It’s been almost a month since Christmas, so I asked my kids (as I do every year) which of their Christmas gifts they are still playing with. I turned to face them as they were sitting in the back seat of the car. And my youngest daughter took a brief moment to think about this (and I mean a very brief moment) and then said … “None.”
Our middle daughter yelled out a toy she was playing with, but I quickly reminded her that she did not get that for Christmas, and she said: “Oh, … well the answer is none of them.”
Well I guess you know what my husband said (as he was driving the car.) He said: “I am definitely going to remember this conversation next Christmas.”
And what baffles me is that I really cut down on the gifts this year. I stuck to my 3 gift rule and only bought them 3 toys each (plus some clothes and boots that they needed and that they actually do wear.) I also bought the gifts that they said they wanted … and not what I thought they would like. And it just didn’t matter.
First of all, they didn’t need any more toys. Secondly, I know for a fact they would have probably preferred to take a trip over Christmas in lieu of gifts. Such as a trip up North to see our relatives or a trip down South to Sunny Orlando to relax and have fun. But I did not plan a trip for the Holidays this Christmas.
You would think that after 4 kids and 20 years of experience with seeing these kids not play with their toys … that I would be hip to this game.
But instead, I am sitting here, like many other parents, thinking I will not get caught up in the Christmas hoopla next year … We are going to do something meaningful with our time and money during the Holidays.
Check out these 6 signs that you have wasted your money on Christmas. And if you see any of these signs at your house, then you also need to make a commitment to do things differently next Christmas.
1. Your kids don’t remember what they got for Christmas. 1 of 6
This could mean several things: 1. They got so much stuff that they can't even remember every thing that they received, or 2. they already have too many toys and they can't keep them all straight, or 3. they didn't like the toys ... this list could go on and on. Either way, if your kids can't even remember getting it, then was it really worth the purchase? Image: Shutterstock
2. The toys are lost or broken, already. 2 of 6
It's only been a month and the pieces to the board games are missing, and the doll's head is broken off. That's your money ... right down the drain. Image: Milca
3. Some toys are still un-opened. 3 of 6
One of our daughters had a toy that she did not even bother to open. And I saw that toy at the top of my husband's closet. He said she does not even miss it ... and it will be re-gifted later in the year as a birthday present for another child. Image: Brokenart
4. There’s dust collecting on the toys already. 4 of 6
Our middle daughter just had to have a Generation Doll. She just had to have it. Well, her doll is collecting dust on top of her toy chest. A big time waste of money. Image: Angelika Bentin
5. Your kids rather play with the boxes. 5 of 6
I always say it really does not take much to make our kids happy. And it's true ... some kids will open the gifts and play with the boxes. Or, they will have fun with the cheapest trinket that you purchased them. This Christmas, the cheapest toys were the most popular at my house. Our oldest daughter bought her 2 little sisters a life sized cardboard castle ... one that you put together and color. It was so big that we had to put it together in the kitchen. And the 3 girls and I had a coloring contest. We each took one side of the castle to color. It took us until New Year's Eve to finish coloring it. Also, we had several board games that cost less than $20 that the girls enjoy playing with me. It's no coincidence that the toys that require lots of family interaction are the favorites around here. Image: Renata Osinska
6. You’re still paying for the toys. 6 of 6
If you're still paying for the Christmas gifts that you purchased (whether they are being used or not), then you have wasted your money. I understand that you want to make your kids happy, but going into debt is not the way. There are many things that you can plan to do with your kids that will require a lot less money.
Let me know in the comments section below if your kids are still playing with their Christmas gifts. Image: Christopher Hall