less is more

When I was young I had one Barbie, I had one Cabbage Patch doll, I had just one of a lot of things. I don’t recall thinking that it wasn’t enough and those singular items got a lot of love and use.

This thought occurred to me the other day when I was cleaning Chloe’s room. Chloe (and Paige and Dillon too) have lots of stuff. I have lost count of how many Barbie’s we have, Chloe has 3 Cabbage Patch dolls, and multiples of a LOT of toys. I am wondering if she appreciates them in groups as much as I did my singular toys. I remember my toys, I wonder if she will remember any certain toys as her “favorite”? She doesn’t seem to have a favorite usually, (not counting the newest toy.) Paige and Dillon have had favorite types of toys, if not a singular toy either. With Paige is was (is) beanie animals. She would name them the most unusual creative names. The one I remember (and I kick myself for not writing the others down at the time) is the beanie dog that her cousins had that she named Dear-Kimburke. (I guess that is how it would be spelled) With Dillon it is Lego’s. He loves all Lego’s. He’s a builder and has one fantastic imagination and creates stories to go with his creations.

I guess my point is that giving my kids more than I had maybe isn’t such a great thing if they don’t appreciate what they do have. This point backs up my decision to lessen Christmas insanity. I admit the insanity is mine due to my shopping addiction, but this year is my reform year. I have toyed with the idea of limiting presents in the past, just not done it. This year it will be done. I am planning on giving the kids only a few gifts each. Something they need, something they want, and something else – I need to figure out the theme for the last one, I’m thinking I might do something like one on one time, gifts of doing things together… hmmm… it’s not quite gelled yet…

I am banking on the idea that less is more, and they will enjoy the few gifts more. I have warned them in advance also so they can’t be shocked. I want to get away from being so materialistic this year. I have also toyed with the idea of doing the 12 days of Christmas for someone. Get the kids involved and do something good. I have seen many great ideas for this, I will report on that later.

It’s still early to be talking about Christmas yet I know, but if you prepare you shall not fear, or better yet; fail to plan, plan to fail.

My point is this: simplify simplify simplify. Life is busy and chaotic enough and cutting down on the things we don’t need and for that matter, cutting down on all the commitments and scheduling too, is a fabulous idea, and will make life calmer and easier, and help us appreciate the things we do have. That is my hope anyway, we’ll see how it goes.


3 thoughts on “less is more

  1. Sarah

    Jeanie we still have Dearkimburk and love him because Paige made him special by naming him! i am fully on board on the less is more christmas, I was made a full believer a few years ago, we lived in Nebraska and Kate and Chip were visiting: we had so many presents I was SOOO embarrassed and I cried Christmas night when we were putting them out, and then some more crying Christmas morning. It was rediculous. It was a chore to get the kids to open them all, the problem was i bought items on sale all year long, and then bought some more right before Christmas, forgetting how many I had stuffed under the guest room bed, yikes. Tamra’s sister has a poem for gift giving: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. i like it. I’ve never been able to get it down to that precise and concise, but since that horrible Christmas we have way cut back.

  2. katie

    i was witness to that crazy christmas of excess. poor sarah. ethan would just rip open a gift, barely look at it, throw it to the side and move on to the next. but still i didn’t learn, last year about halfway through i realized we (i) had gone way overbaord, so i took about 3 presents and saved them for eve’s birthday.

    this year i’m with you and sarah. simple. sparse. better and more meaningful.

    and, i still love your blog. a lot. maybe because i love you. alot.

  3. Mom

    Boy, did I raise smart kids or WHAT? Nah, you just came that way and get better all the time! Kudos to All my great kids! Great blog Nini!


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