Pre-Holiday Purge

Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning in toys. I'm sure many moms can relate. Just as I've finally sorted, downsized, and reorganized my girls' array of playthings, another birthday comes along (or worse: Christmas), and we have to start the process all over again. Living in a small or tiny home means that it's impossible to keep every toy my girls are given forever, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

I try to encourage gifts that are easily stored, ones that foster the imagination, and gifts of experiences as much as possible, but in the end, I care more about the heart of the giver than the gift itself, and I want to foster an attitude of gratefulness in my children regardless of what presents they get throughout the year. We do keep a lot of their bigger play things at their grandparents' houses to play with when we go visit, but toys still manage to accumulate throughout the year. 

Recently, a friend of mine suggested implementing a pre-holiday purge. Instead of waiting for that post-Christmas stress fest to figure out what to do with everything, why not make some extra room a little earlier in the season? Thrift stores and charity organizations are not as inundated with donated items before Christmas as they are after the New Year, and one of those cast-off toys might be just the gift another parent would love to be able to give to his or her own child. Teaching our kids about the blessing of giving to others who have less than we do is so important, and doing it at the beginning of the holiday season rather than as an afterthought is a worthwhile endeavor.

This seems like such a win-win situation for everyone. Anything that helps me keep the burgeoning pile of toys under control is a great idea in my book, and if I can teach my kids about gratitude and generosity at the same time, I think that would be wonderful.