Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Gift Giving for Forgetful Kids

I was "green" years ago and didn't even know it. When my son was a baby, I started, I guess you would say hoarding, some of his birthday or Christmas presents. He would get SO much that it was overwhelming for him and for me. After the gift opening, I would go through everything and slip some items into a closet--maybe a puzzle, a book or stuffed animal. They were usually small things that I could pull out over the next few months, especially on rainy days or the trantrum filled, hair-raising moments. These items are definitely good to have on hand for the last minute party gift (just don't re-gift to the giver) or if you forgot to buy an item for the school toy drive. A few years ago, I discovered the most wonderful thing: I found out that I could also re-gift to my son! (Don't tell him on punishment of having to buy all his Christmas gifts this year.)

My son has a rather fuzzy memory, especially when there is a lot of hub bub like at a party or celebration. Between his birthday party and all his family holiday presents, it becomes an overload of stuff that, although well meaning, only adds clutter to his already full supply. It was his birthday and my parents were in town. Mom felt like she didn't have enough presents for him, despite my assurance that LESS IS MORE! We didn't really have time to get anything, so I just pulled out my secret stash and we wrapped up a couple of chapter books, a large puzzle and a game I had pulled from his holiday haul the year before. We figured that if he questioned it, we could play it off as a silly joke, but to our delight, he didn't remember any of those gifts and was quite excited to receive them. So, after the party, I slid a few choice items to the back of my closet, wrapped them in shiny red and green paper and repeated the offense at Christmas. He was thrilled with his gifts just as much as he was the first time; he just forgot about the first time.
I successfully re-gifted to my daughter as well. Unfortunately with time and my requirement of making them write thank you notes, I think they are growing too old to not catch on to the trick. So I am very mindful of their intake at gift giving times. Now I only buy them a very few things, maybe two or three, for their birthdays or holidays and then the rest comes from family and friends. Now I am just waiting for them to sniff out Santa so I don't have to buy those gifts either. No, I'm not a Scrooge, just wanting to downsize our accumulation of stuff.

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