Friday, November 17, 2006

Struggling with Stuff

Next week is Thanksgiving which means that Christmas (if you celebrate) will be here before you can say "Holy elf poo, Santa!" For the past couple of weeks, Luisa and I have been trying to come up with gift ideas for our children that we can give to family members. This is not an easy process because we try to limit plastic toys, toys with batteries and large toys. Initially, we planned to get hockey skates and a stick for Miguel and a doll bed and accessories for Zeca. These things are true to their interests but, when we stood back and looked at the list, we were horrified. I cannot think of anything more stereotypical for a boy and a girl than those very things. Now, we have to exclude plastic, batteries, large toys and toys that have a gender specific aura. Our holiday shopping will be so much easier now.

There is also the quantity issue. We cannot seem to stop the tsunami of gifts that arrive on birthdays and Christmas. Our children probably have fewer toys than a lot of their peers but they still have everything they could possible want. They have so many toys and, yet, they still wander aimlessly around the house. If each child gets an average of 10 gifts per year for the next 16 years that they live with us, we will need a house the size of Kansas. Please remember that it was last year, as I tried to put away the Christmas gifts, that I realized we needed more space. Christmas excess drove me to add two rooms onto my house. This year, I may have to buy Kansas.

7 comments:

Kristin said...

You're not going to back out of the skates and stick are you?

Vikki said...

No, the girl stuff. We are looking at other options for Z. Though I think her grandmother is getting her the doll bed.

Susan Raffo said...

ach the gender thing. just get the doll but get a good harley jacket to go with her - or get hockey sticks and skates for the doll. or a dildo. she can tie it to her doll for effect when she's out in the back smoking and getting in trouble. or get the doll and cut its hair - give it a purple mohawk. i know, i know, rocki would roll her eyes, but it's just a doll. i love dolls. luca has dolls. i want to be a doll. as rocki just said, let's give zeca a doll and then give dolls to augie, miguel, joel, etc. we can have a doll gang and they can do nifty things together. doll-ing.

Anonymous said...

hmmm- dangerous territory. deny her now and she might become obsessed with dolls. she will remind you when you are 70 that you never got her a doll, and then she will buy her children a whole collection of dolls. our approach has been to shame dolls like barbi- they can't run, they don't look healthy, we think they have some illness. worked very well. groovy girls and american girl dolls do inhabit our house and get a fair amount of use. to deal with the clutter- we have a policy that for anything that comes into the house, they need to donate something of comparable value. finally, ask your relatives to give an outing as gifts- a trip to the zoo, a trip to a play, etc. by the way, june cleaver would be making the doll bed and matching clothes, so what's up with you? don't you love your kids?

Vikki said...

Zeca has dolls and is REALLY into them. We just balked when we looked at our planned gifts and passed the doll bed idea onto someone else (a grandmother). As far as making the bed and clothes...I never said I was Martha Stewart (at least not in this post).

Thanks for the advice about the clutter control.

Luisa said...

The other problem with our relatives is that "outing trip" ideas don't seem to go over all that well - we have tried but to no avail....

Emptyman said...

I used to give my niece and nephew a choice between an extra gift or a "day of fun" going out on the town with me, and they always picked "day of fun." Even when my nephew turned into a video game zombie he preferred going to a movie and a restaurant with me to getting another video game. (It helps that I took them to movies their parents wouldn't approve of, and let them order nothing but desserts if they wanted to.)