I don't want my kids to get anything for Christmas. No, this isn't the Bah Humbug of blog posts. Let me clarify: I don't want my kids to get any things for Christmas. As their rooms can attest, they have too much stuff. Too much to keep track of. Too much to take proper care of. They simply don't need more stuff.

Now, I'm sure they'd tell you otherwise. Normally I don't particularly care about the amount of stuff they collect, unless I'm tripping over it or it is otherwise causing a hazard. The thing is, some of their stuff has infiltrated the rest of my house. Haley, the baker and soapmaker has supplies in the pantry, kitchen and dining room. There are Magic the Gathering and Pokemon cards everywhere. Legos keep somehow getting loose. I won't even describe to you the jars of internal organs or eyeballs, and all the skulls and bones laying about. 

I've had enough.

It's not the amount of stuff that my kids possess. It's the number of things that possess my kids. 

I used to be the kind of person who held on to everything because it all had sentimental value or I might be able to use it someday. I also had my own idea of "clean" and "organized," which mainly had to do with piles of stuff on the floor. And there were things that took over my world, that I could not have lived without - that possessed me more than I possessed them. It took a lot of time, life experience, and a lot of effort to get past my attachment to things and start letting things go. 

I do not want my kids to continue on the path toward being possessed by possessions. I want them to revel in life, in experiences, in interactions with others, in exploring their world. Perfect gifts for my children would include gift certificates towards time at Camp Calumet Lutheran in Freedom, New Hampshire; museum memberships or tickets (the Connecticut Science Center and Old Sturbridge Village come to mind); movie passes; or simply an invitation to lunch. One child would love blacksmith classes, another horseback riding time. I'd much rather people spend time than money or give experiences rather than stuff. Four out of five of my children agree. I asked. I'm guessing other children would feel the same, given the option. 

Invest time, not money, on children this holiday season. The benefits reaped will be well worth the expense. 


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