Toys, toys everywhere and not a place to step! As the mother of two young children who are blessed to live nearbye two sets of loving grandparents, my kids made out this Christmas! I hadn’t thought much about putting gifts away when I received a phone call from a dear friend who found herself in a similar situation. She is totally overwhelmed by her kids’ Grandparent Christmas Loot. She says that Grandma and Grandpa arrived with enough wrapped gifts to fill a four foot cube of space in their small 1000 sq foot house. The kids had a blast opening presents, but now what? Where is she going to put so much stuff? Her phone call prompted me to glance around. I had to admit that I had just left toys lying where they fell – in complete denial of the fact that I would have to make room for said toys in appropriate closets, bins, etc.
So, what to do? One popular solution is to donate unloved toys to charity. This works well in most cases, but as my friend pointed out, sometimes the old toys are actually the best ones. Well, donate the new ones then? OK, but watch out that you don’t offend Grandma and Grandpa!
I think the best solution is a proactive one. Step One: have a tactful conversation with extravagent gift-givers regarding concerns for space/waste/materialism. Step Two: create a list of gifts that would be appropriate and desirable (and if quantity itself is really an issue, you could even state a per-child limit). Keep in mind that the list could be as specific or general as you like.
I hereby pledge to create a wish list of items that our kids actually need the next time a birthday or holiday comes around. I always feel so awkward doing so, but I am now convinced that it would truly make celebrations more fun for all of us. Some ideas for my son’s first birthday: an organic crib mattress, children’s plates/bowls/utensils that are plastic free, an extra-large hooded bath towel, that beco baby carrier…