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Is anybody else NOT buying toys this Christmas?Sorry Long!

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
I have two little girls ,a 2 and 5 year old.
We have a beautiful toy area set up for them:

Wooden play kitchen
Enamel pots and pans
wooden tea set
Ostheimer figures
little wooden fencing for wood animals
wooden dolls house frame
Spiel and Holz doll house furniture
hand made felt fruit and veg
spiel and holz wooden hay wagon and horse
play silks
one felt ball
one wooden car
wooden small stacking house
rainbow stacking rainbow
wooden stacking bowls
stirring wooden Xylophone
mini three tone flute
6 hand knitted finger puppets
Bamboletta girl doll
Bamboletta Baby
wicker baby crib
patchwork baby quilt
play blocks
basket of crystals/pine cones/pebbles
Cosy corner with lambskin for children to sit and read in
5 co-operative board games
lots of books
play dough
table and two chairs with stockmar blocks/crayons/lyra pencil crayons

There's pictures of the girls toys in my blog.

So basically, the children already have all the toys they need and won't need to be bought anymore at all. So is anyone else in this situation, where they children don't need to be bought toys?
What sort of small gifts to you get your little ones for Christmas which are not toys? The children in the past have only had one main present (which all members of extended family have contributed too over the past few years, which is why they have such a nice toy selection now) as well as beautiful stockings with beautiful quality toys inside them. Last year it was crystals, Ostheimers etc etc
I feel like Society expects children to carry on buying toys...toys... toys each birthday and Christmas when children don't actually need any more toys the what they already have. Also my older girl goes to mainstream school so they will talk about what they had for Christmas which makes it harder in my opinion.

Any thoughts on this?

By the way I would like to apologise for talking about Christmas in July
post #2 of 117
We don't have nearly as much, but in a similar situation because we have what our wee space can hold. And not a drop more. DS is old enough that if there is something he wants I tell him, we need to find something you are willing to get rid of that you don't play with anymore if you really want THAT other thing. He gets this. But truly it doesn't come up much, as he never really asks for things.

So... my ideas that we use are...

books (I would say one can never have too many books, but it is actually a problem for us as well. DH jokes that our boat will soon sink under the weight of the books.)

coins (DS loves old coins, gold $1 coins, foreign currency, etc)

Rocks, crystals, geodes to open, shells (you can wrap them, put them in a pretty little box, or make surprise balls (paper mache balloons) that they can break open and get their little goodies. DS LOVES his surprise balls!

hand made/ knit clothing items (warm hat, slippers, socks, nice jammies)

fresh art supplies

crafting items (we got DS a wax seal set so he could seal up all of the scrolls he was writing letters on)

A fresh batch of home made play dough

Beeswax (modeling or candle making which is great for winter)

home made or etsy made shadow puppets and make a little shadow puppet theatre from a cardboard box (great fun for those long dark nights)

Mama made little pillows with their art embroidered on it

special mug or tableware item just for them

musical instruments (didn;t see that in your list) egg shakers and such
and make them each a mix CD with special music on it.

or of course -- AN EXPERIENCE... we've taken DS on a horse drawn carriage ride with hot coco through a park all decked out for the holidays. We've done a steam train ride. Tickets to the Nutcrackers and cute new dresses for the big night out.

I hope these help you a bit and I look forward to seeing other people's ideas too.
post #3 of 117
I've been thinking about this lately as we, too, are kind of at "toy nirvana". There's truly no "need" for anything else. Last Christmas I started instituting the 1 toy from Santa expectation. And my daughter can ask mommy and papi for one item. Last year it was a mermaid, so, I made that. This year she's fixated on a Disney princess night light that is prominantly displayed and child eye level in the checkout lanes at Target.

I love boatbaby's experience suggestion. Last year her cousins were here. This year she'll be old enough for the Nutcracker, so, we will go see that. The year before was a horse drawn carriage and camel ride!

Since my daughter will be 5, I do want to finally get her companion doll made. She also requested a Christmas sweater when I bought some handspun earlier this year which is red and white with some sparkle yarn. So, she'll get a yoked sweater out of that.

For the baby . . . it will probably be nothing. When my daughter's pre-school closed in 2009, I bought some wooden trucks and cars. So, maybe I'll just take those off of the shelf and wrap them in silks!
post #4 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
We don't have nearly as much, but in a similar situation because we have what our wee space can hold. And not a drop more. DS is old enough that if there is something he wants I tell him, we need to find something you are willing to get rid of that you don't play with anymore if you really want THAT other thing. He gets this. But truly it doesn't come up much, as he never really asks for things.

