The family is all in. No gifts are being exchanged again this year. I'm VERY happy about that! That means...NO SHOPPING! NO fighting the crowds in the brain sucking flourescent lights. No Made in China, lead based crap that's going to break and fall apart in ten minutes. No lame junk that people don't really want and NOT spending $1200 on all that STUFF.
Of course, there is the Grace exemption. Bryon and I and the rest of the family are allowed to buy gifts for Grace, but honestly, after her birthday and having SEVENTEEN guests who brought gifts... I just can't really think of much she needs.
I finally cleaned off her desk in her room last week and organized all her art supplies into a container and she has A LOT of stuff! Seriously. We are one box away from a Dateline episode on HOARDING.
I'm afraid she has some of that RICE HOARDING in her genes because she wants to keep every little piece of EVERYTHING. I have to hide things and wait until she forgets about them then throw them out. Same thing with artwork from school. She wants to keep everything including empty Kleenex boxes (with pretty designs) etc. No, I say, NO!
Do NOT however, look at my own little collection of scrapbooking and crafting paraphenallia upstairs. Mine of course is much more sophisticated. It is. Really.
She also collects TONS of rocks. And leaves. And sticks. And pine cones. And shells. And nuts. And berries. And EVERYTHING. I finally cleaned up all her little piles and stashes and put them into a bucket.
It was a LOT of stuff. Of course, it's hard to argue with collecting "stuff" from nature. It costs nothing and gives her lots of pleasure.
On vacation she picked up a TON of rocks and stuff. We stuffed them into the Pacifica under the tire and forgot all about them until I vacuumed out Bryon's car last weekend and found them again. She had a whole gallon ziplock full of things. She sat out on the back deck organizing them into a pencil box and came in asking for more containers. I had just bought two little containers for the art supplies reorganization so I gave those to her... here is what she came up with... all on her own.
I'm thinking she's a naturalist in the making.