Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Free For All

My Christmas shopping is finally done and, much to my
dismay, I have had no trouble finding something else to obsess about: toy storage. The sheer volume of toys that my children will receive is, as in
years past and despite my best efforts to avoid over-buying, absurd and it is
creating a major issue in my limited space.

Christmas is a free for all. I don’t think there is any getting around it. My children have two sets of Grandparents
who like to get the “wow” factor on Christmas morning, aunts and uncles,
great-grandparents, and two parents who want awe-struck kids walking into the
living room, gazing starry eyed at the pile of loot from Santa. We set limits this year: three gifts from Santa and three gifts from
Mom and Dad. We stuck with it too. My husband and I wrapped gifts on Friday
night and, sure enough, there were six for each child. As a shopaholic and habitual over-spender, I
was pleased with my self-control and ability to stay within the confines that
we had originally proposed. Kudos to

There is still, however, the problem of space. Where will all of these toys go? I have done some purging and sold or donated
several of last year’s toys. There
still isn’t enough space. Next year I
will have to remember to budget not only money for presents for Christmas, but also money for storage
containers and home expansion projects. We need another room just to accommodate all of our new stuff.

I’ve told my husband that when our children get older I’d
like to take all of the money that we budget for Christmas gifts and go on some
type of service project vacation in a third world country or even some part of
our own country in which there are people in need. Certainly, the message that this activity will convey will be
much more in line with the spirit of Christmas than arrant commercialism. But, who am I kidding? My kids are going to be rockin’ out to their
new ipods on the plane to Mexico.


  1. Julianne get real, ipods are so two seconds ago! You need to buy them something more cooler and more expensive in order for that one to work. We can only hope that by the time the kids are old enough to appreciate a trip like that, it is the "cool" thing to do. I do have to say that my favorite trip was when my church youth group went down to Mexico and did Habitat for Humanity. I'm thinking that is partly because I was 16 and in Mexico with very little adult supervision... Well the fact that Uncle Carni reads this I'm just saying what happened in Mexico is going to stay in Mexico!!!!!!

  2. LOL. Yeah, I knew that my reference to the Ipod would make me sound like an old lady. I am so out of the loop when it comes to gadgets. I am very unhip.
    Hmmmm... I want to hear more about this Mexico trip :)