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What to do about Christmas when the kids don't need/deserve any more stuff?

We're having a serious debate in the house about Christmas this year. Our kids do not appreciate anything they get any more. All of the toys/books they got for Christmas last year are packed away in the basement because they refused to pick them up/take care of them. They have been down there for over 6 months without being touched.
They were left with a handful of toys each and were told if they could keep those picked up they could earn the other stuff back. They never have. They don't keep the stuff they have picked up. It's every where. Their clothes are every where, etc. They obviously don't deserve more stuff nor do I want to buy more just to store it away in the basement.
Oh, I've thought about the charity thing (buying gifts for other kids in their name) and making them donate all their old toys. I'll be discussing it with them over the weekend. And we've talked about only getting them books/clothes.


Asked by justanotherjen at 9:19 AM on Dec. 2, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 26 (28,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (110)
  • Donating their old toys to charity is a great idea. I know what you mean about them not needing anymore toys. But every kid deserves somethng new! Do you have a toy box where they could clean up and put all their toys in? It would make it easier if you have a place set up for them to put away their toys.

    Answer by mamaada at 9:23 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • yeah right. anyways you are there parent, they are the reason they are like that in the 1st place. so your punishing them b/c of you? well, i think your making it ll up trying to get all us mommies mad at you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:23 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • What about an opportunity for service? Have them volunteer together to serve food in a soup kitchen, paint the rooms in a shelter, or clean for the shelter. They can work together to accomplish something for someone else, and if they have to CLEAN something for someone else - all the better :)

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:23 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • What are their ages?

    Answer by LadyEb at 9:24 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • What about going to do something as a family instead of gifts. My dd and I have gone on Thanksgiving to a church that serves food and helped serve lunch. You could do a toy place where they have to wrap, load, or sort gifts. Then as a treat you could all go and do something fun together as a family like stay in a hotel and swim or go roller/ ice skating. This would put the focus on family instead of stuff. You could buy a few board games to open on Christmas day and play games together all day. Have each kid make something for eachother and it has to include a good trait about the other. Could be as simple as a card thta they write the things they like about eachother. Stick them in the stockings and they can open them Christmas morning and read them outloud to eachother.

    Answer by ria7 at 9:24 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Heifers International. You can sponsor farm animals, water purification systems, bees, seeds and gardening supplies to Third World families.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 9:25 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • i would only buy stuff they need and maybe buy stuff you can do together as a family...maybe some movie tickets or tickets to a theme park or something like that

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:33 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Go to the mall and adopt an angel off of the angel tree for each child and have them pick out gifts for their angels.

    I agree with the post that said you're the parent and you're in this situation due to something you've done as a parent. Kids don't spoil themselves. If children don't appreciate the value of a dollar and if they are materialistic it is because you have taught them to be that way. You need to look at your parenting style and stop this pattern now. Asking what to do about Christmas when your kids don't deserve anything says it all. Christmas is not about toys, gadgets, etc. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It is a reminder to be kind, loving, and thankful. Read the scriptures from the Bible about Jesus' birth to your children. Focus on family at this time. Get the kids together and offer your services of some sort. (cont'd)


    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:35 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • It sounds like a parental issue. You took their toys/books away for 6 months? Sounds like an excessive punishment.

    We make our kids go through there toys and get rid of things they don't want anymore and donate it to a shelter. I think very carefully before I buy things for my kids. Are they going to play with it more than once. Is it something they really want or just think they want because of the commercial. We usually buy one big gift from Santa (something I know they will play with for the year) and then "smaller" gifts from us, also things I know they will play with for the year or at least more than one month. It can take more planning and they get to open less gifts, but mine have never complained. Instead of toys you can always get family games, books, crafts, and art supplies that they can only use with you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:35 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • (cont'd)
    If you have a neighbor that's older and doesn't have a family looking after them, then cook them dinner with your children. Bake cookies for all of your neighbors and take them door to door. Through out my childhood and teen years I went to the local nursing home and sung Christmas carols to the residencts (which they greatly appreciate). You and your kids could make Christmas cards for the elderly at a local nursing hom or for children patients in the hospital.

    Take this Christmas as an opportunity to show your children how to give. While donating their toys is a good idea, that's not going to really cut it in this situation because they aren't appreciative of the items that they have now. Stuff is just stuff to them. You need to teach them how to have a giving and loving heart.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:40 AM on Dec. 2, 2009