Toys, toys, toys

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
With the holidays fast approaching, just about every parent is trying to figure out which toys their kids should receive this year. I always go into it with the best intentions. I realize my kids have plenty of toys and don’t need any more. I try to focus my shopping on books and clothes. Then, inevitably, Haley will ask for some specific things, I’ll see great online deals, and the nagging feeling that I want the kids to have a wonderful Christmas will lead me to buy way too much.

Earlier I had finished a roll of gift wrap and I gave the kids the empty cardboard tube. They had a ball with that thing, when they weren’t fighting over it! Children don’t really need much to be entertained. A little creativity goes a long way. They love being challenged to use their own imaginations. And still, I go out and buy a Mickey Mouse this and a Monster High that. I can’t blame it all on them. There is a sick consumerist pleasure in scoring that item, even when it’s not something you yourself want.

I would love to hear any strategies for paring down the holiday craziness. Do you limit the number of toys your children receive? Do you have a spending cap? Do you reserve a certain amount of money for savings or charity? Another looming issue—when you set up these rules, do their grandparents follow them? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Happy Shopping and (Hopefully) Saving!

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