I'm not worried about any of it, but I bring it up because it helps reinforce a crazy idea I have for how to handle Christmas this year.
REALITY #1. Small house = NO room for more stuff.
REALITY #2. Tightened budget = NO money for stuff that we don't have room for anyways.
FACT: They have everything they need. Shelter, healthy life giving food, clothes, education, love and security.
FACT: They don't have everything they want. and that's actually a good thing. they learn to save up with their allowances. They learn to prioritize and make wise purchases. And quite frankly, Christmastime is NOT the only time to fulfill all of life's hopes and dreams for more stuff.
FACT: When it comes all at once though, it sure is a lot harder to get rid of stuff in order to make room for the new stuff and we end up convincing ourselves that we ought to keep ALL the stuffs. BUT when things come in slowly throughout the year, it's a little bit easier to think through our possessions which makes it slightly easier to let go of one or more things to let one new thing come in. We can train ourselves and our kids to let go of the burdensome clutter and only let things that bring joy into our daily environment.
and besides all that, they remember their experiences more than they remember the stuff collecting dust in the corner of the closet abyss. yes, some experiences involve tangible stuff, but those are few and far between.
the current quandary... we still like to give good things to our kids!! duh.
FAAAAACT: The kids keep mentioning a coupon book I gave each of them years ago for valentine's day. So it makes perfect sense to do the same for Christmas! I'm hoping to figure out an experience for each month of the year to gift them. Now mind you these aren't big. They're simple but meaningful (and hopefully not too expensive). like a picnic lunch. or a fro-yo date with mom or dad, etc... things that are doable throughout the year, but we don't always take the time to do.
"So witty and creative wins the day!" so says the wicked witch of the west. (shameless plug for our local children's theater production of Oz in which i play the Witch!).
so that's my plan for this year... yeah i know it sounds crazy and you're probably thinking the kids are gonna pitch a fit. i dunno. I s'ppose they could. change isn't always fun for adults either, but it's usually beneficial. I'm sure i'll want to change my mind about 3.7 million times every time I see the latest cool toy that i know one of the kids would just LOVE. And it's probably going to feel really weird and awkward cause there wont be the wonderful sound of gobs of gift wrapping paper and the excited gasps of something new and shiny in hand.
There wont be this great climax of getting things... BUT I can tell you what there will be... time spent with family. full tummies. stories told. memories made... throughout the year.
and less trash and clutter for tomorrow.