Already thinking about Christmas??

I must be a mom, since Christmas is actually already on my mind.

I’m really looking forward to it, even if Lyra will still be too young to really have a clue what’s going on. The thing I’m worried about, though, is being given copious amounts of toys for her. A friend of mine was talking about having a ‘no plastic toys’ rule this Christmas for their five year old son. They already have hordes of toys, many plastic, hanging around their house, and any more will just add to the problem.

I would rather like to instil this rule for Lyra from the first Christmas. For one thing, our apartment is too small for hordes of toys – we don’t even have a bedroom set up for Lyra, so all her stuff is in what used to be our dining room. We gave the table and chairs away. For another, plastic is full of nasty petro-chemicals and other such things, and the creation process is seriously harmful to the planet and everyone who lives here.

Do I think she’ll never get any plastic toys? Of course not, that would be completely unrealistic of me. I do hope to minimize it. And the bonus to having a no plastic toys rule could mean that when people want to give her a toy, it’ll be something a little higher quality (which means not as much stuff in quantity, too… also good.)

So yeah. Rambling r me.

Benefits to a ‘no plastic toys as gifts’ rule are:

  • Less random stuff lying around our apartment
  • Less chance of low-quality crap in Lyra’s mouth
  • Maybe less chance of Lyra being obsessed with having more more more stuff? hopefully?
  • Higher likelihood of toys that are well-made, will last a long time, and are perhaps more ecologically responsible than cheap crap
  • More books!

    So what’s the bad? I guess trying to explain to extended family without them being insulted or annoyed that we don’t want the cute little 5$ plastic trinket that they simply had to buy for her. And having the willpower to not buy those incredibly cute trinkets myself.

    Honestly, though, she doesn’t need an endless supply of toys.

    Ah well, I can be as noble as I want to right now while she’s tiny. Who knows how things will actually go.

  • 5 Comments

    • ozreison

      September 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

      I think once you explain to people, and maybe give them some options as to what’s ok by you (like rag dolls instead of Barbie, for example), they should respect you enough to follow your request. if someone out of nowhere gives you one plastic toy that they “had to get”, then you can thank them, and maybe put it somewhere safe. Kids outgrow toys so fast that chances are it could be donated to the Sally Ann within a few months, and the person will have forgotten that they had even bought it for her.

      If someone completely ignores your wishes and buys loads of plastic stuff for Lyra anyway… well, that says a lot about them, doesn’t it?

    • mithoviel

      September 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

      GFL!

      We wind up with a PILE of junk at Christmas…especially since the boys have step-families that buy things for them too. I try to tell people on my side of the family that something small and thoughtful will go a lot farther than damn near any toy, because it will wind up in a pile. They don’t leeestun. We ordered a nice drawing table for the kids, and we’ve already bought them some books and clothes. Not to be a Grinch, but I’m the guy who has to go through their closet and make some sense of the junk so that I can donate it locally.

    • ozreison

      September 26, 2008 at 12:29 am

      I just saw this on Shelteriffic and thought of you and this post instantly… a little early, but it will give you time to consider it:

      A training seat adults can live with.

    • sirreal13

      September 26, 2008 at 8:08 pm

      Considering the melamine and other crap the Chinese put in the milk they fee to their babies, I’d hate to think what they put in thier plastic toys! “No plastic toys” is a good policy for Xmas…

    • Anonymous

      October 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm

      I doubt that your extended family would be annoyed if they understood your reasoning before they showed up with something they bought out of wanting to please.
      In fact most people may not actually know about certain environmental hazards (plastics, in this case) since they tend to wait until they hear about these things in the media. It’s unlikely anyone giving your child a gift would knowingly ignore the facts if they knew them. Telling them the facts at the time of giving is not a good idea, though.It might be a better idea to discuss it beforehand in a casual way about what you have learned and how you feel.. thus avoiding embarrassment.

      As for having too many toys..etc.. you might be surprised to find that certain family members totally agree with you. They may have even expressed the belief that the big wide world has more than enough fascinating things to keep a child busy, inspired and educated from the largest man made structure to the tiniest flower ..not to mention all the fascinating boxes,pots and pans, and, with a little imagination, many other paraphernalia to be found in their own home. On our present economical and environmental path, people will cue into this soon enough, anyways.

      On the other hand, the odd “cute”,or unique trinket may be given (even by you) with love and thoughtfulness, and should be recognized and accepted in that same spirit.It’s never about the gift but always about the thought and the person behind it.

      No one has to be offended and there are always other children who would use the gift if your child does not, or grows out of it.In fact.. when she gets a bit older she could be a part of learning to share that way.
      If it is really a hazardous item in your opinion,discreetly take it out of circulation.

      We are all learning better ways to be, in an environment that is changing faster than ever.But no matter what material decisions you make… it is the relationship decisions that will have the biggest effect on your baby’s future.