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“My sons know they will only have one present”

Claudia, mother of two, is against the overconsumption linked to the holidays and offers an alternative to the overload of gifts that children receive.

At Christmas, children are often showered with gifts that collect dust in the closet a few months later. In a context of inflation and global warming, some parents are questioning their way of consuming, especially during the holidays. As we know, the end-of-year celebrations generate food waste, accumulation of waste and excessive consumption.

The madness of gifts and the very strong belief that it is necessary to make a present and moreover new, remains anchored in our society. According to a Kantar study for Ebay 11, in 2020, 18% of French people plan to resell the Christmas gifts that were offered to them. In sum, it’s 1 in 3 gifts that will be bought new but will never be used. These figures highlight the impact of the Christmas holidays and the endless race for consumption. So how do you get out of overconsumption and celebrate Christmas differently while saving money? Claudia is the mother of two little boys, Tiago (6 years old) and Noé (3 and a half years old). At home, every year, it’s the same thing and it won’t change: “At Christmas, it’s a gift!”. Here is his testimony.

The purpose of this article is not to make you feel guilty, far from it. These few lines are there to share good advice and offer you another approach to Christmas gifts.

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Get out of holiday overconsumption

“I make them one gift each and I almost always buy on Vinted or Leboncoin. When they were toddlers toys didn’t matter much to them, they could play with a ball of paper so I don’t think at that age you need to rack your brains . Now that they’re older, they’re showered with presents from the family so I want to buy as reasonably as possible.”

Christmas is also the opportunity to give new life to old toys

“This year, I know that Thiago has always dreamed of having a bike, so that’s what we’re going to give him. I found one on Leboncoin in very good condition and for only 40€. Noé, he has been bathing us with Paw Patrol for 2 years so instead of buying him a new toy, I bought it on Vinted.

“For children, apart from shoes, their wardrobe comes from cousins, flea markets or second-hand, I’m very recycled. We give several lives to clothes, toys,…

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Prioritize quality, not quantity

“At Christmas when they have a pile of presents I feel like they are frantically unwrapping and not paying attention to what they are getting until they come across the toy that they are really waiting. Eventually, I think the best thing is to select so that when they open their package, even if there’s only one, they say to themselves Ah, that’s what I was waiting for!.”

“The oldest, Thiago, no longer believes in Santa Claus but he still wants to make his list with his little brother. In this list, I select a gift that I know they will love and above all that will last over time. I avoid fashion toys that will make them happy for two weeks and that will stay in the closet afterwards. In the timeless, we find Kapla, Legos, Playmobils,… For Christmas, I like simplicity, efficiency and durability!

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Finally, Christmas is above all a good time to share with family.

“The key word in this story is that Christmas is above all a moment of reunion with all his family and not a moment of overconsumption. Limiting your children in what they receive at parties is also teach them that you can’t have everything you want when you want it and that we don’t consume everything and anything at Christmas or on a daily basis. I also want my children to learn how to take full advantage of a gift when they receive it.”

“Both my boys know that when they make a list of gifts they would like to receive for Christmas, they will only get one. It makes me laugh because the other day, my youngest, Noé, said to me: “It’s life that decides, Mom”.”

Parenting writer

On the lookout for news and the latest discoveries, Carla puts her pen at your service. Passionate about science and medicine, she brings another perspective in …

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