Friday, November 30, 2007

'Tis the Season

Well, tomorrow marks the beginning of the holiday season for us. You see as I mentioned here I refuse to start decorating or celebrating Christmas until Dec. 1st. So far I'm hanging on to my timeline. Miss C is a little dismayed that we don't have our tree up or the house decorated yet, but I'm sticking to my guns. I have to take a stand somewhere right???

With this weekend marking the beginning of December, I will now allow us to make a head first plunge into decorating, shopping, etc. So how will we begin? A visit to Santa? Throwing up lights around the house? Nope. I'm starting with cleaning. My kids have entirely too many toys and books and such, so there is no room for all the loot that will be had on Christmas. This weekend I will be conducting our annual purge where I will give away toys and books. I'm not sure how the kids will handle it, but I've already talked to Miss C. about giving to kids who aren't as lucky to have as many toys as her. She liked it in theory, we'll see how it goes once we put it into practice.

Yesterday I had a visit with a woman in my mom's group that I've become friends with. Yes sir, I made a friend! WOOHOO! ;) I went over to her house and while Miss C and her daughter played I was able to get my talk on. At one point we were talking about Christmas and what to get and she brought up an article she had read about rewarding kids with toys. According to this article, it said by rewarding children with toys starting at a small age, you're setting them up for wanting things all the time, or becoming spoiled. what to do? I totally don't want my children to be spoiled brats in their tween years demanding whatever BFF has at the time, but how do you handle it now? Especially when our family LOVES to spoil my girls?? Honestly, I don't know the answer but we're trying a few things:

1. C has to earn things. We have a star chart and when she reaches the goal, she gets a gift that she wants. I'm kind of equating this to a chore chart, except instead of getting allowance, she gets something she wants. The more money it costs, the more stars she earns.

2. I've been putting away gifts each girl gets for birthdays, etc and giving them some throughout the year. I mean honestly they get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff they get, are they really going to notice if their stash is light a few items?

3. We're donating things they don't use anymore. I've only done this once before, but as I mentioned this is going to now be part of our Christmas tradition. I'm hoping this will help show the girls how lucky they are and teach them compassion for those who are not as fortunate.

So that's my plan for hopefully avoiding future feelings of entitlement and brattiness. Anyone else have good ideas for this?


little miss mel said...

I think you are right on with what you are currently doing.

Kids need to be kids as long as they possibly can. And if that means they get toys from loved ones, then so be it! I think it's fabulous.

The idea of giving the gifts over the year is genius!

I have been collecting cans and bottles and plastics (Even though our city recycles everything from our garbage for us) and taking them to the recycle place ourselves with Rt. What money we make, he puts in his piggy bank. Trying to show the value of dollar, or giving back.

I think you've hit the same idea with donating toys. Just make sure they are part of the entire process. the collecting, the dropoff.

Maybe adopt a child their age and have them pick out toys, wrap it, deliver it????

Man, I am on a roll too!