Let me start by saying that I am extremely jealous of fictitious holiday characters. Santa is a fame whore, the tooth fairy is going to need a bailout the way her dead tooth values are inflating and the easter bunny is a twisted fetishist, hopped(no pun intended) up on sugar. These are the creatures we allow into our homes year after year. Mostly I am tired of making handmade presents and letting somone else take the glory. I did not slave for hours on that new Waldorf doll for a fat man to get the credit! Extremely selfish, caddy, and a bunch of other names I am sure that one could come up with if given the time. But, I am okay with it. And that is all that matters. So due to our Atheism and my hatred of having my thunder stolen, we do not roll with the hype of those childhood stories. We tend to make up our own and leave the other guys in the background. Santa still comes but he only brings one or two toys. The easter bunny goes to Gam's house.
I also see a difference in the way my girls treat things when they know they have come from a person versus the idea of a person. They take extra care when they know I have worked hard on a gift, rather than something put under a tree by a guy they will never meet. In truth it goes much deeper than my selfish ranting. I truly feel that in order for people to learn to respect what they have they must treasure it. Mass made and marketed toys are a dime a dozen in cost, but that should not take away from their value. I have seen kids who adore the simplest of things: a blanket, one of dad's socks, the ugliest bear in the house. The idea is to teach them that while "things" don't matter, how we treat those "things" does. A good way to keep this ideal alive its to be selective in what and how much comes into your home. Three dolls is not better than one. You can only do so many puzzles in one day.
Whether it comes from a store or your own hands, teach your kids to treasure what they have. This will set up a value system that survives outside of "things". It will infect their world. Treasure all that you have: life, love and ugly bears. Happy Egg Fetish Bunny Day!