The Pre-Christmas Toy Purge (Advent Unplugged)
December 23rd, 2011
|This is not our tree. Thank god.
One of my goals in life is to avoid being utterly over run with children’s toys. I’m not a total crunchy momma purist, stocking my home with only beeswax candles, organic dolls, and natural wooden blocks, but we try to limit the number of toys our kids accumulate and have a pretty strict “no batteries” rule. (Though somehow, a Dora the Explorer faux iPod snuck in and is a favorite of both children.)
Last year, we implemented a “three gift rule” when Christmas shopping for our children and we’re using it again this year. Need. Want. Book. It keeps things simple. But we also learned last year that, even with this policy, the kids got a lot of gifts at Christmas. People love to buy presents for small children. Can’t say that I blame them!
Thus, as we prepared ourselves for the deluge of gifts sure to accompany the holidays, we decided to thin the existing herd. We’ve got a nice nine-cubby storage unit in our living room and it seems like a decent rule of thumb that if it’s overflowing, it’s time to cut back a bit.
The toy cleanup was divided into several categories. Toys that Miss Mouse has outgrown, but which aren’t quite age-appropriate for Buggie yet (like some of her easier puzzles) were packed away for future use. Ditto a few of her toys which she doesn’t play with a lot and which happen to have small parts her brother shouldn’t be eating. We donated a few things to Goodwill, too.
We also decided that Miss Mouse was getting old enough to participate in the project. It didn’t seem fair to just get rid of her belongings without her input. So we selected a group of stuffed animals who were candidates for donation and allowed her to select two to keep, explaining that we’d be giving the rest away. (We were careful not to include animals with great sentimental value, lest they get caught up in the purge.)
It was tough. She wanted to keep them all. But we accomplished the selection with no tears and I think she chose wisely. She did request some snuggle time with her chosen critters and her mommy after the ordeal, and I happily obliged.
So now we’re ready to welcome new toys to our family on Christmas morning without having to worry about where on earth we’re going to store them. Bring it on, Santa.