Wouldn’t it be great to get your kids to clean out your house before the deluge of presents and toys this Christmas? Let’s face it: No matter how hard you try to simplify Christmas gift giving within your family, the rest of the adults in your life are going to go hog wild with your kids. It happens every year, even when you send a list of non-tangible gifts and experiences (dance lessons, museum tickets) to the grandparents and aunties and uncles. They can’t help themselves, and it’s your fault. YOU made those kids so stinkin’ cute and lovable, so they can’t NOT show up with armloads of presents.
Instead of stressing out, let’s turn this into a life lesson in giving, mamas. Let’s show those blessed kids how to simplify and pare down, while keeping the generous spirit of the season. Here’s how we are doing it this year with three-year-old Baby Owl.
We’ve given her an Advent present this year: a large, red canvas bag with her name on it. During the lead-up to the big day on Dec 25, we are going through her play areas and bedroom, bit by bit, and finding items that she would like to share with other girls and boys who don’t have as many toys.
Baby Owl is pretty on board with sharing about half the time, but when we talk about caring for others by giving them gifts of her toys, she really lights up and gets into it. This girl has a big heart, and the most important thing is knowing how to word this process. For us, adding to the bag a little more each day is more manageable for our family. My mama mind can only handle so much at a time. Baby Owl thinks it’s a good idea to fill up the bag all the way. As a fan of the KonMari method, I couldn’t agree more!
Now here is where you can get really creative with the execution of the Santa sack. If your kids are totally into leaving out milk and cookies for the big bearded guy, you can leave the bags under the tree on Christmas Eve. Then, in the morning, the old toys will be replaced with new, wrapped gifts! Save those Amazon boxes from your last minute gift-buying, seal them up, toss them in the trunk, and no one will be the wiser.
At our house, we are attempting a more direct approach. We are going to fill up the bag, then pack the boxes together (Do you need some boxes? Because I have a hundred. I can share.), and drop off our donations to our favorite local charity as a family. There’s a much bigger risk in having her see her toys go off to another home, we’re hoping it helps her learn to let go a little better in the long run. If you’re a trash-the-toys-while-kids-are-at-school-or-sleeping type, by all means, have Santa be the middle man!
Either way, the idea of Santa sack is a great one to make room for more stuff while helping kids think about sharing their abundance with others. Which approach do you think would work for your family? Tell me in the comments!
Looking for a personalized Santa sack for your kids? This is what I sell and use in my own family:
Beth, owner and designer of Mama Peacock Baby Owl