I love Christmas, I mean, I’ll give Elf a run for his money.
But as my kids get older, I find myself feeling tentative about all the stuff Santa is going to spoil them with on Christmas morning – it’s tricky.
They have everything they need, and asking Santa for a bunch of stuff I know they will only play with for a week is just wrong, but I still want them to wake up to a glorious Christmas morning haul to dig through – Childhood doesn’t happen for long.
So this year, we are doing it differently. All the presents under the tree will be things we are going to have to buy anyway. Soccer boots, backpacks, a new camping chair each – practical, right?
But then there are the stockings… When I was a kid, my favourite part of Christmas was always my stocking; it’s like a lucky-dip that keeps on giving. And as a parent, of course, I want my kids to be spoilt, I want their stockings bursting with goodness. But I’m also not ok with it being filed with crap that will end up at the op-shop or landfill by Valentine’s Day.
So this year, I’m hoping their stocking stuffers
will fit into one of three categories.
Needers, Vanishers and Keepers.
Let me explain. Needers are things they are going to need at some point this year anyway. Socks and jocks (obviously) but also, all the other little things you end up adding-to-cart throughout the year. It’s actually a really great way of reframing those less-interesting items, like swimming goggles, into something that can be seen and appreciated as a gift. Other items in this category are, hair elastics, swimmers, thongs, glue sticks, lip balm, zinc, novelty bandaids, clothing, handballs, and school supplies.
Vanishers are the things that bring joy and then disappear.* If you’re anything like me, the more ‘stuff’ that ends up in your house, the more stressed you become. This is why I love when Santa brings gifts like bath bombs. The kids love them, they get an awesome bath time experience and when you pull the plug, they are gone. The way I see it, anything that is a consumable belongs in this category, like: mini drink cans, (my kids love Kombucha,) $5 notes, bath slime, bath crayons, Pringles, bubble bath, candy canes, novelty soap, seeds to plant, Christmas cookies, paper straws and temporary tattoos. We are so lucky that this is the type of stuff Santa always brings.
And finally, the Keepers
These are the items that turn into keepsakes. We have a small ceramic mug with birds on it in our kitchen, every time one of my kids uses it I smile because it arrived in a stocking about 35 years ago. I hope that one day my kids will remember finding beautiful Christmas Tree decorations, and snow globes in their stockings. The beauty of both is that they get packed away with the tree at the start of January and instantly gain ‘keepsake’ status. Other ideas in the keepers category are jewellery, pretty bookmarks, something that they already collect, (we love Schleich animals) a proper magnifying glass, eggcups and anything that has been personalised.
* When I say, “things that are going to disappear,” I only mean from my home. I realise that, unfortunately, some packaging will end up in landfill, and that there is an environmental impact that comes with anything disposable – this is why I try to support sustainable companies where I can – like LUSH.