Monday, August 25, 2008

TOYS...we are overrun with them.

Kids toys are always a problem.

I just found an interesting blog post here about one mom's struggle with toys. She's so right, you know, you buy some expensive thing and the kids end up playing with the cardboard box it came in.

We have toys in 3 areas in our house. And they areoverspilling the containers.

One of those areas is the TV room. Kids watch tv in the tv room, not play with toys, so I'd love to get rid of this area as a toy dumping place. What do you do with used toys you want to get rid of?? It makes me sick to throw everything away, but I don't know of a charity that takes used toys.

I know some people who have everything (adults) and I noticed that they give eachother gifts of things to do at giftgiving times. A hotel stay somewhere, theatre tickets, that kind of thing. I think we should do this for kids. Zoo passes or a trip to the science center would be much appreciated in the midst of the toy chaos of birthdays and christmas.

But of course, I'm just as guilty as anyone for buying my kids stuff. Just look at my house, it's full of stuff I've bought. And I know in my head that stuff is not going to make us any happier, and yet I buy more of it everyday.

Recently A asked if we could sell all her toys so I could buy her new ones. We made a deal that if she got rid of 6 toys I would buy her one new one. we shook on it and everything. She found 11 toys in the end and it was definitely worth buying one extra to see them all go. What a good lesson in letting go. So I got on one of the bulletin boards and offered them free for shipping. It went less smoothly than imagined, but at least we didn't have to throw them away.
Now we just have to tackle the other 97 stuffies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the reason that people feel compelled to give an actual gift vs. gift certificate or something non-tangible is because they are going for the wow factor when you are opening gifts. It's almost like a competition sometimes as to who can find the best gifts and when you give something that doesn't have that immediate wow to it, you lose out on the competition. For example, giving your 80 year old grandmother an electronic frame filled with family pictures at a time when she can't plug it in to look at the pictures. While it's a thoughtful gift there's no immediate wow factor - that comes about 2 weeks later with an email entitled "eureka!". The point I'm getting at here is that it's not the gifts that are the problem, it's the competition. It's not like there's a gift giving olympics, so why do we keep competing to get the best gifts for someone? Or maybe is it because we are so used to instant gratification that this becomes the norm? I personally think we should do away with the competition and start giving our friends and family honest feedback (tell them what you really liked and why - and please, no lying).
On a related note, it upsets me when I receive extravagent gifts from friends and family that I know don't have huge disposable incomes, but I'm not sure how you tell them to "go smaller next year" without sounding completely ungrateful. Remember the cliche "it's the thought that counts"?? Well, guess what? It is!!!