I need some advice from the parents out there.

First off, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and anything else we have celebrated recently.

So I am looking for some words of wisdom.

Our family had an incredibly blessed holiday. Turner was showered with gifts and love and it was a memorable second Christmas for sure. But it was his second Christmas. And our home is officially overloaded with toys. I am incredibly thankful for all of our friends and family who wanted to spoil Turner. Admittedly, Andrew and I also went on a Toys R’ Us shopping spree for the little guy. But as I try to get my life and my house back into order, I don’t know what to do with everything.

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This is just from one of the 5 Christmas celebrations we had with family.

1) I am incredibly sentimental, so I tend to hold on to things. I have his “first” toys that his cousin, aunt, grandma, uncle, great grandma, neighbor, and anyone else has given him. I am real big on “firsts.” Then I have kept his “favorite” toys. So if he loved it for more than a day when he was 2 months old, I probably have stored it somewhere and refuse to get rid of it. Then there is the fact, that Turner legitimately still plays with most of the things he got last Christmas and at anything since. So although he got bigger and better toys this year, I don’t want to do away with the ones that still get great use, even if they are a bit older.

So you can understand why my house is overflowing. We live in a pretty fair sized house with plenty of storage space, but somehow, Turner’s 2 Christmas and 1 birthday, and my online shopping obsession, have started to overtake us.

So here is where I need advice. Turner’s 2nd birthday is in May. While we want to celebrate our pride and joy with family and friends, we can’t take much more clutter at home. At Turner’s first birthday, we were already anticipating this happening, so we asked our guests to not bring a toy for Turner, but instead make a donation to a charity. And while we plan to continue to teach Turner this value on his birthday, that effort didn’t really work out last year. Some people brought toys for Turner and a donation, some just brought toys for Turner. And don’t get me wrong, we appreciate it beyond words. We value and love everything our friends and family have done for Turner. I don’t want this to come off as ungrateful, especially to all you wonderful family members who take time out of your day to read my blog.

I have no problem picking on my mom. For one, she doesn’t read my blog, and two, this is something I am not afraid to say directly to her, and have for that matter. My mom donated to the charity last year for Turner’s birthday. Then got him the traditional big yellow and red car. That car will be used for a solid 3 more years, and Turner loves it. In fact, I am fairly certain it is in our living room right now. But you see what I mean? My own mother wouldn’t listen to the no gift rule. She said, “I am getting my grand baby something for his birthday.” She is one stubborn lady.

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So Andrew and I were talking last night, and we suggested maybe asking for a no toy, charity thing again this year. Although it wasn’t completely effective on the gift end, our family did support the charity. And it did cut down on some gifts. But then, those who listened and didn’t bring a gift, felt awkward and out of place by those who did.

Another option we discussed was not having a party at all. Turner is only 2, so while we can get him a cake and just our little family celebrate, I think that would be sufficient. But I can hear my mother’s voice in my head. She would be furious that I was depriving her of the chance to celebrate Turner. So then we could have a small party with just family… but the only problem is, we have a rather large family. And that isn’t really a problem. We are blessed to have so many people who love us and care for Turner. Turner is very fortunate and one rich little boy in that aspect. But he is only 2. Do we need to rent a building and make it a production? It is 6 months out and I am already stressed about it.  Oh, and if you think I am crazy for worrying about a party that is 6 months from now, you must understand that in our very small town, spaces to have birthday parties are very limited, and are usually already booked by the first week of the new year, so I have to get moving.

The third option we disused was asking people to donate to Turner’s college fund. At least for another year or two until Turner could really ask for gifts. Turner has his own bank account and realistically probably already has more money than I do. We want him to have a college fund so when he graduates high school, if he wants to go to college, it will already be paid for. So we started saving the very day we found out we were pregnant with him. And it isn’t just spare change, it gets routinely contributed to. So we thought, we could get a huge piggy bank and have it has a centerpiece at the party and write, “16 years until college” on it. (Can we please talk about how I will only have 16 years with my baby before he abandons me? Talk about depressing!)

Is that tacky? Is it offensive? I just don’t know.

Any and all advice would be great.

We got Turner a motorcycle. Although he loves it... what 19 month old needs a motorcycle? He doesn't even weigh enough to make it move.

We got Turner a motorcycle. Although he loves it… what 19 month old needs a motorcycle? He doesn’t even weigh enough to make it move.

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7 thoughts on “I need some advice from the parents out there.

  1. I am facing a similar situation as you. Elizabeth’s 2nd birthday was a week before Christmas and I was a bit overwhelmed after Christmas was over and donewith this year. I actually REALLY like the college fund idea; I think it’s something that people can contribute to with knowing its end goal. Elizabeth has an account that any money she gets from family is put into and that we contribute to as well but I just might steal that college fund idea as an option for her next birthday and Christmas. 🙂

    • So you don’t think family would think it was tacky? To show “proof” that is what the money is going to, I was thinking about giving family members who contribute an “update” So they would have something that says a date after Turner’s 2nd birthday, and have a college fund amount update, so they know that is what they money is going toward. Then, anytime anyone wants to add to the college fund, I can give them a status of the account, so they can watch it build for Turner and know that their $$ is going toward something great.

      • I can’t speak to whether or not family will think it would be tacky. They might or they might not, and they may or may not say anything to you about it. I know that’s not very helpful, honestly. But if you explain it clearly and honestly like you have in your blog post and follow up like you have suggested, I think there’s at least a good chance that they might honor your request.

  2. While you obviously have generous friends and family members, your son has more than any child needs. The real problem, however, is your attitude toward material possessions. You say he has too much, yet you are unwilling to part with anything. If you are serious about teaching your son the value of presence vs. presents, you will pack up about half of what he has and donate it to a women’s/children’s shelter or the children’s ward of a hospital–places where toys can be distractions from the pain of real life. Rather than placing value on the things people have given Turner, teach Turner to value the relationship with these people. As for gifts, refuse them. No means no. If you want donations in his name to a charity or fund, great. Otherwise, there is nothing at all wrong about coming together to play games, eat and make memories. As for grandparents, accept only clothing or shoes–items he actually needs and let their gift to him be a day spent playing games, going to the zoo, etc.

    • Thank you for the input. I don’t keep all of his toys. But if they are gifts from people, sentimental gifts, I do keep those. Because the value isn’t in the material aspect of the possession, but the thought and intention behind it. When I do part with things, it is charities or families who need them. but I struggle with parting with a toy Turner still plays with and enjoys, and is not even a year old, just because someone gifted him new ones.

  3. The college fund is an amazing idea!!! It is so important to have that established and as for the party I completely understand and wanted gracie to have huge celebrations… but I learned this year it’s not worth the stress and worry. Gracie didn’t even care and I was all to pieces. Celebrate with your closest family and friends and then take him to the aquarium or somewhere special. As for the toys donate the.toys he doesn’t play with much. You can give them to the Rathburn House or the Ronald McDonald house. Or ask the local daycare if they needs things. That’s what I’m doing next week when school starts back!!

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