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

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#1 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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

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#2 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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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.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#3 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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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!

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#4 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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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!!
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#5 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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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.

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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#6 of 117 Old 07-21-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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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!

Mama to DS (7) , DD (5) and DD (2) and expecting a LO in 2/14

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#7 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 02:13 AM
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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.
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#8 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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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.
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#9 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#10 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!


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#11 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#12 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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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.
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#13 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Yep, 4 gifts per child. Sometimes "something to wear" is whole outfit and "something to read" is a series or boxed set.

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
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#14 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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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!

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#15 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Is it Christmas already? I haven't even complained about the school supplies list yet!
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#16 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 117 Old 07-22-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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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.

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#18 of 117 Old 07-23-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 117 Old 07-23-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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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
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#20 of 117 Old 07-23-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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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!

Jen, mama to  (M-13, N- 10, C- 8 rainbow1284.gif J- 3.5, and rainbow1284.gifJ -2, angel3.gifA (10/4/07) and 3 early losses)
We are expecting baby #7 in November 2013

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#21 of 117 Old 07-24-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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Just in case you do decide to get some new things for the holidays:

jump ropes/skipping ropes

Bicycle or other outdoor toy--scooter, pogo stick, what have you

sewing kit and starter fabric stash--my 8 y.o. got this for her birthday this year

art or science museum membership

board games or card games; we got a fun game called Set for DD's birthday

picture puzzles for the family to work on together

Both my children were very enthusiastic about receiving mama-made pillow cases; I can just about manage five straight seams on my sewing machine.

I never run out of gift ideas for my children; it's more the money and the space that runs out first.
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#22 of 117 Old 07-24-2010, 08:26 PM
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when feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about being different, i just remember what Byron Katie says: "other's opinions of you are none of your business."

so, basically, you do not have to internalize people's judgments of you--and many of those judgments may not be real. that is to say, you might think that others think it is weird/strange/bad, but they may NOT be thinking that. they may be thinking like "wow, that place is so peaceful" or "look at the lovely, minimal amount of toys that family has?" truth is, you don't know what a person is thinking most of the time.

and if they are speaking what they are thinking, then i just say "there are lots of ways to parent" and leave it at that, because i am sure of the way that i am parenting. i am sure of minimalism and natural and so on. it's what i want.

i'll be honest, i go to most people's homes that are cluttered and messy with toys and i am uncomfortable. but, i do not judge them--it's ok to live that way if it is what one is choosing. it's not a *moral* issue. it's not something that says "i'm better because." rather, i simply prefer to live this way, and they obviously prefer to live differently.
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#23 of 117 Old 07-29-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Oh goodness how I hear you! I am actually planning on scaling our toys back a bit, we just have WAY too much!! I'm going bonkers trying to keep up.
But yes NO MORE TOYS HERE!! For Christmas my girls will be getting some mama made nightgowns, some mamamade knitted clothing and maybe an outift for their dolls. I prefer small simple Christmas' anyways... I just wish my family did as well. It was insane last year. Ughh. I do have a mother mary, father joseph and baby jesus evi doll set I bought last spring put away for my oldest and she'll still get those (even after all I just said) because of her strong love for them. She amazes me and teaches me every day about faith and religion
Anyways, I'm rambling butI soooo know what you are saying!! I'll be looking to you for encouragement to keep my foot down with my husband and maybe even myself as the holidays come closer

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#24 of 117 Old 08-01-2010, 02:56 AM
 
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I just told dh yesterday that we are not buying the girls anything for Christmas this year. Their birthdays are in April and they get toys twice a year: on their birthdays and at Christmas. There is more than enough family to buy stuff for them & we cannot afford anything anyway, unless it is v small. I have already started dd1's list b/c people always ask me what to get her (Thank goodness! So thoughtful of them ). This year I won't have to sit there like, "dur.." b/c I will have a list. Thus far it consists of the Hanna Andersson pink cardigan and hat to match the baby set dd2 will have grown into by then. Then they can match all winter, heehee!! Neither of them needs any new toys at all & we are going to start putting gift money into the college fund instead of spending it. We have lots of v nice toys & lots of things that aren't toys that dd1 plays w/, too (like family photographs). I don't feel bad about having lots of nice toys b/c we spend a lot of time at home & I want my kids to have the opportunity to really have enriching, engrossing play experiences & to have the materials to freely do so. When everything is put away, I know it is not a lot of toys. When it is all out, though.. Oh my, quite a mess!

