Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Recent Thoughts on "Stuff"

It's that time of year when my mailbox gets stuffed with catalogs from every toy manufacturer known to man and the children write mile long lists of toys they want for Christmas. Yesterday the LEGO catalog arrived. I like LEGOs. I think they are a great toy and a toy that I am frequently tempted to invest in because it brings so much excitement and fun to the children I am buying it for.

Well. I looked through the LEGO catalog and, lo and behold, there were things I wanted...for myself! Because I thought they would be fun family times and memories. One was an advent calendar. It turned into two advent calendars because there was a City LEGO one and a Friends LEGO one--each one costing $34.99

But then--there was this Winter Village Market. It has a carousel--that turns when you turn the crank and the horses move up and down! Upon further investigation there appear to be scenes released every year to add to the village. And some of the houses have light bricks so that the windows have light in them. Some sets are already retired. Ok. You get the picture. It can be added to every year.

This begs the questions. Can I imagine 60 year old Carla setting up a LEGO village on the mantel every winter? Well...maybe there will be grandchildren who will think it's neat. But, just think--I have 10 years until Josiah is 15 and there's a good possibility that he would enjoy building a set for a good many years yet. Then I stopped--that's a lot of money to dish out over the years. Figure right about $100/set.

Even a day later I'm still getting kind of giddy thinking how much fun this could be. BUT. And it a BIG BUT--is this how I should really spend our money? With that money I could sponsor a child in another country, invest in a project that helps people gain education or clean water, or buy food for someone right down the road from me who no longer has access to their food stamp benefits. I don't know what the financial future holds and it is possible that we may need to share our money and resources (just like our parents taught us to share our toys??!) instead of buying more toys for ourselves.

I don't know.

I've just been thinking. There aren't too many times when something so completely frivolous catches my eye.

Our children will have a lovely Christmas. They will receive toys. They know there is a budget and they will not get everything on their list. I hope they also learn that life isn't all about them and what they want. There are a lot of other people in this world working hard for a bit of shelter and food and if we are earning enough and more for our own needs then we can reach out and share.

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