Part of the difficulty with this Christmas is that The Daughter did not seem to want to give up anything she already has. Games and toys, especially stuffed animals, that are well past her presumed age range she holds onto like a canteen of water in the desert. She also has all of her books, but I give that a bit of a pass. Her daily homework involves her reading 15 minutes each weekday, so the books we used to read to her, she can now read herself.
Not that a few items didn’t disappear, usually when worn out or broken or games rendered incomplete. I did this experiment of taking some of the plush toys to the attic. If she said, “I can’t find X” toy, I’d bring it down. then a few months later, I showed her the whole cache, and of course, she wanted them all.
Her mother’s tactic involved telling her that she needed to get ride of some items so that Santa could bring her more stuff. This has been pretty much a dismal failure.
But this is what has ultimately started to work: altruism. Carol & I have a couple friends who have a girl and a boy a couple years younger than she is. Items she has outgrown now end up in the hands of her little pals. Even a book that just had pictures and names of items, rather than text, she has deemed too juvenile. And her potty training book she gave to the parents of the child across the street.