138 Holiday Gifts & Guilt



Photo by Sotiris Marionpulous via Flickr

(Talk with Janet & Jen LIVE on ‘OPEN MIC’ – click here for date & ticket information.)

‘Tis the season for gift-giving, overspending & guilt.

In today’s consumer culture, there’s intense pressure to show love and care for your family via material things. We give you permission to recognize that pressure and set it aside, whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or something else.

An abundance of gifts to open can actually be overwhelming for a child. (Never mind the parent who’s stressed about paying off the credit card bill, and who will likely spend the next 12 months reminding the child to pick up the *&%* toys!) So this year, we encourage you to stop and think. Don’t buy gifts reflexively, or because that’s “what’s expected” this time of year. Instead, think about the true essence of your holiday celebration. Think about your family values, and what you really want to teach your family. Think about your time, budget and energy levels, and then plan a holiday that’s grounded in reality.

The average American child already has 70-100 toys — and toys are a leading cause of sibling fights and disagreements. If your holiday celebration will include gift giving, think out-of-the-box.

In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
  • How to introduce a less-is-more approach to gift-giving
  • Strategies to minimize gift fatigue
  • Why babies and toddlers don’t need holiday gifts
  • How too many toys fuel sibling fights, and a lack of focus
  • Why you should steer clear of “one-trick” toys
  • Cheap, creative gifts of boys of all ages, including a do-it-yourself marble run, “creation kits,” and experience presents, such as museum memberships or tickets to a show
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 138:

12 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for BoysParade article by Jen

Doodle – subscription craft and science gift crates

Scrap PDX — the creative reuse store Janet mentions at 10:25, where people can donate and buy arts & crafts supplies


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