Toy Swap to Save on Christmas Gifts for the Kids

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So, every year my Mom’s side of the family gets together and we have a Christmas party.  And, every year we do a gift exchange for just the kids.  My Mom has 8 siblings and each of them have an average of 3 kids each.  Plus, there are the great grandkids, which would include my kids.  This year, I made a suggestion for all of the great grandkids.  Instead of buying new toys with money we don’t have, I suggested that each family go through old toys that their kids are bored with and just throw it in a box and bring it to the Christmas party.  Then, we stand in a circle and pass the box off to the family on our left (or right, whatever floats your boat.)  Kids, especially those under the age of 5, don’t care if the toys are brand spanking new.  They just know that it’s a toy they’ve never seen before and they’ll love it!  We’ll see how it goes this Christmas and maybe we’ll make it a tradition.

After searching online for a website that organizes basically the same thing, a toy swap, I found Toyswap.com.  I’ve never tried it, but it is intriguing.  If I didn’t have parents and in-laws that keep us well stocked on toys, I might try it myself.  If you are successful with that site, please share your experience with us. 

Happy Swapping!

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Stop Spending During the Holidays? Are You Kidding Me?

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Thanksgiving is next week and I’m starting to think about how much we normally spend around the holidays. With all of the parties and gift exchanges, we can easily go over our budget for the month by hundreds of dollars. We have three children, with our fourth due in a few weeks. We would love to get each one of them a special gift. But, this year, I think we will have to let the grandparents be the ones to make them smile. We’ve tried to teach our kids that giving is much better than receiving, but we still love to see them light up when they get exactly what they ask for, which usually is not much. Even still, we have a goal to reach that I know will benefit them much more than a toy they’ll only play with a few times. I also know that our friends and family won’t mind if we opt out of the gift exchanges and the white elephant games. I’ll be happy not to have to lug all of those gifts to each holiday gathering this year!

Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have. It’s not about gearing up for getting more. So, have a Happy Thanksgiving and be thankful in ALL things.

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