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October 31, 2008


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I really like this article. Gratefully, we have always leaned to wood and natural toys. We also have always limited the gifts each child receives to 3 (as Jesus received 3).
I would also add, I find wonderful discarded wooden toys through out the year at thrift stores.


Well said Kim! I just wrote about this at my blog. I'd rather not give a gift unless I can really think it through. Who wants to give something that won't be cherished?? Thanks for all the links. This year, we are really striving more quality. -Carmen


Some of the best advice I received as a young homeschooler was 'buy tools, not toys'. A sewing kit, art supplies, compass or even legos are a better gift because they teach children to be productive. If it wasn't a toy 50 years ago, kids don't need it now. That means dolls, balls and kites instead of things that talk or make noise. This policy has served us well!


Thanks for posting this. It is that time of year when our thoughts turn to "things" and it is good to be reminded to slow down and consider what we are bringing into our homes.


Very nice article. It is so easy to be "taken in" when shopping for toys. When I recently went to a toy megastore for my 4yo bday, I was looking for a specific item. I couldnt' find it, so I was looking for something else. I walked every ailse and at first wanted everything! Then I reminded myself about what I really wanted in a toy....and couldn't find anything that I really wanted after all.


Nice article! I finally had the chance to sit down and really read it this morning. Thanks for the gentle guidance Kim.


what a wonderful post. we have been thinking along similar lines for a long while, but still struggle with the issue - what to do about well meaning relatives who overwhelm our little ones with loads of plastic made-in-china brand-name battery-operated toys. their glitz overshadows our homemade gifts, and they don't reflect our family's values.

they don't understand why it's important to us, and how much of a fuss do i want to put up? is it silly that i'm almost at a point of asking them to let me preview/preapprove gifts? sigh...


Great post, Kim!

I have been thinking about this for several years now, too. It is not always easy to find the time to make hand-made gifts for going-on-eight children, plus In-Laws, cousins, etc., nor is it possible to find the money to buy natural toys and gifts for so many. But it is worth the effort. The kids help me make special cookies to send to their cousins in another state, I sew one more Christmas stocking each year for the youngest child (some day I may be caught up), and make cloth or painted wood ornaments for the extended family who would appreciate such things.

St. Nicholas brings much-needed socks, slippers or tights on Dec. 6, any presents from out-of-town family are opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, and presents from each other are opened on Epiphany. Thankfully, the rest of the family understands that we don't want the flashiest new toy on the market, so we get warm clothes, simple toys and holy cards, nice thank-you note cards to use, or even gift cards for groceries or a restaurant, for the most part.

We don't get everything we want or need. We don't give everything family and friends want or need. We do what we can to give comfort and joy, and try to let God do the rest.

So far it has made for joyous family memories as we gather on St. Lucy's day to share hot cocoa and a honey cake, or Christmas Eve to eat a traditional Mexican dinner before Tata reads "'Twas the night before Christmas...." and sing "Joy to the World" at Christmas morning Mass. Loving each other is the best gift we can give, whether it shows itself in the form of a hand-sewn Raggedy Ann doll or a Christmas stocking with an orange and a walnut in the toe, or a smile and a "Merry Christmas!"

Gee, I think I just wrote my first blog post since May first! I think I will cut and paste it into my blog now. Thanks, Kim!

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