As I have shared before, my children get four gifts for Christmas. They get these gifts from “Santa”. “We” don’t buy our kiddos ANY Christmas gifts. We do exchange names and MAKE a handmade item for that person. I think this sends a powerful message about what IS important at Christmas time. The first Santa gift is something they want, but the rest are not.
Something they WANT – Already explained – the YAY gift. For more on this, visit my blog Tell me what you want…
Something they NEED – Most 1st world children NEVER have a need that is unfulfilled. We pride ourselves with providing everything a child needs and then some. It is okay to let a kiddo go without something for a little while. I am not talking crazy, life threatening needs here. We all must love, feed, and provide necessities! I’m talking ENTITLEMENT.
Let me give an example from our house. When one of my kiddos ruined his pillow through his own actions, we didn’t buy a replacement right away. He lived for two months of his life without a pillow. He then got an extra special pillow for Christmas as his “need” gift. Not only did he really like the gift, he has taken good care of it and appreciates what he has.
This years “need” gifts are suitcases for my oldest and youngest (because I value travel – this is a need), a blanket and throw pillow for Dude’s new futon/bed, and a set of good knives for my budding chef L.L.
Something to WEAR – Ya’ know clothes and stuff. A sweat suit, a pair of shoes, a fun t-shirt, etc. These often include cartoon characters or superhero logos that I wouldn’t buy ordinarily, which makes them a little more special to that particular child. We don’t put as much value on things being “brand new” as most people. Many times these are “used” items. I often find better quality items for less money slightly used. Fifi is getting a beautiful, barely used, Burberry trench coat for her “wear” gift this year because she has really wanted what she calls a “Sherlock coat”.
Something to READ – We definitely value reading material around here! BUT, we don’t actually BUY very much. We are able to get just about everything we could ever want from the library. The “read” gift tends to be something that has been read MANY times and will be read many more times. Babyman is getting Bedtime for Batman, L.L. is getting Baby Monkey Private Eye, Dude is getting a Star Wars Comic book, and Fifi is getting a Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes (sense a theme?).
We choose to limit gift giving for lots of reasons. We have found that limiting our purchases makes us work harder to find the “perfect” gift for each child in each category and our kids are more grateful for each item they receive. It helps keep our home minimal and manageable. And most of all, it is really fun to watch our kiddos open their gifts because each one is meaningful and special to them and the gift giver. We have family members that come over on Christmas morning just to have breakfast and watch – it is that much fun!
That’s how we do AMAZINGLY SIMPLE Christmas gifts!
Please leave a comment below to share your gift giving strategies!