So... my ideas that we use are...

books (I would say one can never have too many books, but it is actually a problem for us as well. DH jokes that our boat will soon sink under the weight of the books.)

coins (DS loves old coins, gold $1 coins, foreign currency, etc)

Rocks, crystals, geodes to open, shells (you can wrap them, put them in a pretty little box, or make surprise balls (paper mache balloons) that they can break open and get their little goodies. DS LOVES his surprise balls!

hand made/ knit clothing items (warm hat, slippers, socks, nice jammies)

fresh art supplies

crafting items (we got DS a wax seal set so he could seal up all of the scrolls he was writing letters on)

A fresh batch of home made play dough

Beeswax (modeling or candle making which is great for winter)

home made or etsy made shadow puppets and make a little shadow puppet theatre from a cardboard box (great fun for those long dark nights)

Mama made little pillows with their art embroidered on it

special mug or tableware item just for them

musical instruments (didn;t see that in your list) egg shakers and such
and make them each a mix CD with special music on it.

or of course -- AN EXPERIENCE... we've taken DS on a horse drawn carriage ride with hot coco through a park all decked out for the holidays. We've done a steam train ride. Tickets to the Nutcrackers and cute new dresses for the big night out.

I hope these help you a bit and I look forward to seeing other people's ideas too.
This list pretty much covers what I was going to suggest. The only thing I have to add is a matching outfit for the girls and their dolls. My daughter got matching nightgowns for her and her special doll last christmas when she was 5 and it was a huge hit!!
post #5 of 117
We do
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
And something to read


Usually their "want" is a toy, although not always, and the rest are very easy to make non-toy items.
post #6 of 117
Great suggestions, Boatbaby! I think there is definitely a way to celebrate the holidays without a deluge of new toys. Are you crafty at all? Small handmade items are awesome gifts, and they mean so much more, IMO. We celebrate Hanukkah at our house, and traditionally we give a small gift each of the 8 nights. But the gifts are very small, the first night they get gelt only (chocolate coins). I usually try to make a few of the gifts as well, my kids really love handknit toys. This year part of their gifts will probably include educational stuff. I saw a "rock collection" that categorizes the different types of rocks that DS would love. I'm also thinking of getting him a knitting tower.

You're not crazy for thinking about the holidays in July, I've already started knitting for them!
post #7 of 117
i love annettemarie's suggestion.

in our home, we keep toys and such to a minimum. for DS's birthday, my parents and my husband's parents are giving him some wooden cars and a wooden airplane. they are also giving some money for him to continue at play group.

it is actually rare that DH and i give him toys, or even celebrate christmas, so we are looking to create our holiday rhythm. but the grands can take care of the items themselves.
post #8 of 117
Books, clothes, consumables and for the older one, gift cards

When you give a young child a gift card that lets them shop for themselves with their own money, or lets them get their own treat in a restaraunt or whatever, they often LOVE that kind of stuff. The younger one probably wouldn't get that, but the 5 year old would probably think it's cool.

Books-IMO, no book is EVER wasted.

Clothes, that's often tough because usually a kid with too many toys also has too many clothes. But if that's not the case, clothes can work as gifts too. Particularly "special" clothes...a snowsuit, especially with cutsy frills or whatever your child likes, accessories like hair ribbons and such, Shoes or boots, again, with frills or flashy lights or whatever. My niece, who is 5, has a shoe "fetish" and has for a couple of years. She doesn't care where they are from, she just loves to dress up in all sorts of different types of shoes. I got her two pairs of glittery, totally unpractical shoes from goodwill and a set of socks for her birthday last year, she totally just wears the shoes around the house for an hour or so, she loves it

Consumables, things that get used up...stickers, coloring books and crayons, other art supplies as has been suggested above. If the 5 year old knows how to write or is learning, a nice stationary set to write letters to friends or relatives (a dying art.) Also, food/candy/treats. Whatever they might not normally get on a regular basis but that you still deem ok for your house. Or little treat "kits," where you wrap up all the ingredients you can and include a recipe, for them to make together. Or a Christmas classic, the gingerbread house-you make it, then you eat it!

Another idea, plants. One year for my birthday, my parents had flowers delivered for me. I think I was in 2nd grade. To have the delivery man knock on the door and it was for ME, that was SO cool at that age You could also do some grow kits, like for herbs or something. Amaryllis are common at Christmas time, so you could always do that, or as I said herb kits, you can get some now on clearance. Or a just a live potted plant that they could are for like a pet (but with less risk ), they could name it and decorate the pot and such.

You could also start a new tradition of a special ornament or a special house christmas decoration every year, like personalized with their name or something.
post #9 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
We don't have nearly as much, but in a similar situation because we have what our wee space can hold. And not a drop more. DS is old enough that if there is something he wants I tell him, we need to find something you are willing to get rid of that you don't play with anymore if you really want THAT other thing. He gets this. But truly it doesn't come up much, as he never really asks for things.

