Limiting Holiday Gift Giving

Special Delivery!

Special Delivery!

Most of us have seen the blog post, A Ten-Month-Old’s Letter To Santa and boy is it true!  The tissue and ribbons and boxes are way more entertaining than any of the gifts at baby’s first Christmas.  Despite my best efforts at a recent party, I looked away for one minute and found Frances with magenta lips and fingers from the tissue she thought looked tasty.

Some relatives are more respectful than others of adhering to the “one gift rule” or whatever request you’ve set for holiday gift giving.  Babies are meant to be spoiled, right?  But what happens when the toy chest is too full to close or you can’t make a trip to the bathroom without stepping on a toy or two?

How Do You Get Rid of Baby Gear and Toys?

Do you pass it onto friends? Do you sell it on craigslist? Do you host a garage sale?

It seems I spend the majority of my life buying, cleaning, storing, and eliminating stuff. Toys and gizmos flow into our home from birthday party goodie bags, garage sales, and grandparents. But how much of my life do I spend picking up tiny lego figures (or their tinier baseball caps) and plastic tea cups off of the living room floor?

Last night I reached a breaking point and snuck into my children’s bedrooms while they slept. I mercilessly tossed stuffed tigers and worn t-shirts into giant black garbage bags and felt the utter thrill of having less stuff to manage. Today I drove through our local Goodwill drop off site and happily said goodbye to heaps of belongings.

Imaginary Play: One of the Benefits of a Simpler Life with Baby

I have to admit that the toys stacked up a bit after the holidays, but we try hard to limit my son’s gear so that our small house stays uncluttered and his imagination remains unfettered.  Here are a few of my favorite images that capture moments of wonder and pretend play. 

Here Roscoe informed me that he was “waiting at the bus stop” while standing in the metal supports for our back porch. 

When you need snow, just raid the bathroom drawer!

Drawing with Daddy on recycled paper is one of our favorite forms of entertainment. 

How do you keep imaginary play alive at your house?  We’d love to hear your stories!

Works For Me Wednesday: Homemade Bubbles Create A Clutter-Free Toy

We’ve really tried to limit the toys littering our home.  Why then does it seem that clean-up time takes longer and longer each day?  There are blocks spilling onto the carpet, books stacked precariously around Roscoe’s room and wheeled vehicles strewn about our house at the end of every single day. 


That’s why we LOVE bubbles.  They disappear just as quickly as they appear.  And, they’re so very cheap!  You can mix up your own batch with water, dishwashing soap, and a few drops of glycerin. (Available for a few bucks at your local pharmacy). You probably know that just water and soap will work, but the glycerin will help create better bubbles that last a bit longer.  Look here for several bubble recipes and here for suggestions on what to do with the bubbles, including using a hula hoop and a kiddie-pool to make huge ones and a fly swatter to create a blizzard of tiny bubbles.  You can also use pipe cleaners to make simple bubble wands for little environmental and economic cost.  Have fun!