My Kids Are Getting Toys for Christmas


My kids are getting toys for Christmas.

I know this may be an unpopular opinion. I can hear the social media posts in my head now: “Gift experiences instead! Only give them four gifts – one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing they’ll read, and one thing they’ll wear! Kids don’t need that many toys!”

I hear and understand this perspective. A few years ago, I even had this mindset when I bought into the four-gift trend meant to limit kids to getting one toy they want. When I first heard the idea, I thought it was great. I didn’t want my kids to be spoiled, I can only fit so many toys in my house, and less is more. 

But here’s the thing: babies {and kids} don’t keep. Having kids ranging from 8.5 years old to 14 months old has given me a new perspective. I know that the phase that kids will play and ask for toys for Christmas is limited.

At the top of my oldest’s Christmas list is a laptop and a cellphone {neither of which she’ll be getting}. When she also added a few toys to her list, I was so happy, because more days than not, my oldest would rather watch TV than play with toys with my younger kids. Who knows if next year she will even have any toys on her list, as I know she’s on the edge of ending that phase.

I am going to do anything I can to encourage a love of toys for as long as I can. If that means that my house will be full of endless sets of LEGO and Santa has to track down this year’s hottest toy on eBay, then so be it. 

Here’s the other thing; it gives me joy to pick out toys that I know they will love and it brings my kids joy when they receive them. Their bright faces and shrieks of joy on Christmas morning will be remembered for years to come, as a memory of chaotic days when we had young kids running around in a full house. Yes, I know that we can also create memories without toys, by cutting down a tree, watching Christmas movies snuggled on the couch, and baking and decorating cookies. And we will do all that, too. But after the past two years that we’ve endured, don’t we all deserve to just do things that bring us and others joy?

Influenced by this trend of experience gifts and practical gift giving all over social media, I tried to strictly follow the four gift rule and limit toys for a few years. But then it hit me. Just because it works for some, it doesn’t mean that it works for me. I was robbing myself of something that brings me joy and letting the years go by that my kids were actually interested in toys. For what? To not feel judged that I’m going to spoil my kids by getting them toys? No thanks, I’m too tired to care about what others think. While I still get my kids gifts each something in the “read,  wear, and need” categories and also think experience gifts are wonderful, I have decided that I’m not going to let others guilt me out of gifting toys to my kids for Christmas.

If gifting your kids gobs of toys brings you joy, then, by all means, do it! If sticking to a four-gift rule brings you joy, then do it! At the end of the day, you have to do what makes you happy and don’t even for a second let yourself feel guilted by what someone else is doing. 

What is the gift-giving strategy in your house?


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