In the lead up to the children's birthdays, as I gather ribbon to tie around presents and jot thoughts and wishes on cards, I look at what I've bought and always put something back in the cupboard.
In this age of excess I'm wary of giving them too much.
For almost five years I have observed Che create imaginary worlds and make-believe characters. He has built towers and rockets and pirate ships. A pile of toys has occasionally attracted his attention but a small basket of miscellany always inspires beautiful play. He places more value on a handmade bow (imaginary arrow) than a store-bought truck.
So when it comes to buying for celebrations I remind myself that simple is best. I stumbled upon a rhyme when Che was only little and I repeat it to myself when considering gifts:
"...something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read..."
Poet chose a brown haired boy earlier in the year and I couldn't think of a more perfect gift than a sweet Steiner doll for her first birthday - a forever companion. Che is giving her a few books and I found a delightful pom pom hat for her little garden party. I decided that the rainbow could wait till Christmas...
So tell me, how do you decide what to gift your children? Is simplicity harder to achieve as they get older? And if there's a really long list, how do you prioritise?