In our culture there is this idea that in order to show children our love, we must give toys in abundance.
But why? Why do we feel that it is necessary to give so much? Or even that it is our right to spoil?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving gifts. I, myself, LOVE giving gifts.
But giving gifts isn’t about the giver.
With the holidays only days away and the focus of many people shifting to the anticipation of gifts and giving gifts.
Will you take a moment with me and think about our motives behind our gifting?
Are we gifting out of love for that person, or our own gratification?
Does the joy of giving what we want to give outweigh the wishes of the person receiving the gift?
Gifts are intended to be a blessing to the receiver. Do our motives align with that?
This is particularly important when we are gifting to children. It’s easy to get carried away with toys and fun. If I find myself wandering through the toy aisles, I see so many fun-looking gadgets and gizmos that my child would be excited to receive.
The problem comes when we give those gifts for the children in excess.
Of course they will play with some toys. But when we give several gifts on each occasion, and they’re also getting large amounts from other family members, those precious little ones get overwhelmed. What should be a time of joy, turns into a time of emotional meltdowns.
Just think about us, as adults: When we have 200 paint swatches to choose from, it’s overwhelming to decide on a paint color! But if we limit our choices to 10, it’s easy to pick out our favorite.
Let’s look at example of the typical American family:
3 sets of grandparents
2 generous aunts and/or uncles
3 gifts from each person to each child
Total gifts for that family: 45 gifts.
That’s not even counting what the parents wanted to give their children.
Of course we want to bless our children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. But is giving them this abundance really helping them?
Most children play more, when they have less.
How about limiting the amount of gifts we give? Or giving gifts that don’t result in clutter? Like activity gifts. Memberships, sport event tickets.
Let’s be the change in this world. Let’s celebrate relationships without burdening others with more stuff.
Have you simplified your giving or found unique ways to give without giving clutter?
Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you are doing to be the change this year.