I remember my son’s first Christmas when he received a play garage from his grandparents.

It was brightly colored, made sounds and had cars to drive around. I was sure he’d play with this for hours! Well, maybe not hours, but certainly he’d love it!


Turns out the box was a lot more fun!!!


Has your child ever received a gift and been more interested in the wrapping paper and the box than the actual gift?


This holiday season I want to remind you that you don’t have to run around from store-to-store or site-to-site online for all the “must have” toys.


Kids really do enjoy the simple things!


Of course, we want to give our kids a joy-filled holiday, but we don’t have to give them mountains of toys to do this.

When that’s our focus, over time, our kids pick up on the unintentional message that “things” bring happiness and that buying products is important. It sets them up to be dissatisfied with what they have – always looking for what’s next. And then we get upset because they don’t appreciate what they have (oops!)


With less, kids become more grateful for what they do receive. Each gift is more special.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-toy, I’ve just seen how fewer toys can benefit kids! Ads and stores promote that toys, especially electronic toys, are necessary to give our kids an academic edge. Yet research shows children can grow their imagination quite naturally if they have time and space to play and that having fewer toys leads to more creativity and depth of play.

I also hear from many parents who take steps to reduce the amount of toys in their homes – whether by donating or just making less available at one time – and they’ve all happily reported that their kids spent more time playing and that even siblings got along better!


What can you do?


Be intentional.

As you’re making your list and checking it twice, ask yourself:

  • Does your child need more stuff or would an experience be more beneficial?
  • Will the gifts you give your kids help them explore their world, enhance their imagination, or connection with others?
  • Is what you’re giving aligned with your family’s core values?


Remember less is more.

When I think of simplifying, I think of getting rid of whatever distracts us from what we want to be focused on. For example, when it comes to toys: Less shopping, less money spent, less to organize and clean up can result in more presence, more memories made, more time and energy for what’s important to you.


Wishing you less stress and more joy!