This is going to be my first holiday season with a baby.
As we approach gift giving times (Christmas for my family and Ayyám-i-Há for my wife’s family), I’ve been thinking about people giving gifts to my daughter. I’ve always been somewhat of a minimalist, and the thought of my daughter receiving loads and loads of toys and other junk makes me anxious.
What are we are going to do with it all? Where are we going to store it? Will it make my daughter selfish and spoiled? I want her to enjoy her life more than things. I think children these days are very materialistic and depend far too much on the “things” given to them. I want to try my best to avoid developing this trait in my daughter.
For my wife and I, it isn’t a huge deal. We don’t give gifts to each other, and I don’t think we will be spoiling our daughter. However, both of our families have been spoiling the baby already! I’m not so concerned about it this year because she will be getting mostly clothing and other things she actually needs. I’m more concern when she is 2, 3, 4, and onward. She will start wanting toys and things that her friends have.
This is when it will be difficult to enforce.
My grandmother spoiled me, and I know my mother wants to spoil our baby. My wife and I are going to try to enforce a little poem I read about last week. It goes like this:
Something to wear
Something to read
Something you want
Something you need
You request the gift givers to limit their items to four things.
An article of clothing, a book, something the child really wants, and something the child needs.
The clothing serves an obvious purpose and everyone needs it. The book encourages reading and learning. Something they want is fun and makes them happy. A something they need to help them out in life. This could be anything from a backpack for school to an investment certificate to a memento of a relative that may not be around forever.
We both really love this idea. Starting next year, we are going to request our families live by it. It will be interesting to see if we can enforce it. I think it will just be ignored, at least by my mother. I think my mother-in-law will actually honor our wish. Time will tell.