All that glitters is not gold: Why you don’t need to stress about your children's holiday gifts being “good enough”

9 years ago

So I wanted to take some time to give a moment of pause to all of you who are feeling overwhelmed by the holiday and the desire to “do right” by all of the children in you life by providing them with the very best. Of course, one cannot escape the recent media attention that “mainstream” toys have received in the past months. Concern about the quality and safety of toys is important, but the alternatives (i.e. handcrafted, natural, European, etc. toys) are generally significantly more expensive. So what options does that leave the crunchy parent who wants to provide their child with safe, healthy, inspiring playthings this holiday season while not overwhelming the family budget?

Fortunately the options are endless, we just have to remind ourselves of that when we get swept away by all of the consumer-driven hoopla that has come to surround the holidays. Now that’s not to say that I think that children should not receive lovely gifts that will delight them and bring them great joy. I’m not even saying that children should not be the recipients of breath-takingly beautiful and obscenely costly gifts if folks have the resources to provide such things. I just mean that sometimes the most special gifts do not necessarily come with a hefty price tag or a coat of toxic paint.

If we were to ever be faced with some life-or-death scenario in which Emma could escape with her life, her family, and one possession, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind what she would choose (actually, as I write this I think that maybe it’s a toss-up with “Cozy Blanket” as a close second). In any case, it would not be her super fun German-made tricycle, her beautiful handcrafted “tree” house, or even the pretty needlefelted playscape that Mommy made her. It would be Mimi, her treasured doll.

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