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The simple rule I’m following to keep my kids’ gifts under control

Shannon Gauger

The holidays are here with all the hustle and bustle. I decided a few years ago to try and scale back a little on Christmas. Christmas should not just be about presents and gift giving. Yes, it’s fun having kids and seeing their excitement, but honestly they don’t need much.

My kids get a lot of gifts throughout the year. Something came across my Pinterest feed one night and I thought it was the perfect idea. It’s the Four Gift Rule, and it’s very simple.

The Four Gift Rule:

  1. Something you want
  2. Something you need
  3. Something to wear
  4. Something to read

How perfect is this? Four gifts (… besides the bigger “Santa” gift!).

This makes it so much easier when shopping and planning. I know I will not be spending money on tons of items they don’t really need. When I’m making my list, I keep these four things in mind. I keep a file in my notes section on my phone and list out exactly what I’m getting each kid.

Something you want. That’s easy — kids want everything! This can be a toy or object they’ve been talking about for months.

Something you need. Most of the time, this will be new socks and underwear. Every kid needs those.

Something to wear. New pajamas usually.

Something to read. New books! They don’t have to be brand new books — buy used ones instead. I love to hit up discount book stores and buy gently used kids’ books. My daughter’s school always has a book fair where I snag a few books and save some for Christmas. We love books!

And that’s it. Isn’t it the best? I love this new policy. It makes me limit what I buy and helps show our kids we don’t need to go nuts with gifts. We have plenty and we should be thankful.

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