When we were in our early stages of parenthood my husband and I would go gift crazy on holidays. Due to fertility issues our children our spread apart in ages so our oldest was five before she was blessed with a sibling. Back then when it came to gift buying we would go crazy. My daughter had every gift imaginable and then some gifts that could not even be imagined. Yet, even after she opened her tons of gifts, I would worry, “Did I buy her enough? Is she happy with everything?” And then there would be all that assembling that we spent most of Christmas Day doing! It just did not make for a fun Christmas.
Three children and ten years later we have wised up. The presents are far less due to economical reasons and far smarter as to need less assembly due to experience but along with that came an added bonus. Peace.
While I was worried the first year when I knew it would be a “slim” one, I learned to go for quality and pick a few things they would really love and play with. The result was more contentment and less stress, something I had not anticipated. In this day of consumerism and commercialism my family has learned to be content with what they have and it has just been such a blessing. While most kids have their Game Cubes, their super Nintentoes, their Wii’s – my children have been content with their Game Boy advances. While most teens get their clothes from the Gap on a weekly basis, it seems, my teenage daughter does not even ask. Most of her clothes as well as her siblings, were given to us or bought at a garage sale and she has been content with that. She has friends who get rather generous weekly allowances of over twenty dollars while shedonly gets a fourth of that but we have discovered that there are kids in her circle of friendship who get nothing.
I am glad my children have learned to be content with what they have. The blessing of peace and contentment just makes it so much easier. I would advise anyone who buys their children loads of toys to one year set a limit. Children don’t need all that stuff.And living with less with help them appreciate more and become better citizens in the long run.