IT CAME. Around this time every year, many families all across the country find a certain magazine from a very well-known toy store in their mailboxes. It’s chock full of all of the “HOT” new toys that every kid MUST have. It’s something my children look forward to every year. 


Only after The Big Book comes in the mail, do my kids start making their Christmas Lists. They like to sit down with it, circling everything that catches their eye. Being that there's four of them, when they ask for toys or games throughout the year that are a bit on the pricey side, we usually tell them they’ll have to wait until Christmas. And then when that book comes, it happens every time… with a turn of the page, all of the things they've wanted for months are completely forgotten, replaced by junk plastic, battery sucking crap.

They just HAVE TO have the things they find in the toy book, and when Christmas morning comes, they're so excited to find them under the tree. But the thing is, nearly all of these toys are forgotten about within a week! So much money, just sitting in the closet. Much of it I honestly want to throw out. And although the kids don’t even play with these things, they don’t want to let go of them, because one day they may want to- but they never do.

messy closet

So I made a decision. This year will be different. When I opened my mailbox to find said magazine, I hid it! I’m breaking the tradition. This year my kids will sit down and write their Christmas lists without being enticed by “what’s hot” this season. I want to get them the things they’ve been really wanting. Things they are actually going to use and play with. Things that are actually worth spending our hard earned money on.

As for our two year old, he can’t write his own list so we’ll be choosing things for him. He has really enjoyed the Green Toys Rocket and Ferry Boat we got him last year for Christmas. They're made from 100% recycled milk jugs and are built to last. He played with them outdoors this summer and they still look brand new! This year I’m planning adding the Helicopter and School Bus to his collection, and I'm sure he'll love them, too.

green toys

I couldn’t be happier about my decision to hide the book. It's a tradition that I don't feel guilty one bit about doing away with. I actually feel relieved! I want to feel good about our holiday purchases, and not overwhelmed by things that require massive amounts of batteries and will end up being stuffed in the closet after a week or two. I want the gifts we get our children this year to be more meaningful. And ditching the book was our first step toward this.

*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.



Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.

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What's on your child's holiday wishlist?