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Friday, November 23, 2012

No electronics Christmas

Husband and I am horrible parents. We severally neglect our children by not purchasing anything with batteries for Christmas.

Or so my boys informed us the first two years we implemented the no electronics at Christmas time rule.

Many of my older readers know that for the past 6 years, we have had this rule. It started with the frustration of cheaply made expensive toys. Then it became about the thrill of the hunt, and the incredible creativeness of my children. The news spread in the family, and grandparents were suddenly calling me, exclaiming with great joy that they had found some toys that they had when they were kids, and thank you for not having your kids expect the pricey world from us.

Over the years I have watched as some of you have implemented this rule as well. Some of your posts are wonderful. Reading about your excitement on that find. And of course the utter frustration of being unable to find simple toys. Even push cars are wired in anymore. A Christmas with no electronics for us has turned out to be the best thing we have done for our family. It's a lot quieter as well.

And children can be super creative. Finding non battery/ plugged in versions of things they want. One friend of mines daughter is asking for a butane powered curling iron! And this is just their first year sans electronics. My boys are constantly finding loopholes as well.

But I do need to give a shutout to the creator of bey blades. If you have never heard of them, they are Japanese extreme spinning tops. Medium and Small love these things. Once they discovered tops, we have moved onto gyroscopes, and gyroscope powered toys. They are an endless fascination for them.

No electronic Christmas has also caused the boys to be even more creative when it comes to their gifts to friends and family. They have made lanterns from tin cans, baked tree decorations, wood carvings, art projects like paintings or funky shirts, making slime or even signature cookies.

This isn't for everyone of course. And it can be a huge disappointment to some kids come Christmas morning. If you plan on doing a no electric Christmas, make sure you lay out the ground rules and explain them to your children. It's difficult when you child comes home from school after the holidays and their friends are all walking around with the latest and greatest high tech gadgets. But by the second year, your kids friends are stealing their metal pocket puzzles. (Another rockin gift by the bye)

And by the third, the disappointment is replaced by the sheer enjoyment of attempting to find that loophole, or finding a new interest that they have suddenly become passionate about.

Have fun!


HermitJim said...

I think it's a wonderful way to gift!
Back when my dad was alive, he and the uncles would try and outdo one another , finding the most outrageous and silly wind up toys for one another!

Spent the whole year on the hunt!

DFW said...

When my Grandmother was alive, all 8 children & their families would come 'home' to her house. We did the 'drawing name' thing for the various age groups & always had Christmas Eve swapping gifts as a big family.

My dad would bring fruit from Indian River & add nuts (Walnuts, Brazil, Pecans, etc.). He put them in small paper bags & gave to all the kids (over 20 of them). They had more fun with the fruit & nuts than any of their other gifts.

Phelan said...

Jim, sounds like a great tradition!

DFW , my grandmother would ship us oranges and thick peppermint straws at Christmas. Use to suck those oranges dry with those straws. Loved it.

Mystic Mud said...

Greast post - we "unplugged" our kids a few years ago too, and it really was one of the best things we ever did!!

jambaloney said...

good on you!

there are enough mindless texting drones in the world as is - kids need a life without batteries now more than ever.

i got a gyroscope for xmas in 1974 - lol!

Gracie said...

One Christmas my older brother made these goofy chicken things for all of us. They are made with a red solo cup, some felt, cotton string, a sponge and markers. They squack like a chicken when done. One of my favorite Christmas memories and one of the coolest gifts I ever got.

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