Living a less-distracted life : pay attention to the toys your children actually play with.
It's a pertinent topic considering we're only eight weeks out from Christmas and it's been on my mind constantly.
I made a point of observing the children at play when we returned from Bali. We had spent a month with hardly any toys (Poet had a doll and a ball, Che had a lego truck and some playing cards) and not once did they pine for the things they had left at home. When we walked in the door Che went straight to his lego box (no surprise there) and Poet moved between her sandpit and picture playhouse. Since then, nothing much has changed (except for the addition and subsequent disappearance of the caterpillars). It's pretty obvious that my children have a lot of toys that they don't play with and whilst they may be beautiful, they don't serve any necessary purpose; they just sit dormant in a box. It's time for another good clear out and subsequent evaluation of the things that we are bringing in (no use decluttering if we're just going to fill the void with something new).
I've always stuck by my golden rule when it comes to gifts but this year things are a little different. Firstly, my children don't need anything. They're pretty sorted in the wearing department, too. Which leaves a want, a read (I've just found this for Poet) and perhaps a few stocking fillers. I'm also more inclined to put some money in their bank accounts in lieu of too many gifts (the grandparents are liking this idea, too). Every Tuesday Che and Poet line up at the school canteen to deposit some money into their accounts. We're slowly introducing them to the idea of pocket money, savings and spendings. I figure if on birthdays and at Christmas we can gift them some money to boost the savings it's going to help out when they ask for a drum kit, ipad (we're holding off for as long as possible) or other such big ticket item.
So: you do have a choice in the matter; you can keep it simple.
How are you approaching Christmas this year? Do your children have savings accounts? Dare I ask, how much do you spend on Christmas? Last Christmas I overheard a woman telling her friend that she had a small budget of $1500 per child!!!!!