Some thoughts on giving presents

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About how I try and avoid presents that your kids will never play with, and why I this year decided to make my own •

When it comes to presents, I’m quiet a conflicted person. I love when thought has been put into gift-giving. The idea of keeping a list throughout the year of things that people would like or could really use appeals to me. Or the concept of not having to gift the same people every year, but to only give presents to the ones you really have something personal for.

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Every year, our family asks for a wish list from my daughters. I’m fine with them having toys and colorful plastic stuff, as long as it’s something they will really love playing with. However, those toys that are just being bought because a better idea didn’t pop up, always seem to be the ones that will end up at the bottom of a box and never again see the light of day again. And this year, my eldest daughter has decided not to wish for anymore toys, since she thinks she already has enough (and that’s without me saying anything!)

I know it’s easily said, but so much harder to do. Which grandparent doesn’t want to give their grandchild with a wonderful presents and see those sparkling eyes when the wrapping paper is torn off? That’s why i’m trying to come up with a compromise this year. My husband and I will give the girls some handmade or personal things that we know they will cherish. Like name garlands for their beds, a homemade bunny doll and a picture book of their lives in 2015. I’ll add a few beautiful books I’ve found and maybe some extra doll clothes.

My parents, who are celebrating Christmas with us in New York, will be giving them some sort of toys for sure. It’s unavoidable and understandable. But I have suggested that they only give a few small toys, and instead put the money towards a great experience that we can all look forward to and enjoy together. And since both my girls and myself are in love with animals and nature of all kind (my secret wish is to live on a farm surrounded by sheep, cats, horses and dogs) I have suggested a Danish farm vacation in summer 2016. I know next summer is far away, but I really believe that having something to look forward to and talk about and experience together, will give them so much more than a new box of Lego or another Rainbow Dash pony.

When it comes to giving presents to anyone else than my own children, I’m going all homemade this year. One of the few downsides of staying in New York over the holidays is the fact that I won’t get to see all the cute toddlers and babies that my friends and family back in Denmark have had in the last year or two. Not seeing a one-year-old for almost a year means a lot of changes. Instead of being upset about it, I have made them all a handmade rabbit, teddy or fox doll, and hopefully they’ll later realize that we did in fact think about them, and would have loved to wish them a very merry christmas in person.

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