what s/he said: a gentle reminder about the importance of one special thing

I love this post from Rachel at Clean.  It mirrors some of our experience--though for us with a younger child--of simplifying the child-toys, child-clothes, and child-stuff in our home.  

And that post reminded me of another one, in which Rachel's daughter says,

Mama, don't ever make me another doll. Because if you do I'll love it so much that I'll forget how much I love the dolls I already have.


Somehow, we tend to buy gifts like this:  If our small child loves her stuffed dog, we should obviously get her another stuffed dog or two.  Or if our slightly older child thinks his toy kitchen is so great, stuffing it full of toy kitchen accessories will make it even greater.  Or if our almost-a-teenager child seems so happy when she's wearing her favorite red boots, surely having blue boots and green boots, too, will make her three times as happy!

Funny, because it doesn't usually play out that way in our grown-up lives.

I have seven knives in my kitchen, and I use two of them about 80% of the time.  If you have six cardigan sweaters in your closet, you probably keep coming back to the same two favorites over and over again.  And if you love to write with your favorite pen, you're probably not going to be so much happier if you have 20 new and slightly different pens to sort through to find it.

It seems even funnier when you think about the big stuff in our lives.

I love my truck, but I don't want four trucks.  I want the one I have right now that's full of special memories.  I happily wear my wedding ring every day but having another wedding ring wouldn't make me any happier.  The one I have now means something important to me. 

We don't have the bandwidth for unlimited special possessions, decisions, or even relationships.  And neither do our kids.

One way to simplify your holiday gift-giving and the impending deluge of new clutter in your home is this:  Cross off any items on your list that will take a little of the shine off your child's special possessions.  (And don't add anything in their place.)

PS:  You can try this with the grown-ups on your list, too.