’s so simple! In our family, we try to cultivate a less-stuff, more-experience way of living. This is partially because our resources are limited and we just can’t afford to buy everything that we could possibly want. But it’s also because life is short, and we prefer to live, rather than accumulate.
This is all by way of preface to the fact that yes, my children will love opening their presents on Christmas Day. But no, they won’t have tons and tons. I’m trying to stick to a poem I saw on the internet somewhere:
Something they want.
Something they need.
Something to wear.
Something to read.
Wants are things like toys (Duplo, Play Doh), the Frozen soundtrack for my snowman-obsessed daughter, and craft materials. Needs are things like socks, vests, toothbrushes. I have also bought them each a new outfit to wear on Christmas Day, and three or four books each. On top of that they will get new pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve. That’s it, and that’s already a lot! They will each have a stocking with a dozen or so gifts in it, and about seven or eight parcels under the tree.
I want my children to have a magical Christmas. But I don’t think that has to mean a huge pile of presents. We will go to church, have some yummy food, play with and enjoy the new toys that they get, and go for a walk if the weather is dry. The perfect day, spent together, enjoying each other’s company and with space to reflect on the little baby who was born to save.