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How to Deal With Relatives Who Like to Contribute Clutter - Page 3

post #41 of 43
I'm with you on the clutter issue (I'm a bit of a toy buyer myself) but I don't use the "we're leaving this at your house" ploy because to me that still seems rude -- like this toy isn't good enough for us, you keep it and deal with it. (Plus the kids love to bring them home . . . ) Also when we do donate our surplus we try not to act like we're donating "commercial crap" because that sets us up as somehow better than the people who would buy our donations -- like they're falling for commercialism but we're so above it . . . Just what works in our family. And I've been amazed at the imaginative play generated by some of the plasticky-est, noisiest, never-woulda-picked-it toys, just because the kids' imaginations insist on making an appearance!
post #42 of 43

Same problem in our home

We have the same issue in our house - with my inlaws only though because my mother is Waldorf teacher. Lucky us! But here is what I recently did to help the inlaws bring gifts we all want -

First, we started a Coverdell education fund. This accepts like $2,000 a year, tax free, for college. Since there is a fund going, the inlaws like to contribute to our son's future. And ever little bit helps.

I also started collections for our son.
I started a postcard collection so the "souvenirs" from travelling can be postcards from abroad. They responded by sending 11 postcards from Tahiti last month and I was SO grateful.

We also started a Brio Train set collection. I bought the most basic figure eight train set and a simple 2-car train, then I gave the inlaws a brochure, a website and a local store so they can add to this each holiday.

Finally, I started a "barnyard" of wooden animals from a local toystore that carries Waldorf-inspired toys. (We all live in the same area so this was easy, but if they lived far away, I'd give them a website to find them.) Now, our son's wooden barnyard is growing beautifully.

I also got to know the owner of our local children's clothing store and I go "window" shopping to give her our wish list. Then, when the uncles and grands go looking for clothes, she knows what to "suggest."

The grandparents seem to be very happy scoring just the right gift and I feel like I've made it easy for them. We all win!
post #43 of 43
Could you suggest something like giving savings bonds as the bulk of the gift, and perhaps a limit on the amount they "should" spend on a gift? If you ask them to give you something specific like a bond, and then tell them that dc likes something that is difficult to get in plastic, like a puzzle, maybe the specifi suggestion of a thing would spur them in the right direction. I've found with our relatives, the more specific the better. HTH
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