Since we are going to be unschooling, anything schooly or crafty is always great here. How about some fancy drawing paper or sketch book? Something that feels heavy and important. Kumon makes some v nice learning activity books & there are always sticker and coloring books. I definitely love the small box of fancy chocolates idea. Have you seen those I Spy tube toys? There are also I Spy bags available all over etsy & the internet. Maybe just one new Ostheimer figure for each in their stockings. I always got a new toothbrush & toothpaste in my stocking. DD1 gets that now, too For our stockings, the kids get toothbrush & toothpaste, some Christmas chocolates, a small toy, and a stuffed something that hangs out the top (small animal or doll).

Super bounce balls or Pinky balls are always lots of fun. Accessories for toys they already have is always great. I remember getting peg refills for my Lite Brite or a mini Lego set. Something that comes in packaging can always be opened so that it fits in the stocking. Forgot to add that the kids get a new tree ornament every year, so that could go in a stocking, too.

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#25 of 117 Old 08-09-2010, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
when feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about being different, i just remember what Byron Katie says: "other's opinions of you are none of your business."

so, basically, you do not have to internalize people's judgments of you--and many of those judgments may not be real. that is to say, you might think that others think it is weird/strange/bad, but they may NOT be thinking that. they may be thinking like "wow, that place is so peaceful" or "look at the lovely, minimal amount of toys that family has?" truth is, you don't know what a person is thinking most of the time.

and if they are speaking what they are thinking, then i just say "there are lots of ways to parent" and leave it at that, because i am sure of the way that i am parenting. i am sure of minimalism and natural and so on. it's what i want.

i'll be honest, i go to most people's homes that are cluttered and messy with toys and i am uncomfortable. but, i do not judge them--it's ok to live that way if it is what one is choosing. it's not a *moral* issue. it's not something that says "i'm better because." rather, i simply prefer to live this way, and they obviously prefer to live differently.
I think I need to print this out and stick it to my fridge as a reminder. Thank you so much for your words, you have really shown me the right way I should think about this.

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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#26 of 117 Old 08-09-2010, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
Oh goodness how I hear you! I am actually planning on scaling our toys back a bit, we just have WAY too much!! I'm going bonkers trying to keep up.
But yes NO MORE TOYS HERE!! For Christmas my girls will be getting some mama made nightgowns, some mamamade knitted clothing and maybe an outift for their dolls. I prefer small simple Christmas' anyways... I just wish my family did as well. It was insane last year. Ughh. I do have a mother mary, father joseph and baby jesus evi doll set I bought last spring put away for my oldest and she'll still get those (even after all I just said) because of her strong love for them. She amazes me and teaches me every day about faith and religion
Anyways, I'm rambling butI soooo know what you are saying!! I'll be looking to you for encouragement to keep my foot down with my husband and maybe even myself as the holidays come closer
We too really have decided NO MORE TOYS HERE either. We really have enough for the girls to have a beautiful environment. You are so lucky that you are amazingly good at crafting. I know I would be terrible at knitting but I am thinking maybe I could figure out crochet. Maybe I could crochet the girls a little dolly blanket from wool? I can't sew clothes either but I love to sew wool felt so I am going to continue with my felt fruit and veg. Christmas time for us is very simple, just the four of us so this year I am going to try to focus on special activities. Our decorations are extrememly simple. We have a little real tree and candles and that is it. This year I am trying to have a declutter on E.bay and make £200 as I would love to have the Ostheimer Nativity to put next to the tree. As an ornament, not as toys. It would be so special for the girls to bring out each year.

Your evi dolls sound beautiful. My girls love their evi dolls. I actually have to send for a replacement evi mum as out mum had a glass of drink knocked over her.

One book I have got for my older girl from Amazon is the 'My First Little House paper dolls book' She wanted it a long time ago but i never got around to getting it so this will be so special for her. I think it will go in her stocking. I also need to get 'Farmer Boy's Birthday' to complete our Little House set but I have had the hardest time trying to find it as I would like it in paperback because all the rest are in paperback. My two adore these books and have them read daily.

I think I will need support nearer the time to stick to 'no new toys' because I remember distinctly last year thinking on the run up to Christmas 'OMG, the girls don't have ENOUGh' which is silly of me. I really want to be able to do this, keepit small, keep it simple and don't give in to pressures. I hope I can do this. Maybe I can't because I love beautiful toys. But I really really want to.

