Christmas is over and the new toys have been spread around the house. In an effort to simplify, we bought each of our kids one quality (expensive) toy and a few small cheaper (plastic) toys that usually turn out to be the real thrillers of the moment. Much to all of our dismay, within the first 24 hours of playing with them, most of the plastic toys were broken: a battery run screwdriver and tool set, two tiaras, a few bling-bling items, a princess wand, you get the picture. They sure do look cute playing with all that garb, but when I think about this cost…or about this cost I begin to wonder if there may be a better way to approach the accumulation of “stuff” in my life and in our family.
The Christmas gifts were all fun and super cute, but on a deeper level, the so easily broken and trashed toys caused me to reflect on my “relationship to stuff and our consumer-crazed culture”.
I have been mulling over a documentary called The Story of Stuff for quite some time. The information packed into this simple clip is dense and eye-opening, and while I don’t pretend to be a master of it all, it challenges something very deep within me. For me, as a Christian, it inspires me to be a better steward of creation, people, time, money and resources. It challenges me to live an intentional lifestyle in which I am more thoughtful about my purchasing power. I still have a long way to go on this journey of stewardship, but I am eager to learn more about how to honor God, people and the creation He gave us to care for with the way I consume, spend, and live.
Check out what has been so eye-opening for me here: The Story of Stuff
I am making a conscious effort this year to think more wisely about the power of my purchases and the impact my decisions as the main buyer for my family has on the earth, on the people who produce my “stuff” and on our value system as a culture.
Ultimately this movie, this movement, and this re-evaluation of the status quo is promoting healthier relationships between people, products and our planet. I am all for that. Visit Ann Leonard’s website for lots of resources and educational materials.
Have any of your kids’ Christmas gifts broken already too?
What are your thoughts on all this STUFF?