Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas is for Giving and Figuring Out Toy Storage

I love how generous everyone was with the kids at Christmas but we have too.much.stuff. So much that my Christmas gift was these awesome bookcases (two of them) put together and anchored to the wall by Husband and his dad. They were completely filled with books (on shelves), crafts (in cabinets) and dress up clothes (drawers) BEFORE Christmas.

The kids opened everything at once but there were certain toys that they kept on playing with during Christmas day and the days that followed. In no particular order the Esq kids' favorite toys:

Buckle Bear (actually a Monkey I realized when I looked it up). Jo loves this gift from Grammy and Penny also has found enjoyment. For Jo I just unbuckle and rebuckle a million times and sometimes she tries herself. Jo also brings over any new book and demands repeatedly "read! read!" before flipping to the end and saying "all done!" That girl is one big exclamation point.

Ned is a theme kid - Cars, ToyStory, Thomas. His two favorite gifts were the Thomas ViewMaster (thanks, Aunt Rachel!) and Mack Hauler from Cars (thanks, Grammy!). Of course Ned is already complaining that he's "seen all the [view master slides] pictures already". This from a kid who will watch the same movie twice in a row. Interestingly Ned hasn't really played with the one gift he begged Santa for (Flynn from Thomas the Tank Engine) - maybe because he saw it in our home office before I had a chance to unwrap it?

Penny asked Santa for princess dolls and dress up clothes. Her favorite is the $1 crown I got at Christmas Tree Shop and the $3 plush Snow White doll I got at Walgreens (sort of like a really cheap version of this one). When I asked her what her favorite gift was for Christmas she said "having fun with everyone". Damn, she can throw a fit for an hour and be the sweetest kid on the planet twenty minutes later.

We spent much of the day after Christmas actually opening big box gifts, putting in batteries and asking ourselves "where the heck are we going to put this stuff"? I know that some moms put toys away and that sounds great in theory until you realize that your basement has no storage left from all the toys that the kids have outgrown or don't use. I'd sell or give them away but I don't want to hurt our nanny's feelings (she always gets the kids way too much) and I'd like her to baby able to take what she wants for her son (due end of January).

For the grown ups Husband got me only the things I requested/needed - a gel mat for the kitchen and a shower curtain. To some that might sound unromantic but I love a practical gift (I think the best gift my mom gave me was a hairdryer one year). I did get some Ugg boots from my mom lest you thing all my gifts were overly practical. I got Husband a cufflink storage box that turned out to be broken and will have to be returned, along with a computer game (so I can watch my "girl" TV shows). We always try to make things funny with cute gift tags - for example Husband wrote "To my dirty, dirty wife" on the shower curtain.

How do you handle Christmas toy/gift overload?


Drew said...

We store in the basement, I realize that is not practical for everyone. I am already giving away baby toys that are no longer used. I think because my parents saved EVERYTHING - we had a two car garage with no room to put stuff in it, it took 3 months to unload all the crap from their house when they moved to Chicago - I am quick to toss. Pretty soon your Nanny will take them and you will have room to move things! I did store things in the attic, but I found that the rapid climate change up there ruined a few things, like the exersaucer, which is sure to hit the curb any day now. We are getting a bookshelf/TV center from Jordan's to go in the guest/playroom soon so shelf a bunch of things. But then, we are in the same situation. My family also buys BIG toys. Like a huge rocking horse. Where to put that? And a huge bulldozer. I am enforcing the no more big item rule for all present giving moving forward! I also have a friend who before each Christmas she asks her kids to select a few toys to be given away. I am not sure where she donates them though, since most want unwrapped toys.

Stacey said...

At least you have a basement. Those are few and far between in Charlotte. Jeremy and I bemoan the lack of a basement regularly. Damn water table levels! I did pack up a bunch of "baby" books and toys to be donated or sold via a yard sale. But those are sitting in my garage and who knows how long that will last? We have a two car garage but only one car can fit in it. I hope I don't end up like Drew's parents!!

ABS said...

Was the shower curtain at least cute and really a bit too pricey for a shower curtain??

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Can you not give away/ sell the other stuff that Nanny A hasn't given the kids?

We don't have basements or attics in SA so I donate/ toss regularly.

And even so this evening I looked around the sunroom and thought "I'm going to lose it with all these things lying around".

I change the storage solutions all the time - basically clear containers are the ones I use most and I try and have zones.

Sara said...

I feel like you do re: too much stuff already. Luckily for my children, my husband did the shopping for them (I did everyone else) and told me I am a grinch.

Tamara said...

Firstly I think you should get rid of all the old toys your kids don't play with so much and give them to charity. I bought lots of big woven baskets to put my kids toys in and stacked them under my stair case, it looks quite charming.
So sad Xmas is over, I miss the fun with my cousins who came from North Carolina to stay with us they're students and have a great sense of humor. They bought me a Tracfone SVC and a phone card for Xmas so that I'd phone them more often. How sweet. I definitely want to have family reunions more often. The family can stay over for a weekend which alows for great camaradery.

Gretchen said...

Love that you haven't changed after all these years - practical gifts are the best! And Husband is too cute with that gift tag :)

Heather said...

I cleaned out a lot of the toys before Christmas, getting rid of a lot of the baby toys that they are too old for. They are put away in the basement for my one SIL who is expecting in June. I also rotate the toys around. They opened pretty much everything at Christmas, but then I put a bunch of them on the side when they were napping and I'll pull them out again later when they seem to be bored with what they have out at the current time.

Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

I have learned my lesson the hard way: New Christmas stuff cannot be piled on to and added to all the existing stuff... without me going insane from all the stuff. I force myself to do a big Pre-Christmas Purge. I take that big trip to Goodwill with my big bags loaded with stuff I am donating and it feels so good having room for the new stuff! Try it!! And do segregate the items received from nanny into their own bins. LIkely however, two things will happen: 1) she will have way less memory of the actual items she gave your kids than you think she has. 2) she will be so consumed as a new mommy with all that entails, that the importance of "items" or who gave what to who, will fly out of her brain entirely.

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