Thinking outside the toy box

Putting everything you own into boxes makes you think about some things. We’ve been in the new house a month, so we’ve unpacked most stuff, at least the things we really use.

One thing that shocked me was the number of boxes of toys. Brett and I felt like we were endlessly gathering toys from around the house and filling box after box. After a month in this house, it seems like there is stuff all over the basement and there are still three large boxes of toys that we have not even opened yet. The girls have not even asked for anything that happens to be in those boxes, they have not been missed.

But what’s around the corner? December.

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Baby and Christmas will be here in a few weeks, and the thought of adding another person to this house is actually less stressful than the thought of adding more toys.

So Brett and I would like to ask for a non-toy Christmas for our family. We are well aware that for several people in our family, gift-giving is a love language, so before the protests commence, this does not mean a non-present Christmas. It just involves thinking outside the toy box.

This blog post, 18 Non-toy Gifts for Childrenh has some fantastic ideas. These are all things our girls would love! It’s not boring stuff like white socks and chess sets. We’re talking craft kits, pajamas, activity dates, special classes, etc. Many of the ideas emphasize experiences rather than things, and we love that.

The same blogger also wrote Finding Belonging and Community Through Actions rather than Things where she says:

As minimalists, our holidays are not focused on gifts, we do give gifts… but they are not the focal point. Instead, we wish to keep the focus on people.
It’s not possessions that give us a sense of belonging. It’s people. It’s actions. It’s traditions.
Christmas is a time to reflect on how we are living. It’s a time to give thanks to our Savior for becoming a human and showing us how He wants us to live. Noticing needs of those around us. Giving compassion, serving others, loving others.

The holidays coming up are such a meaningful time for those who are intentional and observant. We enjoy carrying on some traditions from our childhoods as well as crafting new ones for our growing family. Some are just for fun, and others are intentional reminders of the Gift of Jesus and the gifts He brought us. None of which require batteries or sit in boxes in the basement.

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So if you’re shopping for our family this Christmas, we ask that you think outside the toy box. :)

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3 thoughts on “Thinking outside the toy box

  1. Yes! We are trying this this year, too, because our home looks like a daycare exploded. My parents are getting us a family pass to the Denver zoo, which should be wonderful as I LOVE zoos…… and so do the kids ;)

  2. We’re not even adding a baby in the coming weeks and this subject has been on my heart too. I’ve completely purged the kids rooms and filled our attic with toys. Anything that isn’t missed will be donated in a few months and we’re focusing on “experience” gifts too. Praying for you over the next few weeks!

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