Recycling the Spirit by Annita Woz

From a clutter-reducing-perspective, I am all for the “Get one, Give one,” an idea posted first by Elisabeth Wilkins, editor of’s parent website.  I am a parent blogger on the EP site and regularly weigh in on issues that are facing the loyal readers of this award-winning parenting site. 

The “get one, give one” basically allows parents to control the intake and output of toys in our homes and encourages kids to give a toy away when they get a new one during the holidays.  

Woz added the following post to the website on December 17, 2008.


“But, there is always the option of NOT making the reduction of gifts the focus at all…

Some have said, children believe with their whole hearts in the Santa magic, the loads of toys made by elves, and somehow carried by sleigh all the way from the north pole and deposited under trees in homes everywhere in one short sleep. 

And it is this belief that drives the true spirit of wonder for this, the favorite holiday of any child.

If you can, give them all that you can, encourage other gift givers to do the same and let Santa make everything merry and bright. Children will learn all about the sad reality of poverty and economic downturns and scrooges all too soon.

When they are older, sadly wiser, they will not remember the toys you gave them. They will remember only one of the gifts you gave – the gift of Christmas magic- and it will inspire them to recreate the same, to be generous, to keep the spirit of belief alive for their own children.

When this age of awareness is upon our kids,  parents can begin to cut back and give a reasonable amount of presents and your now enlightened child can turn on his/her own generosity and share with reckless abandon her own Santa stories and help perpetuate the magic of the season to the younger ones.

This is the ultimate in recycling, the re-gifting of the biggest gift you have given them; the gift of the spirit of the season.

If you can, give piles of presents, make the magic.  They grow up so fast. “- as posted by Annita Woz on EP.

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