I just wanted to connect with other parents out there that are falling into a similar mind frame of a) feeling overwhelmed by the mass production and holiday consumerism and b) not able to financially afford all those toys!!!
My husband and I have always bought second hand.... our furniture on local buy and sell websites... anything from couches, to kitchen supplies and we have made quite a home for ourselves that feels warm and inviting from bringing in (mainly) garage sale and consignment items.
This idea has also trailed into our thoughts when it comes to purchasing birthday or Christmas presents for him.
If you feel overwhelmed by high prices for (sometime cheaply made) toys... I have a few suggestions...
1. Check out local buy and sell websites like Kijiji. Often parents are eager to sell of their child's toy that they no longer cherish and it might be just right for your little one.
2. Check out a local consignment store. In my area there are some amazing kids consignments stores that I love to support... I often find some wonderful puzzles, clothes and games for my little guy there!! I also love a great used bookshop for some treasures!
3. Ask you friends. Who knows what they may have on hand that they are ready to part with and make space for new gifts and toys coming through.
Whenever a relative kindly gives our son a noisy plastic toy, we graciously accept and then the toy may slowly 'disappear' somewhere....
I have been amazed at some wonderful toys I have come home from my son. There is large neighbourhood garage sale that I hit every fall, and with $100 I can come home with a car load of toys for him (wooden things and metal tractors and trucks!) and even rugs, and home furnishings for our house!
So if you are feeling uneasy about what to get your little one.... don't forget that when you spend a lot of money on toys, they often like the box it came in better!!
Be creative, explore and I challenge you all to keep it simple this Christmas and enjoy the things that really matter.