It’s that time of year…… The time of year that parents start to frantically search high and low for those “must haves” on their children’s wish lists. Christmas gift shopping stresses me out to be quite honest. I feel like it’s a sprint to get the hot items, mark off their lists, get them on sale, get them wrapped and make such a fuss – all of which takes up precious time that we should be spending enjoying our families – and in the end, that’s not what Christmas is all about.
This year when Frankie and I started tossing around ideas for Christmas gifts for the girls we found ourselves continually saying that we didn’t need to over do it this year. I will say we have never gone “over board” with our gift giving and always make sure to stick to a budget for the girl’s gifts, but we still feel as though it’s all just too much and it should really be simplified. We don’t want our girls to be overwhelmed or not appreciative of each and every gift they receive and we want them to know that we took the time to choose meaningful gifts for them. They know that Christmas is not all about the presents and we want to be sure we are reinforcing that, especially this year since they are both at an age that they seem to “need” everything they see in the stores or on TV. With all of that in mind, I suggested to Frankie that we try the 4 Gift Christmas Challenge this year. I have seen it on blogs and heard of other families taking this route for their gift giving but have no idea where the concept actually came from. Basically, you give just 4 gifts:
Something you want
Something you need
Something you wear
Something you read
It seems like it may be a bit tricky to pare it all down to just 4 items – and to be honest the read category may end up being a few items because I have no shame in buying lots of books for my girls. Some ideas for each category might be…
- any item from their wish list
- savings account deposit
- school related items
- personal hygiene item
- hair accessories
- magazine subscription
After we talked about it, we really feel like the 4 Gift Christmas Challenge will be perfect for us this year and have even asked our parents to stick to the 4 gift rule as well. Of course we know that Santa will probably make sure there are a few extra gifts under the tree on Christmas morning, but we have already talked to the girls to explain to them that their gifts from us will be extra special because we are focusing on only 4 special types of gifts. I’m not sure they fully understand the categorizations but they did understand that they would receive just 4 gifts from us. Amelia actually was excited that we would have more money to spend on gift giving to those less fortunate and maybe even be able to sponsor an additional angel tree child with the extra money – so I’m excited that she’s taking this concept full circle and has already thought of how she can give to others.
We are working out the details for our gift choices and have talked about adding a fifth category only because our girls have both taken quite an interest in music this year. Frankie thought that adding a fifth category of “something you play” would still be keeping to the idea of the simplification but allowing us to add our own unique touch to the challenge.
I couldn’t just jump on this challenge without creating something fun, so I’ve been working on some fun gift tags that correspond to the 4 Gift Christmas Challenge this week and will share those and some free printables on Friday!
Do you follow the 4 Christmas Gift Rule at your house? I’d love to hear how your family implements this concept and some suggestions for gifts for each category!