I love giving my kids presents and watching them receive presents. They get pumped up, eyes wide and explore the wonder of the new object. Whether it is a car that pulls back and races on its own or a fresh plush animal, it brings me joy to be able to give them things. Let the shopping season begin.
However, I was sent a recent article exploring the idea that my kids are not benefiting from a plethora of toys. So many toys that bins of them need to be stored in the basement and rotated to keep the toy room cleaner. (Why yes my four-season sun room is a toy room.)
The recent article by Emily Wade explains benefits from fewer toys, besides the increased chance of not piercing the underside of my bare foot in the living room.
She says kids use their imagination more when they have less toys. Kids maintain focus with less toys (and this may explain my overwhelm when I clear a spot to kneel and assist in picking up this previously mentioned sun room.)
My default mode is bigger, faster, stronger. More. But what if I could teach my kids to be happy with what they have? Have you ever heard, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.”
I’ve encountered moments of trying to put toys away where I don’t even know where to put it. How am I supposed to place an expectation on a five and one year old to put their toys away if I can’t even handle the job?
Look around at the things you have, wherever you may be reading this. All of that stuff stays here on earth. I’m writing this to remind myself what true gifts are.
“‘For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.’ (NAS, Timothy 6:7)
Christmas is a time for giving and receiving. But the most valuable thing you can give your children or grandchildren, or anyone in your life, is the intangible.
Gifts like patience, imagination, joy, laughter and peace are more valuable than any toy I can give. Hand over perseverance any day, but you can bet that my kids’ will be receiving some gifts from their wishlist, too.