Christmas is almost here. For some parents gifts under the tree may be few. While for others they are trying to stem an avalanche of toys from extended family. Both are very real at this time of year and both can be equally overwhelming. We had a large family of seven children and were of modest means. Between birthdays and Christmas, things could have easily gotten out of hand. As our family grew, I looked for ways to celebrate that did not crowd us out of our home or bust the budget.
Every year for birthdays we would cook their favorite meal and I did host a simple modest birthday party with friends. I made the cake and we did creative fun games.
For Christmas, we worked to learn skills and use those skills to make Christmas for each other. I found it took the focus off, "What do I get?" and placed it on, "What can I give?" We also spent the month of December doing secret service and placing service straws in the manger. Aside from made gifts there were always some coupon books that were made, offering gifts of time and experiences.
What can you do about extended family and the over abundance of toys that can mean under the tree?
Seven Ways to Avoid the Christmas Avalanche of Toys...
1. Communicate With Your Extended Family
Let them know what you are trying to do. That you children have more toys than they need and than space permits.
2. Communicate that You are Building a Family Read Aloud Library
Help us build our home library of wonderful books to read to our children!
3. Communicate that You are Building a Family Library of Good Music
Help us build a music library for the children to listen to quality music as they grow.
4. Communicate the Importance of Field Trips
Our children would benefit from a membership at x, y, z museum. Some museums even have a pass that will let you into other museums around the country.
5. Communicate Your Desire to Get Outside and have Winter Fun
Our children would love a sled or winter play gear for winter snow.
6. Communicate that You Have a Family Education Fund
Help us build our education fund. This is not just for college but educational opportunities along the way.
7. Communicate that Your Children Would Love Time with Them and for Them to Share a Skill
Invite them to share time and a skill with your children. Sharing skills you are passionate about is a loving way to spend time with the children and will continue blessing them in years to come.
What are some things you have done in your family to avoid the Christmas Avalanche of toys?
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