This will be our third Christmas as minimalists…
And I think I’ve finally learnt, after many mistakes, the secret recipe to it all - to gift my children what they actually want, rather than what I want them to want. It seems so simple doesn’t it, as if it isn’t even a thought. Of course we gift our children the things that they ask for but for a long time, my presents of choice have come from Instagram and others children’s wish lists, instead of my own.
Now, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. Instagram especially, is a place of inspiration but all too often, I have got sucked into gifting something because it will look good in a square. And that’s okay. It was okay for a long time but since simplifying the presets and having less, there is no room for the few things they like and the lot of things I like.
I’m not ashamed to say, that I like nice things. And with the pick of the prettiest toys these days; from independent makers to glorious concept stores, it’s hard not to fall down the rabbit hole of gifting things that look good - rather than things, that make our children feel good.
And our home, has seen the good and bad that has come of these toys. From the longevity of wooden rainbows and handcrafted games that our children love and use, to the massive clutter of toys, that I fell in love with on the internet.
So this year, I have decided to quieten the noise from outside and instead listen to the whispers from within. From excited conversations carried through the wind, to lists written neatly in bright coloured pen.
We are gifting our children the things they really want - from bright character teddies, to sparkly looking slime. Things that would look out of place on my instagram page but are sure to put a smile upon their face. And whilst we decided to gift stockings alone, I have one little big thing, that will make it’s way in.
And whilst I would love my children to be happy, with toys that are gentle on the eye, they are now of an age where they want the things that they see on tv, or in the toy catalogue, or from friends. But sometimes this is hard, why do mine want the big, showy plastic castle, rather than the subtle wooden one I'd seen. But I’m learning to say no to the things I know we wont use and at a glance, the plastic castle may seem like clutter but more often than not, the clutter for us is the beautiful stuff, the toys that look good on a shelf but rarely get used.
So yes, I sometimes get lucky, with wishes of well made pieces and photogenic gems. But this year, I am going to forget about those squares and capture the whispers from within. That I know without doubt, will place a non wanted by me but much loved by them, showy castle under the tree.