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Hold those sleigh bells, Santa: A growing number of Americans are rethinking the urge to pamper their kids with playthings.But should this minimalist approach become the next big trend in parenting?
Over the phone, though, her actual voice sounds tiny and she laughs at herself openly. Exporting some of the toys out of her home made Soukup feel better in the moment, but it wasn’t long before she became overwhelmed by the enormous amount of stuff once again.They started slowly, gathering toys that their kids no longer used and taking them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.On Christmases and birthdays, their girls began discarding the same number of toys they received, such that the number of playthings in their home never increased.“I am starting to get nervous about all the STUFF that is about to enter my home,” Soukup wrote in a blog post after the visit. She filled four giant bins with toys to give away and was thrilled — if not surprised — that her kids barely complained about the absence of the toys.“I love my kids more than anything, and I want their Christmas to be filled with wonder and joy, but I have to admit that I am worried about the message that this influx of things will send to two girls who already have more than enough.” As she worried, her sister-in-law, who was notorious for buying the girls loads of gifts, was on her way to Soukup’s house, no doubt with a sleigh full of presents in tow. Even with the four bins gone, they still had ample dolls, puzzles, pretend kitchen materials, battery-operated mechanisms that sang, hooted, hollered and lit up.