As the holidays, and Blake's birthday, approaches, it gets me thinking about toys and what the boys do and don't need. I probably am in the minority with a few things I think, but hey that's what opinion are all about!
In the last five years I have yet to buy my sons a birthday gift. We do something special with them the day of their birthday, but don't get them gifts. Our goal is to make the day special to them. Last year Blake was sick on his birthday, but we still took brownies into his class and made his favorite meals. For Colby's birthday we watched his favorite shows and spent a lot of time playing Thomas.
This year Blake will get to bring snacks in for his class on his birthday. The next day we will have a party for his classmates. He will take him out to dinner on his birthday at the place of his choice. The next weekend we will have the family over for dinner.
For Christmas we buy each of the boys one special bigger gift and then some gifts to share. We ask them to tell Santa one thing they really want and try to accommodate that in some form. At this point all the gifts are from Santa and none of them are wrapped. This means when they wake up they walk in and can see all that Santa has brought.
We don't buy them a ton of stuff because we are trying to teach them quality over quantity. They don't need a ton of stuff that will break within the first week of playing with it. They need a few really good quality items that they can play with over and over. They need items that mean something to them. I've always found that when children have too much stuff they appreciate the stuff they have less.
I know many people think that children need to have the biggest pile at Christmas. That children expect to get the most. But, isn't that taught? I also don't make sure they have the same number of items. Why should number mean anything? I choose items that I think one or both children will use and enjoy. I try to spend about the same amount of money, but I won't buy cheap items to fill in the missing money or number of items.
It always drives me crazy when people buy kids things that you know will break. Why buy it? What is that teaching children? Wouldn't it be better to buy them 1 good item than 5 cheap ones? I think so.