This last Christmas, Madeline was spoiled rotten. As the only girl on Mike’s family’s side, and the only grandchild in my family, the grandparents couldn’t help themselves no matter how many times we warned them not to go overboard. When we finally arrived home after two big family bashes, our car was so packed with toys and clothes you couldn’t see out the back window.

Mike and I were very determined to spoil Maddie with love and not with toys and such, so we put a lot of things away with the intention of bringing them out slowly over the course of the year. Some things were supposed to be for when she was older, and other things we thought she’d enjoy once she got past the initial excitement of some of the other toys. You can only get away with hiding toys and doling them out over an extended time period until a kid reaches a certain age, so we were definitely going to take advantage.

As I’ve been slowly going through bags and boxes, I’ve come across a lot of the things we’d been saving for Maddie. And I feel badly that she had all these toys that she never got to enjoy, toys that were given to her by the people who loved her so they could see her smile. I know that she didn’t want for anything, but it’s hard not to let even the smallest things make me feel guilty.

I take comfort in seeing her smiles from Christmas, and the videos I have of her interacting with her new toys.

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

I know how much Maddie loved to share EVERYTHING – her food, her kisses, and especially her hugs – so I don’t think she’ll mind sharing some of her toys with her little sister. And while we’ll still strive to spoil Binky with love not stuff, we’ll make sure she understands that sometimes, it’s more than just “stuff.”