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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#27 of 117 Old 08-09-2010, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just told dh yesterday that we are not buying the girls anything for Christmas this year. Their birthdays are in April and they get toys twice a year: on their birthdays and at Christmas. There is more than enough family to buy stuff for them & we cannot afford anything anyway, unless it is v small. I have already started dd1's list b/c people always ask me what to get her (Thank goodness! So thoughtful of them ). This year I won't have to sit there like, "dur.." b/c I will have a list. Thus far it consists of the Hanna Andersson pink cardigan and hat to match the baby set dd2 will have grown into by then. Then they can match all winter, heehee!! Neither of them needs any new toys at all & we are going to start putting gift money into the college fund instead of spending it. We have lots of v nice toys & lots of things that aren't toys that dd1 plays w/, too (like family photographs). I don't feel bad about having lots of nice toys b/c we spend a lot of time at home & I want my kids to have the opportunity to really have enriching, engrossing play experiences & to have the materials to freely do so. When everything is put away, I know it is not a lot of toys. When it is all out, though.. Oh my, quite a mess!

Since we are going to be unschooling, anything schooly or crafty is always great here. How about some fancy drawing paper or sketch book? Something that feels heavy and important. Kumon makes some v nice learning activity books & there are always sticker and coloring books. I definitely love the small box of fancy chocolates idea. Have you seen those I Spy tube toys? There are also I Spy bags available all over etsy & the internet. Maybe just one new Ostheimer figure for each in their stockings. I always got a new toothbrush & toothpaste in my stocking. DD1 gets that now, too For our stockings, the kids get toothbrush & toothpaste, some Christmas chocolates, a small toy, and a stuffed something that hangs out the top (small animal or doll).

Super bounce balls or Pinky balls are always lots of fun. Accessories for toys they already have is always great. I remember getting peg refills for my Lite Brite or a mini Lego set. Something that comes in packaging can always be opened so that it fits in the stocking. Forgot to add that the kids get a new tree ornament every year, so that could go in a stocking, too.
I have never heard of the I spy bags/tubes?

The toothbrush idea is great, my older girl loves a pretty toothbrush! And I think I will choose them one Ostheimer figure each. They are collecting the farm ones. I think the crafting things are great too. Thank you!

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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#28 of 117 Old 08-10-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2009/02/eye-spy-bags.html

http://www.etsy.com/search_results.p...uery=i+spy+bag

Those are the bags, w/ a tutorial on how to make your own. These are the tubes: http://www.finditgames.com/

I know what I am making for all of the kids this Christmas!!!!!

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#29 of 117 Old 08-10-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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We are thinking of moving in April, so the less we can take the better.

I would love to say no toys at Christmas, but we have a hard enough time not letting Toy Story toys infiltrate our house.

We just celebrated M's 5th birthday and amid the felt birthday banner, the crown was a TS backpack, lunch box and toy.

I think I'm gonna give up, ha.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#30 of 117 Old 08-10-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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We too really have decided NO MORE TOYS HERE either. We really have enough for the girls to have a beautiful environment. You are so lucky that you are amazingly good at crafting. I know I would be terrible at knitting but I am thinking maybe I could figure out crochet. Maybe I could crochet the girls a little dolly blanket from wool? I can't sew clothes either but I love to sew wool felt so I am going to continue with my felt fruit and veg. Christmas time for us is very simple, just the four of us so this year I am going to try to focus on special activities. Our decorations are extrememly simple. We have a little real tree and candles and that is it. This year I am trying to have a declutter on E.bay and make £200 as I would love to have the Ostheimer Nativity to put next to the tree. As an ornament, not as toys. It would be so special for the girls to bring out each year.

Your evi dolls sound beautiful. My girls love their evi dolls. I actually have to send for a replacement evi mum as out mum had a glass of drink knocked over her.

One book I have got for my older girl from Amazon is the 'My First Little House paper dolls book' She wanted it a long time ago but i never got around to getting it so this will be so special for her. I think it will go in her stocking. I also need to get 'Farmer Boy's Birthday' to complete our Little House set but I have had the hardest time trying to find it as I would like it in paperback because all the rest are in paperback. My two adore these books and have them read daily.

I think I will need support nearer the time to stick to 'no new toys' because I remember distinctly last year thinking on the run up to Christmas 'OMG, the girls don't have ENOUGh' which is silly of me. I really want to be able to do this, keepit small, keep it simple and don't give in to pressures. I hope I can do this. Maybe I can't because I love beautiful toys. But I really really want to.
sqqueeaaallll!! We just stared reading the 'my first little house' books this summer!! both my girls are head over heals with them. K pretends she's mary and C is laura then the new baby is supossed to be baby carrie I think reading these books has been helpful to the girls and myself in cutting back, too. K loves that laura only gets 1 toy and new clothes for her doll for her birthday, etc. so perfect!! Ok, anyways, yes we will need to support each other WE CAN DO IT!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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