So... my ideas that we use are...

books (I would say one can never have too many books, but it is actually a problem for us as well. DH jokes that our boat will soon sink under the weight of the books.)

coins (DS loves old coins, gold $1 coins, foreign currency, etc)

Rocks, crystals, geodes to open, shells (you can wrap them, put them in a pretty little box, or make surprise balls (paper mache balloons) that they can break open and get their little goodies. DS LOVES his surprise balls!

hand made/ knit clothing items (warm hat, slippers, socks, nice jammies)

fresh art supplies

crafting items (we got DS a wax seal set so he could seal up all of the scrolls he was writing letters on)

A fresh batch of home made play dough

Beeswax (modeling or candle making which is great for winter)

home made or etsy made shadow puppets and make a little shadow puppet theatre from a cardboard box (great fun for those long dark nights)

Mama made little pillows with their art embroidered on it

special mug or tableware item just for them

musical instruments (didn;t see that in your list) egg shakers and such
and make them each a mix CD with special music on it.

or of course -- AN EXPERIENCE... we've taken DS on a horse drawn carriage ride with hot coco through a park all decked out for the holidays. We've done a steam train ride. Tickets to the Nutcrackers and cute new dresses for the big night out.

I hope these help you a bit and I look forward to seeing other people's ideas too.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I really liked your idea about the wax seal My 5 year old would really really dig that. I have never heard of the surprise ballon idea. Are they simple to make? Haven't had much experience of paper mache.

You're right, we don't have musical instruments aside from three tone whistle/stirring xylophone/pair of wooden marracas (don't know how to spell that). We have asked both sets of grandparents to go in for a pear wood pentatonic recorder for her and my husband and I will get her a recorder book and hand woven recorder bag, so that will be her main present. I just need to sort out stocking pressies now.
post #10 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
We do
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
And something to read


Usually their "want" is a toy, although not always, and the rest are very easy to make non-toy items.
So do you take this quite literally, do you give 4 presents to a child? I think it is great...I really want my children to appreciate each gift, not look around for whats coming next and not even see what is in front of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsalem View Post
Great suggestions, Boatbaby! I think there is definitely a way to celebrate the holidays without a deluge of new toys. Are you crafty at all? Small handmade items are awesome gifts, and they mean so much more, IMO. We celebrate Hanukkah at our house, and traditionally we give a small gift each of the 8 nights. But the gifts are very small, the first night they get gelt only (chocolate coins). I usually try to make a few of the gifts as well, my kids really love handknit toys. This year part of their gifts will probably include educational stuff. I saw a "rock collection" that categorizes the different types of rocks that DS would love. I'm also thinking of getting him a knitting tower.

You're not crazy for thinking about the holidays in July, I've already started knitting for them!
I wish I could knit so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Books, clothes, consumables and for the older one, gift cards

When you give a young child a gift card that lets them shop for themselves with their own money, or lets them get their own treat in a restaraunt or whatever, they often LOVE that kind of stuff. The younger one probably wouldn't get that, but the 5 year old would probably think it's cool.

Books-IMO, no book is EVER wasted.

Clothes, that's often tough because usually a kid with too many toys also has too many clothes. But if that's not the case, clothes can work as gifts too. Particularly "special" clothes...a snowsuit, especially with cutsy frills or whatever your child likes, accessories like hair ribbons and such, Shoes or boots, again, with frills or flashy lights or whatever. My niece, who is 5, has a shoe "fetish" and has for a couple of years. She doesn't care where they are from, she just loves to dress up in all sorts of different types of shoes. I got her two pairs of glittery, totally unpractical shoes from goodwill and a set of socks for her birthday last year, she totally just wears the shoes around the house for an hour or so, she loves it

Consumables, things that get used up...stickers, coloring books and crayons, other art supplies as has been suggested above. If the 5 year old knows how to write or is learning, a nice stationary set to write letters to friends or relatives (a dying art.) Also, food/candy/treats. Whatever they might not normally get on a regular basis but that you still deem ok for your house. Or little treat "kits," where you wrap up all the ingredients you can and include a recipe, for them to make together. Or a Christmas classic, the gingerbread house-you make it, then you eat it!

Another idea, plants. One year for my birthday, my parents had flowers delivered for me. I think I was in 2nd grade. To have the delivery man knock on the door and it was for ME, that was SO cool at that age You could also do some grow kits, like for herbs or something. Amaryllis are common at Christmas time, so you could always do that, or as I said herb kits, you can get some now on clearance. Or a just a live potted plant that they could are for like a pet (but with less risk ), they could name it and decorate the pot and such.

