So here's my dilemma.
Every year after my children's birthdays or Christmas or any other gifting holiday, I always get a little sick to my stomach. My children have SO MUCH STUFF!!! I really struggle with the amount of excess going on in my home in the way of toys. The time is takes to pick up the stuff and organize the stuff day after day is exhausting. I am constantly giving away things and I already have an annual garage sell but still the stuff is starting to take over. Now before you go ahead an lay down some judgement just know that Mark and I are committed to teaching our children how blessed we are, that some families are in need, and that we have been called as Christians to help the poor and give to the needy. My children have very generous hearts and love to give to those children in need (Compassion, Angel tree children, Operation Christmas, etc...). But, asking them to share their stuff at playgroup is an entirely different story;-) This is my quest: to let them know that it's just stuff, to not get so attached to it, and to share, share, share.
FYI as I wrote that last sentence I became painfully aware how attached to my iPhone I am. Not a perfect example!
Just this week while Ryan was at school, I filled up three black trash bags full of toys. The sad thing is, when he returned home from school he didn't seem to miss anything. Outta sight, outta mind. Now don't get me wrong there are certain toys (i.e. anything Lego or Star Wars) that would have been noticed if missing but most of the "stuff" just takes up space. I go through phases of shoving everything in a closet and then actually organizing the madness. Right now I am in a 'get rid of everything' phase. I have been known to be a bit compulsive in this phase. In fact, the more hectic my life gets the more organized I become at home...I know weird huh?! Does anyone else struggle with this?
Bottom line is that I know that the stuff in itself is not bad. That receiving gifts is not a bad thing. I love a good gift! Do I suggest no gifts at their birthday parties? Our kids party is their gift from us so we're down at least one! Do I collect books instead of gifts and give them to the children's shelter? Limit the number of Christmas gifts to 1? What is the answer? I just really want to show my children in a tangible way that we have enough stuff. And I am at a loss.