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Monday, 20 October 2014

Now that we are well into Fall with Halloween just around the corner, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chanukah will quickly follow.   Before you know it, we will be participating in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.  

I would like you to keep something very important in mind.  

I recently spoke to a Moms Club at their monthly meeting and my topic was about organizing the kids.  One of the points that I made, which is so relevant at this time of year, is that when it comes to gift giving, you need to remember the concept of "presents vs. presence".   

Did you know that the United States has about 3 percent of the world's children, yet U.S. families annually purchase more than 40 percent of the total toys consumed globally.  This tends to happen because there are so many working parents.  They now have less time to spend with their kids so they tend to shower them with toys to compenstion for that perceived "loss of quality time".  Other relatives, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles can also contribute to this statistic.  

There is a difference between "presents" and "presence".  

Presents are great, but in excess, can cause clutter.  

Don't spoil your child by providing too many presents.  There are other alternatives.  Have you considered asking grandparents or other family member to purchase movie tickets, tickets for live events or a favorite restaurant instead of a toy?  Try to come up with creative solutions that do not involve a lot of toys, clothing or other items that are in excess of what is reasonable.

Relatives and friends tend to want to give "things" to your children to show them how much they love them.  However, they need to understand that, although it is appreciated, their time is more precious than possessions.  Too many possessions tend to lead to clutter.

I once worked with a hoarder who used to purchase toys and clothes for her grandchildren and ship them out three times a week.  Can you imagine what that house looked like with all of those "presents" arriving at their door?  I was able to get her to understand that her time with the grandkids meant so much more to them that the gifts they were receiving.  She ended up taking a trip to visit them and spent about 10 days of quality time with them instead.  Now that, in my opinion, is a "gift".  

Before the holiday season gets under way, why not take some time to contact those relatives and friends and express this concept in a tactful way so as not to upset the gift giver.  Having alternative ideas in mind ahead of time will guide them in the right direction and help you reduce the clutter of too many possessions in your home.  Consider doing the same for those you love.  Give your time instead. 

Remember when gift giving this year - "presents" vs. "presence".  Why not choose "presence".

If you are overwhelmed with the toys, clothes and other items that have accumulated in your home, don't hesitate to contact me.  I will help you bring balance back into your home so you can enjoy time spent with your family instead of stressing over the clutter.  

In the meantime, have a great day!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:37 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
I find that most grandparents and extended relatives are eager to give a gift that the child (and family) will love. Having a few ideas of things you know your children would like, such as lessons, camp fees or tickets, can be both practical and helpful! Great suggestion:)
Posted by Seana Turner on 11/21/2016 - 03:26 PM
I always found that the memories made by doing these activities tend to last longer than a physical object.
Posted by Audrey on 11/21/2016 - 06:15 PM
We've been practicing the 4-gift rule with our son since he was born: something he needs, something he wants, something to read and something to wear and it's worked out well for us. Also, this year the grandparents are going to gift our son with karate classes!
Posted by Sarah Soboleski on 11/21/2016 - 09:11 PM
Fantastic!
Posted by Audrey on 11/21/2016 - 09:13 PM

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