Hello families, well it is that time of year once again. For many of us we go into the holiday season with a sense of hopefulness and excitement, only to get inundated with so many buy this, buy now, I want.. that we can end up feeling like a victim to consuming. By the time it is all over, we are exhausted and relieved. Over the years I have learned to keep it simple, only purchasing gifts for my own children and nephews. Everyone else on my list got my famous Holiday Pecan Twists, something I loved to make and were always received with eagerness, a perfect gift!
So how can you with young children approach this holiday with great care and wonder without getting lost in consuming more and more? First, keep it simple, children really "need" so little, be thoughtful of the gifts you are purchasing. Waldorf toys are designed and made to keep the young child's imagination engaged and intact, not to disrupt a whole household with all the noise of bells and whistles (unless of coarse they truly are bells and whistles : ). Yes, good quality toys are more expensive but this is definitely the case where less is more! I cannot stress this enough, many of the things here at Sweet Waters Childcare were once my own children's toys. They are so well made that they can truly become heirloom toys. Loved over time, good for your family and good for our earth.
Second, always research before purchasing, this will help keep costs down. Make a list for each of the children you are buying for, if buying online, see which sites have the most of what you want, as many have free shipping over a certain amount. I have included some links below of great sites with lovely toys. Don't forget the big man in red, otherwise he can throw a wrench in your attempt to staying on budget. Santa came down our chimney with simple things like sewing baskets, puzzles, games for the family, chocolates, oranges, candy canes and woolen socks. Again, keep it simple so you have something to build upon, if you do the big gesture now what will happen when your child is 8, 9, 10...?
Lastly, okay, so maybe you are already aware of all the things I am talking about here, however, your extended family is not. This can add extra stress and anxiety for you. Can you really tell someone what to give your child? I say, most definitely. Obviously the more open and honest the relationship is the better received this will be. There may be those who are not open to any suggestions, for those gifts there is always the back door to the Goodwill. For those who are willing, give them lists, even giving links to exactly where to get them. Many times I order things for my mom and we would settle up later (again always after the free shipping). My dad never knew what to buy for his 'out there' daughter's children, so we would go shopping together. This became a lovely tradition for the two of us spending the day together, having lunch and truly getting just the right gifts.
I, too, am learning and striving to make it better for my family. Now that my children are both teenagers, the challenges are great. Waldorf anything is out and iphones are definitely in. So now what? Well I am trying to instill in them something bigger than themselves, so each year they volunteer by passing out holiday baskets to families in need. This has helped us all to keep alive what is really important, it is the people not the stuff. So I wish you all a calm, peaceful holiday season!
PS. Don't Forget Esty (search 'Waldorf Toys') for great handmade, one-of-a-kind toys and the City of Lakes School Store (hours are M-F 8:20-9:30am and 2:45-3:30pm located at 2344 Nicollet Ave. So.)