Dear Gift Giving Family and Friends,
I am so thankful for you all. My girls are so blessed to have so many people who want to buy for them at Christmas and I know just how lucky we are.
However, I dread the annual question of what they want for Christmas. What do they want? EVERYTHING. What do they need? NOTHING.
Of course, “that’s no fun, Mommy,” and “you need to let them get toys.” But if you would have seen the three garbage bags we just got rid of to make room for what we still have, you may understand a little more.
Again, please don’t get me wrong! I am ever so grateful that you love my babies and I am sure this is coming off as though we have it all — which we don’t. But we have plenty, and I am just trying to be a little practical.
Yes, I know you were with Maylie at Toys R Us, and yes I know she told you she wanted this and that. But have you ever watched live TV with her, the kind with actual commercials? Every time a toy comes across the screen, she wants it.
Hundred dollar Barbie camper — she wants it. All 25 pieces of plastic that will be put together for about three days and then lost or climbed on by a 2 year old and destroyed. Or how about the $400 hoverboard? (Yes, this child asked for that!) Or the $40 skates that she “needs.” You know what I will need? Dollars to pay for our emergency room visits. Let’s work on riding our bike (that she already has) with no training wheels and not tripping over painted-on lines before we get into these broken bone balance machines.
And please, nothing with too many pieces. My kids are 4 and 2, and while we are attempting to get them to clean up after themselves, the reality is that they are 4 and 2.
And I do realize that if all the pieces were together all the time then they may play with it more. And I know you were able to keep all the pieces together for your kids. But, I’m just trying to survive each day getting my kids fed, bathed, respecting people, cleaning my house and working full time. I truly do not have time to manage my kids toys daily as well.
And anything stuffed or resembling a baby doll, yeah, we have a heaping pile in our toy room of had-to-have-and-now-neglected cuddly things. Build-A-Bear? Check. Barney? Check. Sesame Street? Check. Adorable teddy bears? Check. Bubble Guppies, Lalaoopsey, Mickey and Minnie, Disney princesses? Check. Every single type of baby doll ever created? Check. Check. Check.
Also, can we please skip those toys and games that take a million batteries? You know what I am talking about — the ones that take six D batteries, four AAA batteries, and for fun they throw in the watch size battery as well — because literally no one has those tucked away in their battery drawer (not even my mom, and she has more battery options than Battery Warehouse).
I know you are probably thinking that I am just an ungrateful mom who doesn’t want to see my kids’ Christmas smiles. I assure you that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, if you insist on buying my babies something for Christmas, then I just want your dollars to stretch. So, you ask, what should you get my girls?
Honestly, I don’t know.
I would love to say something completely rational like donate to their 529 plan but I know you all want to see their faces light up upon delivery and not mine.
But when it comes down to it, I actually mean it when I say you don’t have to get them something. More than anything, I want them to appreciate what they have, realize just how blessed they are, and learn about the real reason for the season.
However, I also realize that everything you just read has already been forgotten and you have ideas prancing around your head of what you are going to get them. And they will open it on Christmas and they will love it.
So, go ahead, gift givers, go crazy. I know you’re going to anyway. And I will truly enjoy seeing their smiles as they tell me how they always wanted that toy. And, just like them, I’ll live in their moment of happiness and not think about the future of that toy.
And they will be so thankful for that toy and I will be so thankful for all of you — even if you never listen to me.
With Great Love and Gratitude,
Real Life Mama
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.