For those of you who have young children and any extended family, you understand the abominable booty of gifts that shower your kids during Christmas. For the past 3 years, we haven't been able to fit all of the presents in our car when coming home from the grandparents, and separate trips had to be made to bring them to us. It makes it hard to teach your kids how to be grateful, generous, outward thinking, etc. when they get a Toys R Us shipment every year for Jesus' birthday. Since we've discovered that it's impossible to get your family to buy your kids less crap, we've come up with a couple traditions to help reduce to the overwhelming feeling of gift blizzard.
First, we purge. We actually do this a few times a year, but right before Christmas we do the big one. We take the kids in their room and let them choose which toys they want to give away. Surprisingly, they're pretty willing to give up large supplies of toys without much fuss. For the toys that are in good shape, we donate those. The other toys we melt down and pour into a fantastic Santa mold, so they can worship his statue all year long instead of the short month between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Second, we make a reservoir. We intentionally box up about half their presents right after Christmas and hide them in the garage. They are so distracted with the other metric ton of gifts that they don't notice. Then periodically throughout the next several months, we release a new toy from the box. It's an extended-release formulation that has better long-term cure rates for boredom than your standard one-time high-dose Christmas formulation. It's highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and this guy.
Third, we burn down the statue of Santa and tell the kids about the real St. Nicolaus and the real baby Jesus. Then we make them promise not to tell other kids that Santa isn't real.
3 years ago