Intentional Christmas Shopping. How to shop intentionally?


For many people, Christmas is the most beautiful, magical time of the year. They love the smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies, enchanted lights, Christmas carols. Gingerbread houses. The shiny decorations. Sometimes though, behind the scenes, there is a lot of pressure on the parents, who decide to take a loan to buy al the Christmas gifts they think their children need.

I am not here to tell you how to spend your hard-earned money. I am here to remind you that in case you feel pressured by anyone in your circle, or by the social media to have to buy everything for your children, that you don't have to do that

Sometimes we are made to believe that without a certain toy or game, our children won't have a chance to develop a specific skill, or that they will somehow miss out on something important. They won't. They will be just fine. 

So if you need to have a bit of a detox, please keep on reading. I will help you to shop intentionally this year.


INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING:

Buying new things is exciting. Waiting for the delivery guy is exciting. Opening the boxes is exciting. But trying to fit 30 new toys on a shelf that is already overflowing with stuff is not fun. And for a small child, having to find that one special toy between 300 others, is frustrating. And that's why more and more often we see rooms filled with amazing collections of beautiful items, and children watching screens from morning till night, because they are tired, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and unable to find anything inspiring to play with.

Buy your child something they really want, something that will fill them with joy. Maybe something that will inspire them to learn a skill, or develop a new hobby. Something that will bond the family members together. Something that will excite the child. Allow them to express themselves and their creativity. 
It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to cost you a fortune. You don't have to take a loan to try to keep up with the cool families on social media. Because the pretty things and perfectly styled playrooms didn't give them happiness. If they are truly happy, it wasn't that £5k toy collection that brought them that happiness. It was the decision to raise the kids with love, with respect and having quality time with them. It's free. Some people want us to believe that things will fulfil us, but I know a bunch of lonely people driving Porsches and Ferraris, and carrying the most expensive watches on their wrists. 

STEP 1: MAKE A LIST 

Making a list of what your child wants, and what you want to buy for them is an important step. I usually divide the paper into 4 columns, where I write what Kian wants, what he needs, what I want to buy for him, and what I think he needs.

Then I write down all of the gift ideas. Next, I grab the red pen, and I am ready to cross all the unnecessary stuff that off of that list.

Before crossing anything off the list, I ask myself questions: does he really want to have this? Was he the one who said he needed it? How receiving this gift would make him feel? How much use would he get out of this toy? Would he play with it, or would it just look nice on the shelf/ pictures? 

And for the items that I thought he needed, I ask myself: What made me feel like he needs this toy? Do I like/ agree with the person who made me feel like I need to buy this? How do I feel about this toy/item, do I feel like it is going to really make my child happy/help them grow, or do I feel that it is cool to show others that we own this item? If you care about the toys being eco-friendly, you can ask yourself whether this item was sustainably made, and who made it.

We have to remember that we vote with our money. Our coins and notes not only buy us things and pay our bills, but they also give out points to different companies/ ideas. 


Step 2: Setting up a budget and further removing items off the list

When you know what your budget is, you can check whether you can afford the gifts you want to buy for your child/ children. It may happen that you won't be able to afford all of them. Then you either will have to cross some of them off the list, or find some alternatives

In our family, we have worked out a system that is perfect for us all. My family members usually ask what Kian wants, and I ask about the budget they have for his gift. Then together (me and Kian) we choose something from his wish list that fits into that budget. Personally, I ensure to stay a little bit below that amount, but this is just my choice.

I have so much respect for my family member's time and money, that I want to ensure that whatever they buy for my child, my child will play with it. And I would never put them in a situation where I would expect anything they couldn't afford or feel uncomfortable buying for him.


STEP 3: Take it, when you need additional motivation to keep it intentional

If you know that your child has a lot of stuff already, but you are still feeling pressured to buy them a lot of new toys, you can take these few following steps:


  1. Go to their bedroom/playroom. Look at their shelves or toy storage. How does it make you feel? Are you overwhelmed by the amount of toys on the shelves? If you wanted to pick something to play with, would you able to grab it easily? Can you close that drawer or shelf easily? Are the toys in the basket overflowing? Is it easy to find the toy you need?
  2. Look closely at their toys. Can you recall your child playing with all of them? 
  3. Is your child able to keep their room fairly tidy (taking into consideration their age, of course)? Generally speaking, if the room is a mess it is usually because the child has too many toys to manage and they are just not capable of doing it.



I hope you're well. I hope you're not too anxious and worried about the xmas season coming up. I wish you all the best. Thank you so much for your time! x

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