Our Four Gifts Of Christmas + Printable Tags
It’s that time of year again! The stores are crowded with busy shoppers trying to cross items off their lists – without overdoing it. When #thebigone was our only child, my husband and I had a tendency to spoil him more than necessary on Christmas morning. We did try to choose gifts that were reasonably priced and things we hoped he would use often. After #thelittleone joined our family, we decided it was time to set some clear limits when it comes to holiday gift shopping. For Christmas 2015 we implemented the increasingly popular ‘four gifts of Christmas’ rule.
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OKAY, IT’S ACTUALLY FIVE!
Technically we buy the kids each 5 gifts. We choose to ‘do the Santa thing’ in our home. I know it’s not for everyone, so no judgement either way – do what works for your family. Our Santa only brings a small gift for the kids. It’s never something big or expensive, and never the one thing they really want. We don’t want them to worry they will stop receiving gifts when they stop believing in the big guy.
Pause For A Mama Side Note
This is very possibly #thebigone’s last year believing in Santa. He asked me last week if Santa is real, and I pulled the ‘what do you think?’ trick out of my back pocket. Long story short, he’s fairly certain Santa may not be legit. IF he isn’t, it’s definitely the elf on the shelf eating the cookies, drinking the milk, and bringing the gifts. So yeah, I may be moving that elf every December for a LONG time to come. Sigh.
BACK TO THE FOUR GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The most common categories of the 4 gifts tradition are:
- Something you want.
- An item you need.
- Something you’ll wear.
- A book that you’ll read.
With my kids, I find that something they need, will wear, and will read is simple. I mean, I could buy my kids something (or MANY things) to read at the drop of a hat, no holiday or special occasion needed. When shopping last year, I found myself a bit torn on the something they want portion of the gift. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are SO incredibly loved by their extended families. This typically translates into ‘overindulged’ during the holidays. And of course I want my kids to have some of the things they want. But I also know that their many grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc. are going to go above & beyond in delivering those things to them.
HERE’S OUR TWIST ON THE FOUR GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
So my husband and I decided to make a small tweak to our four gifts. We changed ‘something they want’ into ‘something they’ll play with’. This gives us the chance to really think about our boys’ personalities and interests. We can make a choice together about something we think our children will truly enjoy. We have the opportunity to help steer their interests a bit. Maybe there’s a game or toy they’ve never considered that we know they’d love. My husband & I can choose our favorite art supplies or building blocks from our childhoods, and share those with our little ones. Maybe we think the gazillion Pokemon cards that already live at our house are plenty. Instead we can choose a similar sort of fantasy card game produced by a young local artist for #thebigone to unwrap on Christmas morning instead. [Spoiler alert for this Christmas. Nobody tell him!]
We know those are probably not the things either boy would name when writing a Christmas wish list, but that’s okay! There is such a feeling of warmth & affection when you unwrap a gift that was chosen just for you, that’s perfect for you- and isn’t something you asked for. I want my kids to know that feeling well. You hear so much about how much better it is to give than to receive. Of course, that’s very true, and not just at the holidays. But #thebigone is six so let’s face it. When you’re six and it’s Christmas, receiving is likely a bigger deal to you than giving… This gives us the opportunity to help our children become gracious recipients of gifts. Boys who can open something they definitely never asked for, but still say thank you and appreciate the thought that went into selecting that item for them.
If you’re interested in wrapping up ‘4 gifts with a twist’, for your kiddos this year, you can grab the cute printable gift tags I created below. Happy shopping, and merry giving!
Do you have a system you use when holiday shopping for your children? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!