Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ok.. I'm a firm believer that every serious post should be followed by one that is completely light hearted and nonsensical in nature. Therefore today we are going to talk about plastic toys... lots and lots of plastic toys...

More importantly today I am going to ask your advice about how to keep my house from being over run with plastic junk. So... sit back, take your thinking caps off and put on your assvice giving hats......

With Christmas just around the corner I find myself bracing for the onslaught of plastic "stuff." Already our living room and dining room are filled with bin upon bin of flashing, singing, noise making plastic toys.

We have a basketball hoop with plastic basketballs.
A ball "thingy" that you put the plastic balls into and they go around and come out at the bottom.

Various Zoo Animals
A telephone
A farm
You're getting the point right??

Suffice it to say saving the world with our Eco friendly toy choices is not in our future.

Now don't get me wrong, I know the boy needs toys. I get that, but here is where the problem comes in. We are having Christmas and he has grandparents and great-grandparents that just love him to death and want to buy him things. Ok... that I get...

But then a mere two and a half weeks later we have his birthday. And because I am one of those moms (the kind I always SWORE I would never be) I am throwing him a big first birthday party. And knowing his relatives this means that lots of them will show up and they will bring lots of plastic toys and honestly... how many toys does one child need??

So here is where you come in. I need to know what is appropriate to put on this invitation. I want people to bring him things, if their little heart desires, I would just like to steer them in a direction that doesn't find me swimming in more plastic toys than we know what to do with.

So what do you think?

Is it appropriate to suggest that since he has TONS of toys, putting money into his savings account would be a much better gesture? Or should I only bring it up if someone asks me what to give him?

Is it appropriate to suggest that if they MUST buy him something that it would be better to get something for 18-24 or older he has LOTS of toys for his current age? Or again should I only bring it up if someone asks me?

Finally, should I put his clothing size on the invitation? We have lots of clothes in 12 & 18 month sizes so I'm really wanting them to think a little larger.

OR... should I scrap all thoughts of this and just hope people bring lots of gift receipts and we can take back some of the superfluous plastic?


Anonymous said...

I am all for telling me what you want. Tell me and I will do it. Suggest diapers. Also, suggest savings bonds. Say something about in a few years we will be celebrating a high school graduation and would love to start saving for college now.

Jenn said...

I'm kinda old fashioned I guess but I get a little offended when there is a list of what to buy and what not to buy in the invite. Call the Grandparents and other relatives and bring it up in conversation (You'll be suprised, they'll ask I bet!) and hope for the best otherwise. You can also pack up some of his older toys and donate them to a shelter or something in honor of his 1st birthday! :) I know, I'm not much help...

Laura said...

Since I'm getting married, I've been hearing a lot about etiquette with regards to wedding invitations and I think that the same logic would apply here. As a rule, it is a huge no-no to include gift registry information in a wedding invitation as it looks like you're just inviting the person so that you'll get lots of gifts. Since this is obviously the OPPOSITE of your intention here, I would definitely avoid putting a list or even a hint of what you want people to buy for Zack in the invite. I think it could offend people and be taken the wrong way.

What I would do is put a small line at the very bottom that says "No toys as gifts, please." Don't put anything on the invitation about what you DO want people to get instead, but circulate the word around through a couple of key people (parents & grandparents?) that it would really be a much more special gift to buy savings for college and let them know how to do that so the word can get around. Some people may even call you directly and ask, when they see the invitation. The polite way to phrase it would probably be, "You don't need to get him anything - he has so many toys already! But if you really want to, what we'd appreciate the most would be..." They'll probably get him some savings bonds like you asked for.

Another solution to avoid having the house overrun with toys is to donate the ones he doesn't play with anymore to children's charities or hospitals, and return the new ones you don't need. Maybe let him pick 2 or 3 new ones to keep and return the rest. And also obviously you don't need to buy him any yourself since your friends and relatives are so generous :)

Connie said...

If asked, or if your need to comment, I suggest that Christmas is coming and Zack is blessed with more than any child can comprehend at 1 yr. old. Therefore, we hope you contribute to your favorite charity at this blessed time of year -- in Zack's name if you desire.
Otherwise, my grandkids get savings bonds from relatives and grandparents, or money for college fund, as someone (Parents, in particular) will buy plastic. Sometimes more is not fun!

Jessica said...

I know what etiquette is however I also know all your family and friends. I think it is perfectly acceptable to ask for the money to be put towards his savings. I think you need to find a way to ask for such so they KNOW they are giving it to Spike though. There is nothing wrong with being a responsible parent and unless you all win the lottery he will thank you some day when he has that money for college. By then the going rate for tuition will be $100,000 a year - :).

Go for it ask away....it's not like you are telling people they can only buy him clothes from Gap....they can not fault you for going the responsible route.

Anonymous said...

Don't put anything. I would be worried that if I gave cash that it was actually going to your son rather than to feed your husbands addiction if he decides to relapse. Plus if people are giving cash they feel like they should give more than the $10 they would've spent on an outfit.

J said...

OK. I have this same thought every time it's a bday/xmas. Here's what I tell myself:

Uh oh, I hear the control-monster escaping from the cave again!!!


Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard!

Let the people with big hearts do what they want..after all, it's out of love. If they ask, you can gently steer 'em toward something appropriate, but otherwise just let 'em show their love however they want. Don't put limits on love! This is how people display how much you and (kid 1 & kid 2) mean to them: by showering them with gifts!!!

Also, 99% of those blinking toys are returnable at W@lMart/Toy$ R U$/T@rget, even with no gift receipt. So you may have to settle for a gift card instead of cash...No biggie! You can "spend" the gift cards on stuff you need like diapers and soap or clothes.

Or you can re-gift the toys someday to one of the 9,000,000 other little kids' parties you'll be invited to between now and 2074.

BOTTOM LINE: Take it easy, don't worry about what everyone is going to do. You have ways to deal with the blinky toys, so maybe not trying to control that part of the day - just letting it go in your mind, right now, today - will help you make it through the day with less stress and a whole lot more joy!!!

---And that's what I tell myself when my blood pressure starts to jump up!

Deanna said...

OR, ask for books in lieu of toys! Little Zacky is going to be wanting momma to read him stories before you know it, and books are a great gift (think: price range and titles available..WOW!)

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

But then a mere two and a half weeks later we have his birthday.

Mere two and half weeks........mere 2 1/2 weeks? I do not remember you feeling like it was a mere 2 1/2 weeks last year when you were mega pregnant!

For the birthday party request it to be a book party...make the invitations look like a little golden book and say something like

I have heard reading is FUN
Golden Books and Cat in the Hat
Since I am turning ONE
You could give me that

Or something like it...... I have attended 2 baby showers recently that they have offered a door prize for people to bring books - and one she received 23 Little Golden Books without a single duplicate.....weird if you ask me!

As for the savings bond/cash for savings - you can still suggest that to family's.