The Holiday Season One Gift at a Time

By Randi Zinn
Randi Zinn
Randi Zinn
Health section
December 23, 2013 Updated: December 23, 2013

This year, my son Micah’s birthday, Hanukah, a visit from my family, and a birthday party all occurred in the same week. Can you imagine the amount of gifts this child got?

At the end of the week, we reviewed the wrapped boxes and paper-stuffed bags on our living room floor and made a family decision. Micah would receive one gift at a time—and perhaps not every day.

We watched how stimulated Micah got by too many presents being opened all at the same time, as well as how uninteresting the toys became to him the more boxes he opened.

Do you notice that your children get overstimulated by the quantity of things around them? Do you watch them go down some sort of distracted spiral if there are simply too many toys at their disposal?

While I do feel that a children’s play area is “their little world” to grow, explore, and discover, it doesn’t have to be an overcluttered space either. In fact, I notice that Micah gravitates toward his favorite toys again and again, and the extras are generally forgotten.

As parents, we do have the power to mold our children’s experiences. We can keep things simple if we want to. My husband and I want Micah to appreciate something new and to engage with that thing because he really sees it.

Questions for Reflection

This holiday season, as more and more stuff crosses your threshold, how can you manage your child engaging with all of it?

Can you contemplate how many gifts are given in any one moment and perhaps create distinct moments in which each gift is appreciated?

How can the holidays still be celebratory and exciting but not overdone and overstimulating? There is a delicate balance here, and one that is important to think through.

Happy Holidays and hoping that each of your gifts is both meaningful and appreciated!

Writing is Randi’s favorite way to share the profound experience of motherhood. As an NYC Mom, yogi, and entrepreneur, Randi creates bespoke workshops and gatherings for women who want to share the best ways to stay grounded and engaged, living life inspired. Follow her stories, events, and community at