We're in that stage now-finding a place for the 50 new gifts our girls got. We counted last year and figured out if the girls get just one gift from all of the people who usually "gift" them, they'll get about a dozen gifts a piece--not including what they open from us. A dozen gifts times 4 girls, all put away in one bed room = a really frustrated momma. Last year, we laid down the law and requested the grandparents reign it in and keep it to one gift per child, preferably gifts that don't take up much room or gift certificates for fun experiences (zoo, museum, whatever). They honored our wishes, but when we didn't give out any requests this year, one set of grandparents/family went wild again. I know it's how they show their love, but I wish they'd see how hard it makes it to find places for all this stuff. We worked today clearing all the main living areas but their bedroom, which was neat on Monday morning is now impossible to walk through. We'll work on it the next few days (we're working kind of lazily, this is a holiday week, ya know).
I long for simplicity...next year, we'll hopefully be getting very close to having all our debt paid off by December and we'll be planning our house to be built on our land. I'm not going to find room for 50 more toys next year that will just have to be moved a few months later. No way. And the girls have already been asking to keep their rooms "country" an not mix in a lot of different colors or Disney themes, so we'll have to find a way to manage all that stuff, too...anyway, its such a waste to me to know a lot of the stuff that came in the last few days will be at the Hospice Thrift store within six months. Some of it has already broken (including one of the Polly Pockets I bought) and will be tossed soon.
When we watch those old Little House episodes that show the family exchanging Christams gifts, they were handmade or high quality gifts that took a lot of thought and sacrifice. Laura sold her horse to buy a stove for her mother and cried when her father gave her the saddle he'd made. She cried because of all the work he'd put into it, not because of sadness about her horse. That's what I'd like to experience at Christmas-genuine heartfelt thought going into a gift chosen for it's excellent craftsmanship and keeping the needs of the receiver in mind. Obviously, we buy into the cheap side of Christmas, too--I bought Polly Pockets all on my own, lol.
Here's how we're doing it though-we still need to work on it, but right now, we buy each girl about 3 or 4 gifts, which may include clothes, bedding, books, but few toys. Their stockings this year held tights or socks, geocaching goodies, and a Polly Pocket car (J got a bath toy instead). They got one Daddy/Santa gift this year-a telescope. Next year, I might work on some throw quilts that will coordinate with their new bedding they got this year and I'd like to make them some old fashioned night gowns (they've been asking for some). Then we can do a few modern things-or not :)
Okay, that's enough of my Christmas spiel. We had a great holiday, Shane was able to spend most of it with us, and if the only thing I can complain about is too many gifts for my children, then I'm a blessed woman!