Chanukah- Too Many Presents!!!!!!!

My house is overflowing in presents. Too many presents. Too many gifts that beep, whistle, scream, shriek and geshrei.

There are worse problems to have, I know. Believe me, I am quite thankful for what I have. I am especially thankful for our good health. Today I learned that an acquaintance was in a major auto accident and is now paralyzed.

I have few real problems and for that I count my blessings. But that only goes so far. I still have to deal with the problem of too many gifts. It is the blessing and the curse of a large family. Everyone gives the kids something.

Having dealt with this before I made a point of going through old and unused toys with the kids. We gave away a bunch. We got rid of all sorts of stuff and like the cat in the hat it has come back.

I am tempted to try and set a moratorium on gift giving, but the question is how to make it happen. Who do I tell not to give the kids anything. Who won’t be offended. Who won’t ignore my wishes.

See, I can ask the familia for their cooperation and they’ll give it, but it will be adapted. And the truth is that it is not like they are giving outlandish gifts. The haul includes books, clothes and toys.

Truth is, I won’t set a limit on books. I will do everything in my power to foster a love of reading and that means that I never set a limit on books. Thus far it is working, they love to read.

Clothes are a necessary evil. The funny thing about kids is that they grow. My son just got three new pairs of jeans because the old ones magically shrunk. No sense having him look like he is ready for the next flood.

Educational toys were part of the big haul. I have to say that I let things go there. If that beeping noise helps them learn how to become mathematicians I have to say that there is some value to it.

Still I think that this weekend the kids and I are going to spend some more time talking again about being appreciative of our good fortune and why it is important to give back.

In the meantime I am going to get the hell off this thing. I have to kill that blasted whistling toy. If I hear it go off one more time I am going to lose the last few shreds of my mind.

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10 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack December 22, 2006 at 8:35 am

    Barefoot,

    Thank you. Enjoy what is left of the Chag.

    Mist1,

    Good idea.

    RR,

    Sounds like my home.

    Gooch,

    Nope, no drums. Everyone knows that doing that would raise my ire and nobody really wants to wake up at 3 am to the sounds of the USC Marching Band.

    Sweet,

    Chag sameach to you too.

    BFC,

    Thank you.

    RM,

    the most old-lady-ish 10 year old you could ever meet.

    I kind of like that.

    Val,

    Happy Chanukah to you too.

    Miriam,

    A little gelt never hurts.

  2. Anonymous December 22, 2006 at 3:54 am

    We don’t give presents on Chanukkah, only gelt. 🙂

  3. Val December 22, 2006 at 3:30 am

    It’s all good, but I agree… kids get WAY too much and I just hope that at some point, as they get older, they’ll realize how lucky and fortunate they are.
    In the meantime, enjoy and Happy Chanukah!

  4. Anonymous December 22, 2006 at 3:16 am

    I made a deal with my sister-in-law not to get toys for each other’s kids for any reason. My reasoning was that a)too costly and b)I’m opposed to excessive toys. Her reasoning was probably more like that she wants specific things for her kids and I’d get the wrong thing. In any case, we’re both happy.

    I didn’t grow up with such an emphasis on gifts. We mainly got some money for Chanukah growing up, which I would immediately put into a sock under my mattress. I was the most old-lady-ish 10 year old you could ever meet.

    I. Hate. Noisy. Toys! But I agree, no such thing as too many books.

  5. BarbaraFromCalifornia December 21, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Blessings surround you, indeed, Jack!

    I have enjoyed reading your blog, and wish you a very good 7th night of Hanukah.

  6. Sweettooth120 December 21, 2006 at 5:22 pm

    I hear what you are saying Jack.
    Happy Chanukah.

  7. Gooch December 21, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Look at the bright side – nobody bought them drums, right?

  8. RR December 21, 2006 at 11:50 am

    I think so many kids today have WAY too many toys. We just cleaned out the toy room and gave away lots of stuff to kids who could really use it- it felt great (the kids liked that feeling, too), and now it’s so much easier to keep the room neat because there’s so much less junk in it.

    And then my sister-in-law gave them each a building set last night, each of which contains about a million tiny pieces. SIGH!!

  9. mist1 December 21, 2006 at 6:31 am

    I tell everyone to give me memberships to local art museums, botanical gardens, etc. That way, I get a good gift and they get a tax deduction. Also, I won’t have any more stuff in my already cluttered home.

  10. Barefoot Jewess December 21, 2006 at 6:10 am

    Well, Jack, speaking of presents, you are one of my most special. I can’t find your email to thank you more privately, so I will say it publicly: thank you. For all of your very spiritual support. The kind that means the most to me. I’ve wanted to say it for a long time, and finally have made the time! 🙂

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