Get Less Stuff


You know and I know that many of us have a lot of stuff. Even if we feel like we don’t have a lot, a quick search through the house will likely reveal a garbage bag full of items that we can donate, a few useless purchases, and many toys that don’t get played with nearly enough.

We are also blessed to have many relatives who care for us. These relatives want to give my daughter Christmas gifts. While this is wonderful, I also realize that Christmas gifts of stuff are really not what our family needs. We are fortunate to have enough, especially when it comes to things like stuffed animals. This is why we are asking for practical items and lessons for Christmas.

Like all growing kids, my daughter always need clothes. We are also lucky to get many of these from an older neighbor. However, there are always bits and pieces that we don’t have, namely things like warm pajamas and long-sleeved shirts. These are excellent, practical gifts for grandparents to give.

Our other very beloved gift is contributions to lessons or passes. When my daughter was smaller, we asked for a membership to the local children’s petting farm for every birthday. This Christmas, we’re getting a special behind the scenes tour with them as a gift. As she has grown, my daughter’s interests have changed from memberships to lessons, and some of these lessons can be a real burden on the annual budget. We live in a ski-crazy city, but ski lessons are terribly, prohibitively expensive. We are asking for a couple of session for Christmas. Our local skating rink also has lessons that extend into the summer, but since it’s the only show in town at that time, it’s also expensive. We’re getting a contribution to that for Christmas as well. A last Christmas gift is going to be a pass up to a local mountain so that we can skate on the open air pond there. This local mountain has a local’s pass that is a lot cheaper than the tourist rates, and this year we’ll finally be able to take advantage of that pass.

Or how about a membership to an online program or club? We have a nature club here that is fairly inexpensive to join. There are also programs that your child might want to try out, like Reading Eggs. These are great gifts.

I like these gifts. They make things possible that would not be possible otherwise. They’re a great reminder of those relatives during times in the year when Christmas is long forgotten and toys may be broken. And of course, those skills are a lasting legacy from that relative to that child. My sister loves skating, so she is contributing to skating lessons – passing on her joy in that sport to my daughter. And what could be a better gift than that?

Image Credit: michaq