This (relative) toy minimalism is helped by the fact that my kids have never once set foot in Toys R Us or seen any television commercials advertising toys. If they don't know that it exists, they don't miss it. And truly, they have very happy, fun, playful lives. We value the purity of a childhood that isn't overly tainted by commercialization (hypocrisy disclaimer: unless that commercialization comes from Apple, in which case we embrace i-Everything).
Santa does bring one or two special gifts each year, however, which are complemented by a few smaller gifts (clothes, books, art supplies) from Mom & Dad. In the past, Santa has brought an art easel, a play tent, a fabulous red play kitchen, and magnatiles. This year, after consultation with me, Santa bought the girls Tegu blocks (Santa's an advance planner and does his shopping early!). In my work life, I teach business ethics, and Tegu's story is compelling:
The Tegu Story from Tegu on Vimeo.
They are expensive, but the purchase price not only buys quality magnetic blocks made from sustainable wood, but also allows you to contribute to re-forestation and education causes in Honduras. Beyond the social responsibility element, Tegu blocks are appealing because they encourage imaginative play.
Have you started holiday shopping? What are your favorite finds this year?