Too Many Toys, Not Enough Spirit


We are blessed. Our family is super generous at Christmas time to our children. After years of saying, “No, it’s too much,” or “You don’t have to,” and “They really don’t need any more toys, ”I’ve discovered nobody listens. Does anyone else feel overwhelmed Christmas morning? Do you also have piles of new toys, clothes, and and pieces of train tracks all over the living room floor? It really can be sensory overload . . . not just for the kids, but for us parents too! Too many toys are no fun for anyone.

Instead of enjoying watching my kids play, I am usually figuring out where to store all this stuff that we have now acquired in our already-full house. I am going to suggest a new approach on Christmas giving this year and see if it finally sticks.

Gifts that keep on giving like a magazine subscription, an art class, or guitar lessons would make amazing presents. My children would also love to spend the afternoon having ice cream or going to a movie with a family member and getting some special one-on-one time.

I want them to make memories, not just acquire stuff.

We have some great holiday traditions and thankfully my children look forward to that more than the gifts. (At least I hope they do.) Every year we decorate gingerbread houses as a family and compete for the top prize . .  . bragging rights! We also bake cookies and go on a major scavenger hunt through town to find the best holiday lights. Each year my kids ask, ”When are doing the scavenger hunt?” That’s when I know they are in the holiday spirit and looking forward to that time together as a family.

I want my children to value spending time with family and friends. This is the true gift of Christmas. I also want my kids to experience the Christmas spirit . . . not just use it and shove it in the closet in a few weeks.

What does your family do to avoid too many toys at Christmas?