Oh man, the crazy, happy swirl of Christmas can really start to make things spiral out of control when it comes to gifting….and for us, that was especially the case when it came to our kiddos a few years ago. I mean, we love them and WANT them to be so excited and feel cherished, but the spending and piles of STUFF had to slow down. Plus, I felt like we were kind of missing an opportunity to teach them more about the GIVING rather than the gifts.
Here are two gifting strategies we’ve used over the last few years that have really refocused the purpose behind the gifts, and these ideas have cut down on overspending around the holidays. I hope one or both are helpful to you this Christmas season!
A few years ago when our first babies were very young, we decided to try out the “want need wear read” system of narrowing down gifts, and we even used it for gifting each other, too! We’d choose one item the person would super duper WANT to have (that’s maybe a bit unnecessary but would make them smile), one gift they actually NEED in their life (insert practical but fun purchases here like yummy soaps or a new lunch box), another gift option in the category of WEAR (could be practical like new jeans, or it could be funky and snazzy like a new purse or cute scarf), and then one item to READ (I love giving and receiving books of many kinds, like cook books, coffee table books or kiddo books depending on who is receiving!).
Below are a few ideas for gift giving if you have a kiddo around the same age as our four little girls (3-8ish), and while I gathered what I know (girly gifts, ha!), many gifts listed below could work for boys, too. Or take this as a template and adapt it to the people on your own Christmas shopping list! Paring it down makes it easier to enjoy the season and not stress over a stretched wallet. 😉
(*click on each affiliate linked photo below to see item details!)
More recently (and now that our girls are a bit older and can make their own choices with guidance), we have started taking them Christmas shopping….for their sisters. 😉 We schedule individual dates with each of our four daughters, and they spend time on the toy or clothing aisle shopping…but not for themselves. Not only does this teach them in a SUPER tangible way to think of others instead of themselves (because how hard is THAT when you’re four years old and on a toy aisle surrounded by ALL.THE.THINGS?!?), but it also gives us a slow-paced, one-on-one date with one daughter at a time.
Sometimes I’ll take a daughter while hubby stays home with the rest; sometimes we’ll schedule a sitter and both go with our individual girls on their gift shopping dates. It’s a special time to actually SEE each daughter amidst the swirl of a big family’s daily life, and I love watching them really struggle and finally succeed in CHOOSING to think of what their sisters would want instead of themselves….with all those shiny toys just staring them in the eyes. 😉 They have big hearts that are ready and willing to give; my husband and I are just finding a way to funnel that kindness in a tangible way at Christmas.
There you go, friends!
Christmas gift giving made a little more simple with two ideas we use in our own family! Be sure to check out my Instagram to see more of our fam’s adventures [HERE]!!
Happy holiday shopping!