My Inner Struggle With Christmas. A VERY First World Problem.

Warning: This post is possibly the most first world problem I will ever complain about. Admittedly most of my blog is very first world…considering I live and raise my children in American suburbia, it’s all I know…but this definitely tops the list.


I love Christmas. I love the reason we celebrate. I love the magic. I love the generosity and kindness that seems to amp up around the holidays. I love the traditions. I love the gift giving. I love it all.

But I also love simplicity. I like fewer toys. I like quality things.

Giving and receiving gifts is my love language, so it is impossible for me to NOT give gifts to my children. As a kid, I absolutely loved waking up on Christmas Day to find my living room overflowing with toys. My mom is a great gift giver, so she did Christmas to the max. I love love love love love this part of Christmas. Santa, cookies and milk, presents…I love it all.

The minimalism blogs I follow give lots of great ideas for presents that cut back on clutter and materialism…which I love on a typical day (even though I am far from a minimalist)…but Christmas is different.

Annual passes to museums would be an amazing gift. Paying for kids’ sports would be very helpful. Experiences with family members are super cool. But these don’t create the magic of waking up to a living room full of presents.

And therein lies my conundrum.

I am very middle class and have little disposable income. My kids only get presents from me on their birthdays and Christmas. Don’t feel sorry for them, though, because they have two sets of grandparents and two sets of great grandparents that are very generous to them. Even so, it’s not like they’re getting toys constantly.

So Christmas is the one day a year I celebrate well.
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Here is my struggle: this year, my desire is to give toys that will be enjoyed past January 1…while not creating tons of clutter in my home…making for an awesome Christmas morning…while not breaking the budget.

But I don’t exactly know how. Like I said, on Christmas Day, I want there to be tangible items. Many of the articles that give ideas for a minimalistic Christmas are intangible items or things that can be redeemed later.

The one idea I’ve come up with is to get consumable items: art supplies, stationery, sticker books, etc.

Past that, though, I can’t really think of any ideas.

So, blog friends, I need your help. I would love to hear your ideas for Christmas presents that fit the criteria I listed above (quality, affordable, longevity, etc.).

Thank you in advance!


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