You could also start a new tradition of a special ornament or a special house christmas decoration every year, like personalized with their name or something.
My 5 year doesn't have too many clothes at all, because I stay at home and my husband works we are not swimming in money and childrens clothes in the UK are expensive in my opinion and poor quality. She particularly likes dresses and skirts. So maybe I could look out for a really pretty skirt for her between now and Christmas. I might try to get hold of some natural organic PJ's too. Thanks for the idea!

Your candy idea was great too. We have a handmade chocolate place in town which she has begged to have some from but at about £1 per choc we never have. Maybe I could get her a little box!

Thanks so much for your help!

post #11 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i love annettemarie's suggestion.

in our home, we keep toys and such to a minimum. for DS's birthday, my parents and my husband's parents are giving him some wooden cars and a wooden airplane. they are also giving some money for him to continue at play group.

it is actually rare that DH and i give him toys, or even celebrate christmas, so we are looking to create our holiday rhythm. but the grands can take care of the items themselves.
Can you believe that people that visit our house think we have the bare minimum of toys for two children? I was quite embarrassed when I read back the list and saw just how much the girls have. Seriously, I have found myself appologising to non-waldorf friends about lack of toys (translation, lack of plastic) because they are really shocked! To be honest, it is a bit of a problem with K being at a regular school I am on a personal level 'embarrassed' about other mums seeing our home b/c they will thinkit is strange. My children don't watch TV and don't have 'normal' toys. I would Love to know what toys are in your home.
post #12 of 117
really great post, as i am excited for christmas already too. we've never gone nuts with presents- we've never had the money, and ds has never been very materialistic- so its kinda worked in our favor. i want to build a picnic table and bench for my boys, as we are always outside. crystals are very loved, as are things like origami animals, art supplies, and gardening stuff. i'm really minimalistic, and my boys appreciate it, i'm sure. as for buying things, we are not buying much. its all about the specialness of the season- ds is more than thrilled to just PARTY with his cousins and family members. last season, the whole fam went to an awesome Greek restaurant for xmas eve, and its still his favorite memory.
post #13 of 117
Yep, 4 gifts per child. Sometimes "something to wear" is whole outfit and "something to read" is a series or boxed set.
post #14 of 117
My 5 year olds really enjoy games. They have a few card games made by a company called eeboo that are cute. Also, home-made doll clothes could be nice for a stocking gift and they don't over-load a playroom.

For British clothing, you've probably seen miniBoden? My girls like their clothes and I think they've held up really well. Most of the clothing I've bought has held up for 2 seasons. Their fleece jackets will probably hold up for 3. And their clothing is cute. Some of it is a bit much.

I really regret not being more thoughtful about our playroom. We mostly have wooden, natural toys, but there are just too much of them. Between my parents, my sister's famlly, my husband's Mom and Dad (they're divorced) and his sister's family, every birthday and Christmas brings a deluge of stuff. And my girls are heartbroken at the thought of giving away anything. I wish I'd been more pro-active about limiting gifts, or asking people to pool together for bigger items. Your playroom sounds delightful!
post #15 of 117
Is it Christmas already? I haven't even complained about the school supplies list yet!
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
Is it Christmas already? I haven't even complained about the school supplies list yet!
This made me laugh. I shop for birthdays and holidays year-round. There's always a little stash of goodies in the spare closet.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
Is it Christmas already? I haven't even complained about the school supplies list yet!
Well, with two babies on the way, I'm hoping to have all Christmas gifts bought by the end of October.
post #18 of 117
we have found ourselves in a similar situation. when we sat down and actually took an "inventory" we had much more than we thought or even wanted.

"Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
And something to read" - this is great

last year, our christmas at home was what i had wanted for years or maybe i should say it was years in the making.

through the years, our holiday festivities prior to christmas bring much more meaning to celebrating the season. we countdown to christmas day with an advent calender for family activities where the fairies bring us supplies each day. there are supplies for baking, making soup, crafts, muffin making, making popcorn and cranberry garland and making cinnamon ornaments, etc. there are also gifts of money to be donated, money for a special museum trip and popcorn kernels to pop for a special christmas movie. if it is going to be a day that brings the snow, the fairies will put out a chocolate bar for making our hot chocolate or a basket of our snow man clothes for us to build a snowman.

i also love the idea about building a picnic table!

and great suggestions boatbaby and a trip to see the nutcracker sounds wonderful.
post #19 of 117
Very inspirational post ourdayourjourney, I have a 7 month old and this is how I would like to plan our holiday season in the future. it is so nice that it is about the activities you do as a famlily rather than the "stuff". Lovely! xxx
post #20 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
We do
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
And something to read

Usually their "want" is a toy, although not always, and the rest are very easy to make non-toy items.

I like this. We give our children three gifts each, kinda similar to this idea. I will try this this year though when they tell me what they would like.

We are not doing gifts with our extended family this year, just our children and our parents. It gets out of hand with all of the gifts from the rest of the family.

Take care!
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