Gifting at Christmastime can get pretty out of hand. I really like the idea of limiting how much we give the kids and being intentional about what we give them rather than getting stuff just for the sake of having boxes under the tree.
This is only our third Christmas with kids, so we’re still figuring it out. I came across the idea of something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read a few years back and I really like that idea. At first I thought it seemed really cheap to only get your kids four gifts. But when you figure in all the relatives and Santa it adds up really quickly. Not to mention the gratitude it teaches since in all honesty our kids want for nothing, especially since they’re not even old enough to understand the gift concept at all!
So here’s our run down on the need/want/wear/read gifting strategy this year. I think it will evolve next year when Isla is a little more savvy about how this whole Santa thing works, but in the mean time, I plan to take full advantage of them not having a clue.
- Save the big flashy gifts for when they’re old enough to understand. Pretty much anything from the Dollar Spot is like gold, so why spend more?
- At 2 and 7 months, the real gift is the paper, tissue paper and ribbon. I took care of the Something To Wear category with their new winter clothes. I stocked up on Black Friday when Carter’s did their big 60% off sale. Both kids needed warmer clothes in the next size, so I stocked up and wrapped it all up. I definitely cheated since it’s more than one item, but it was something I would have bought regardless of the holiday and this way it counts as a gift.
- Keep it simple, especially for the Want category. If your toddler is like mine they could find 500 things they “want” within the first 30 seconds of entering a toy store. Chances are no matter what you get they’ll be entertained for about 10 minutes tops before they’re onto something else (probably the box the toy came in).
- Make your life easier with the Need category. Think about something your kids have (or don’t have) that complicate your life. Are the lace up shoes slowing you down every morning? Get them a slip on pair. Do you find yourself doing a special load of laundry so the favorite shirt is clean? Buy a second. In our house the baby is getting a new sleep sack because I’m tired of timing the laundry so it’s not in the washer at bed time.
- Farm out the boring stuff. If the thought of buying something boring like a sleep sack is too much, offer that up as an idea for a family member. That way you can double up on the fun stuff!
While I can’t guarantee this will eliminate noisy toys that come in a million pieces from your holiday season (you know, the ones usually bought by a grandparent), it will hopefully make you a little more intentional with your purchases.
How do you decide what to get your kids for Christmas?