For almost a year, now, I've been thinking about wanting to "lighten up" Christmas, especially for my little boys. What I mean by that is I want them to get fewer gifts. For them, getting so many packages all on one day can be overwhelming. And I believe that having too many toys takes away from the pleasure of the toys they do have. I've noticed that they play more creatively and longer when they have fewer toys from which to choose.
So I contemplated the idea of writing a letter to the relatives asking for no toys. And now, here we are in November, and I've done it! (I feel so relieved).
Ken really helped me with the language. I didn't want to sound high-falutin' or "holier than though" in the least--that's not where I'm coming from. So I explained that our boys seem to play better when they have fewer things (it's true!) and that we have issues of space in our home (very true!) and asked for an alternative to sending toys--like to contribute to one big toy for the boys (with us), or send only clothes or books, or just a card. Hopefully, no one will take offense. I'm quite excited by the thought of a simpler Christmas. Ken pointed out that it's not just about our side, the "getting." It's also about the giver wanting to give something. So whatever happens will be good. I just feel happy that I followed through with my plan.