Last week we talked all about the joys of having a Montessori Christmas. This week I want to talk more about how to handle some of the more difficult parts of being Montessori at Christmas, such as unwanted gifts.
Well-meaning family can be hard to handle around the holidays. When you tell your mother in law over and over again that you do not want your toddler receiving any loud flashy plastic toys you’d think you’d be in the clear. Some people just don’t listen.
Here is what you should do to help deter a massive pile of toys you don’t want in your home.
AKA grandparents, aunties, friends and anyone else who goes into gift giving frenzies. Tell them exactly how you feel. For example, “Grandma, I appreciate the love you are trying to show Tommy but we are not accepting these types of gifts this year. If you wish to buy him something you can choose one or two items from this list but nothing more.”
I always feel it is best to be 100% open about these types of family matters as not to confuse anyone and to make sure everyone is on the same page.
If they still insist on buying gifts maybe you can suggest experiences and not materials. For instance, “If you feel you must spend more money on Tommy this year he has been talking about going to the zoo for the past month. He would love it if you bought tickets and took him to the zoo, especially because he would get to spend extra time with you”.
If your family member still does not listen and ends up buying every flashy toy in sight, don’t fret. You can teach your child compassion, empathy, and kindness by donating some of these toys to a family in need. This may be a hard to confess to the gift giver but once you tell them of your donations, I have a feeling they won’t be over buying next Christmas.
Has anything like this happened in your home? How do you handle unwanted gifts? Let me know in the comments.
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