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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Why I am Not Buying Christmas Presents for My One-Year-Old

Written by Noelle Piche
No holiday gifts

I am a Christmas fanatic. My name literally means Christmas. I have seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” 350 times and I am literally listening to the Jingle station as I type this out on September 16th. Just to drive my point home I will also point out that I have a Christmas tree in every room of the house from November through December – Yup, I’m ‘that’ girl.  So it might sound a bit Scrooge-ish when I explain that this year I plan on buying my one year daughter absolutely nothing for Christmas.

“Wait a minute, won’t this have a devastating effect on her?” you might ask. Well, she’s one, she just gets excited when she finds a roll of toilet paper to unravel. Let me explain this crazy scheme and maybe you can climb onboard this train with me. Last week, my husband and I went shopping at Toys R Us for baby’ss first Birthday present. Her birthday is an over-the-top Cinderella theme, so naturally, we bought her a singing/talking/light up Cinderella doll with a retail value 65$. A small price to pay for an awesome toy for a first birthday! Here’s where the plot twist happens. Today, while thrift shopping with my sister and baby, I discovered… you guessed it, the exact same doll! Retail value $1. One frigging dollar.

My mind had an epiphany as I looked around the toy corner of the thrift shop at all the previously owned items in excellent condition.  THIS IS WHERE IT ALL ENDS UP. Here I stand holding onto this Princess doll in mint condition, someone’s parents spent a lot of money on her, and she looked barely played with. She is now a dollar. A sad lonely dollar.

So now I think ahead to Christmas, we could spend hundreds of dollars buying our baby toys that we think are interesting or trendy. I could overstock her play area with toys that she might play with for a day or two before they make their way into a corner at a local thrift shop next season.

Much like my dog prefers drinking from a muddy hole in the ground to his clean water bowl, my baby prefers “non-toy” items to actual toys. Our baby is one and is still discovering all of the exciting new things in her environment. She loves the swings at the park, when I sing to her, clapping her hands, crawling around, plastic lids, rolling around with the dog, the outdoors, the list goes on. One thing that is not on the list anywhere: material goods. She has no idea of the difference between a 65$ princess doll and a pair of Daddy’s flip flops. Both provide her with hours of enjoyment. No, I will not be giving her a pair of Daddy’s flip flops on Christmas morning. But I have told myself this: she does not need anything. She has plenty of toys. In fact, she has an abundance of toys. She is one, she won’t be getting presents, she will be happy doing these Holiday activities instead:

  1. Waking up on Christmas morning to find the room covered in green and red balloons for playing in.
  2. Going for sleigh rides in her little red sled.
  3. Evening walks to check out the Christmas Lights.
  4. Singing and listening to Christmas songs.
  5. Seeing all of her family.
  6. Decorating her doll house for Christmas while Daddy and me play dolls with her.
  7. Playing in the snow.

These are just a few of the many things that will mean more to her than adding more toys to her play room. I could literally wrap her existing toys, place them under the tree, and watch her not give a hoot about those either. She is one, I will probably spend 10$ on craft supplies and call it a day on the whole Christmas Shopping Extravaganza this year.

Of course, as she gets older, Santa will be making his annual visit, leaving her goodies under the tree. But this year, for our little one-year-old, we are going to focus on Christmas time, not Christmas presents.

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no holiday gifts

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.