With the holiday season in full gear, I’ve really been thinking (and rethinking ) about how I’m going to approach gift giving this year.
Last week I talked about how we should all give with a tiny house mentality. Give small, give what’s needed, and give experiences.
And then on my Facebook page, I’ve been frequently seeing this little poem:
- Something you want,
- Something you need,
- Something to wear,
- Something to read.
I’ll admit, there is nothing that makes a parent (especially this parent) happier than to see their (my) child happy. But oh how I wish I had seen this when the kids were younger. Christmas, isn’t Christmas until the entire floor is covered with gifts in our house, but at what expense?
Half of those gifts went unused. Pieces were immediately lost in the “too much to keep track of” chaos. Clothes went unworn because they didn’t like the color, or texture, or style. When you are given much, it’s easy to discard that which you don’t absolutely adore.
And things *I* thought would be adored, were just that, things I wanted and not things the kids wanted.
This year, I’ve had one son tell me that he doesn’t want anything for his dorm room.
I have another, who is in a military college and has no way to store “extra stuff.” .
I have a 2 other sons who works full time and buy what they need.
And then there are the girls who still ask for and expect a lot of stuff.
The solution to this problem? Give that which will only be absolutely adored.
How do you figure this all out? You ask.
When my kids were little, they were only allowed to ask Santa for one special gift and then everything else was a surprise. It felt selfish to have my kids write out pages and pages of stuff that they wanted. By asking for one gift, we tried not to support that “me mentality” that Christmas lists seem to encourage
But when an adult makes a list, it’s usually based on specific needs. Gone are the ponies and the rides to the moon. What’s left are the things that are of value to your life and your circumstances.
You wouldn’t want an orange sweater when you hate that color and you wouldn’t want a book that you have no interest in its subject. None of those would be on your list.
Now that my kids are older it makes sense to ask them this question – If you had to give yourself a gift what would you give? When phrased that way, it usually breaks down to the essentials – what you really want, what you really need, what you’d really like to wear, and what you’d really like to read.
Funny how that works out.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
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