A couple of days following Thanksgiving, my husband and I hired #GotJunk to remove a truckload of items we no longer needed in our home. An old couch, a chair, a turn-of-the-century ice box and other random items were dismantled so that they would fit through our narrow doorways and oddly angled stairway turns.
As I listened to the four young men giggle as they sledgehammered one of the items to pieces, I was struck by how materialistic our society truly is. Those items were important enough to us that they made their way into our home. At some point, we deemed them obsolete.
This is also true for the abundant gift and toy choices available to children. For example, my children were eager to have the latest and greatest video games, even when that meant buying the same exact titles for the new gaming platform. When asked what was different on the new system(s), they would share some nuanced improvement but nothing that seemed to warrant discarding the previous “must have” system that cost almost one full paycheck. We have closets of items like these previously-desired ones, which will now fill #GotJunk’s truck.
The best gift we can give children is our time. The reality for most families today is that most if not all of the adults in a child’s life must work in order to maintain a decent standard of living. Therefore, if the adults are working and children are in the care of others, the remaining time should be gifted to the children we love. Perhaps the time we spend is playing a video game on that next-best video game platform. Or perhaps we put the gaming system in the closet and do any number of things that build connections.