Collect experience, not clutter

05:02 AM January 09, 2019

I am a first-time mother to a 6-month-old baby girl. Last Christmas, I made a wish list for her that I forwarded to my family and relatives.

My daughter’s wish list does not consist of flimsy plastic toys or the latest trends in gadgets; instead, I asked for “experience” gifts such as passes to the zoo or aquarium, story books, and gift certificates from clothing shops and malls which we can use if she needs an extra onesie.


Our family’s reception of this drastic change has been fairly positive, although concerns were raised on how my daughter will not enjoy her childhood for possessing only a few toys.

This is not entirely the case, because I create her toys or make use of what is available around our house.


When my baby girl was 2 weeks old, I cut out  black and white paper and posted them on our wall instead of buying a black and white picture book.

At 5 months, she had a keen interest in her feet and reached for them quite often, so I made her an improvised toy where I sewed buttons, laces and small wooden wheels onto her socks.

She now gets thrilled with colorful prints, so I lay my colorful clothes and silks in front of her. Also, her sensory toys are sponge, comb, keys, a strip of foil, carton, paper, or anything that interests her.

At this young age, my daughter may not need or want a lot of toys, but if she might when she is older, a trip to the park or a short hike to the mountain can be planned.

The holiday season doesn’t need to be celebrated with such gusto for materialism resulting in piles of trash. Some other sustainable holiday practices can include asking your monito/monita to donate to your favorite charity, using newspaper as gift wrappers, or gift ideas like coupons for a free massage, haircut or a fancy dinner.

We do not need more materials to clutter our homes, because what we need are memories to fill our years.



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TAGS: collecting experience, Inquirer letters, Jessica Virrna Q. Antipolo, materialism
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