Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tis' the Season to go Shopping

Ohhh Christmas is coming, fast and furious. The bix box stores haven't even waited this year for Thanksgiving to pass before hauling out all the bell chiming, glittery, snowy marvelous Christmas crap that accompanies the season of purchasing. And I love it.

Most of my friends will have a lot to say about buying less, giving less, that children need less toys, there is no need to go wild and get them zillions and zillions of toys, and I agree... mostly. Because when it really comes down to it, I LOVE BUYING TOYS, LOTS AND LOTS OF TOYS FOR MY KIDS. This does not mean that I will dwindle my bank account to nothing this Christmas, it means that I will find the sales and indeed already have most of my Christmas shopping done. It does not mean that I will buy any toy I come across that is a low price. I will line up my children's interest with toys I think are worthwhile and at a great price. It does not mean that I will neglect making them something by hand. I have a handmade gift planned for everyone on my list and have most of them finished.

But I will refuse to feel guilty that I love to buy them things, that even though the money could be spent on a myriad of other things I will enjoy buying them something to fuel their imagination and play. I will teach them that they are lucky to own such lovely things and when the time comes when it is no longer played with we will donate it, or send it to a second hand store. This year will be the year we start buying a toy for charity, Abby can pick out a toy to donate and when Norah is old enough she can too.We are blessed enough to be able to afford new toys and I know that, I teach my kids that, we talk about how amazing our situation is all the time.

And quite frankly I love how many options for play we have in this house. Lately we have been keeping all the toys packed away in coloured bins. Everyday we pick a new bin and the kids get to play with whatever is in that bin. This means that each day there is something new and exciting, something that has not been seen before, and it fuels imagination like never before. Kids need things to play with, they need variety and they need to have the experience of deciding that they like one thing more than the other. That one item is more precious and their reasons why that item is more precious. They also need the ability to decide when to get rid of something, and how can you ask a child to get rid of a toy when they only own five or six. Preciousness increases when quantity decreases, and should we be teaching children that there are only small quantities that should be held onto forever? or that the world has bounty but we can share it, keep it for a while, covet our favorites and let the rest move on.

I read this on a friend's blog today and it really rang true, I actually wrote it down and put it on the fridge because this year I will revel in my generosity REVEL DAMNIT!

Gift-giving teaches generosity, after all. It teaches thankfulness. It gives a sense of blessedness.

This is not advocating that the only way to do Christmas is to buy buy buy, or that the only gift is a storebought toy. And there are of course families that cannot afford to have piles of toys for their children this Christmas, but I plan to buy my kids some, and then buy some for your kids too.

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