18 Comments
Nov 22, 2023Liked by Erin Boyle

I loved this--lots of great tips, fully appreciating the nuance in everything, but also not giving up the fight.

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The black bag full of toys two days before Christmas nearly gave ME a heart attack! I’m not sure I’d have handled it with such grace. 😂

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Here for your coffee-stained novels tied up with string!

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by Erin Boyle

The YouTuber Little Kosher Lunch/ Melissa Shares has a video from 2018 (Holiday gift guide) that really exercises your philosophy ( but has a different aesthetic). She bought her kids a vintage plastic dollhouse that you can easily find in most thrift stores, and then gets her kids tiny pieces of dollhouse furniture for birthdays and holidays. it's an easy way of including family who still want to feel like they are giving something tangible, while steering them away from larger things the kids don't really need. She frames it similar to your suggestions above- "can you help them complete their dollhouse?" . She has lots of great ideas and tips. She reminds me a lot of you, like your Jewish westcoast 1970's aesthetic doppelganger, and has lots of low waste thrifty videos for kids crafts and cooking.https://youtu.be/1xxp_SWWUcg?feature=shared

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This is a fight that I have been having for years with my mother-in-law. 22 years actually. The first ten, we did not have children, but the past 12 have been... let's say... rough. I grew up in a family where my grandparents gave each of their grandchildren one gift. My husband's mother, on the other hand, buys enormous amounts of presents, whether people want or need what she gives. She spends thousands. People say: it makes her happy. And that's true, but I also think she is addicted to shopping. So, I say this is a fight that has been going, but mostly I sit quietly and resentful and wish for this month to pass. Nothing we have tried has worked. Not asking for experiences. Not sending links to Waldorf-toy websites with preferred toys. Not lists of things the kids need. She gets all of those things, and the 100 other things (wrapped in non-recyclable wrapping paper that gets stuffed into not one, but TWO enormous black garbage bags. We stopped letting the kids bring home anything other than what we requested, and that's the best we can do. As someone who has spent 30 years fighting climate change and eschewing the extent possible consumerist culture, this time of year gives me panic attacks and makes me want to cry. But I am powerless and left feeling like the world is truly doomed.

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Your comment “it’s real restrictions of time and resources and skill” is so spot on! I’ve done variations of experiences only, shop local/small, or few quality gifts vs quality and so much of it comes down to the other person’s capacity for it and finances. It can be incredibly time consuming or expensive, but still making the ask is so important.

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Erin Boyle

"Invite them to join you" is useful advice for almost anything parenting-related that you are trying to do differently!! Apply liberally to issues like, grandma thinks timeouts are great, Nana "forgets" to grab the booster seat, etc etc etc

I also love the acknowledgement that someone might just need the Elizabeth Arden gift set. If we use gift giving as an opportunity to show our loved ones that we really see them, sometimes the elderberry syrup just isn't the move.

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founding
Nov 21, 2023Liked by Erin Boyle

I love being different and spontaneous and practice it with gifts as well .

In the world of consumerism and one tap shopping no one really needs anything for the holidays. We all get what we need or want.

I am all about gifts that leave a great memory.

This has been helpful and love saving time and money and just enjoying the wonderful holiday season.

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Erin Boyle

Wonderful advice, not just for gift guiding, for whenever you feel the need to be "a little bit weird."

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