One Family's Approach to side-stepping a Toy Overloaded Christmas ...

I know many of you are trying to simplify, declutter and accumulate less schtuff in general. Some of you have expressed your angst when thinking about the amount and types of gifts your children will likely be getting this Christmas. It's a tricky one because everyone has the best, heart-felt intentions. I've found it helpful to let family know what we do want for the kids and sharing the bigger picture with them ....

Here's an example of a Christmas Letter from Mothering Magazine that one mom wrote to help her extended family and friends align with her family's values ...

“Dear friends and family, 

As the holidays approach I want share with you some changes we are making in our home. We recently noticed our house filling up with toys that were rarely played with, easily broken, and cluttered the house. In an effort to simplify our home, we decided to keep playthings the girls have shown interest in, are of good quality, and are mostly open ended. By doing this, we hope to foster an appreciation in the girls for what they have by not overwhelming them with large numbers of toys and also encourage the use of their imagination. Here is a link that explains our toy philosophy: https://www.threesisterstoys.com/t-aboutnatural.aspx

I have a few suggestions to aid you if you desire to give a gift to the girls. Time spent with you whether it be a special date or day would thrill them. Membership or admission to local museums or parks. Also, hand made items by you such as sewn/knitted/crocheted animals or dolls would be treasured. This includes wooden items like cars or small nature figures for those who are able to work with wood. If you do not have the time nor inclination to make an item, the girls also have registries on these two wonderful websites that carry the types of playthings that we are focusing on for our family.

http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?...gistry_id=738*and http://www.threesisterstoys.com/gift...a-090989d5a8e6

Please do not feel that you need to get multiple items as one item of good quality would be wonderful.

As always, any gifts are appreciated but please remember that we prefer little to no plastic, no characters, and no electronics. We would also prefer that any items are baby safe to prevent choking incidents. Please feel free to let us know of any preferences you have for your own gifts for the holidays as we would love to give you something you would appreciate also.

Thank you, I hope that you have a wonderful week ...”