The “Too Much Stuff Mom” Two Years Later


The “Too Much Stuff Mom” Two Years Later

You may remember this little post I wrote two years ago, asking people to calm the heck down with the stuff at Christmas. We still have too much stuff and we still prefer experiences to things, but life does look a little different now.

For one thing, my kids are all a little older. They are getting better about keeping up with their own things, getting rid of what they no longer use, and realizing the value of time, space, and money. We’ve moved into a smaller home, which allows less space for stuff. Although we do have a basement for storage, we limit what comes into our living space, which cuts down immensely on clutter and overwhelm. We now live less than a mile from a Salvation Army thrift store. At least once a week we pack things up that we no longer use and pass them on to someone else. As a family, we are investing in things that we can DO together, such as camping and outdoor equipment, art supplies, and board games.

Although there will definitely be sparkly-wrapped gifts under our tree, we are focusing on the joys of the Christmas season in other ways. It does take some planning, which I am not the best at, but here are some things our family has on the calendar this holiday season:

  1. See the Christmas lights: we now live close to an incredible Christmas light display and plan to check it and others out this year. Hot cocoa, pjs, and some gas in the tank will make for a memorable evening.
  2. Christmas Movie Must-See List: we will be sitting down as a family and making a list of our must-see Christmas movies. Popcorn and cookies are optional, but we will take in all of our faves this year.
  3. Christmas cookie bake-a-thon: I love sweets. A lot. We have some food allergies and intolerances that were diagnosed this year, so I’m using that as an opportunity to try out some new cookie recipes. We’ll make a list of our faves and try them out, then share with our friends and family!
  4. Christmas jammies: for whatever reason, I have never been the mom who could pull off matching family Christmas jammies…until this year! By some miracle, I found family Christmas pjs on Zulily and HAVE ALREADY ORDERED THEM. Fear not, family far and wide — there will be pictures of the Oliver clan in matching pjs on Christmas morning. #memories
  5. Gift-making: most of our friends and family, like us, don’t need more stuff. Our plan for this year is to make consumable gifts such as edible cookie dough, bath bombs, and coffee baskets. We even plan to make “blessing bags” for the many folks we see during the year who are panhandling around town.

There are very few Christmas memories for us that involve the gifts we received. Sure, there are those special few big surprises, but for the most part, the presents are forgotten soon after they’re opened. Our best memories involve the time we’ve spent together, the time we’ve given to others, and the experiences we’ve enjoyed that withstand the test of time. This year I hope your family will also spend time making memories, whether there are lots are sparkly, bow-topped gifts under your tree or not.