November is almost over! Excuse me for a moment while I try and remember where the year went! Normally, I spend the month in quiet reflection on how blessed I have been in 2019. It’s been ridiculously hard to do so, though, when I know that the holiday season is almost upon us!
So instead, I broke out my Christmas cheer (my hubs says a bit too early) and started preparing for the most wonderful time of the year – decorating, making lists upon lists upon lists, and putting together this Holiday Gift Guide for you!
I have been working hard on embracing minimalism and striving for less stuff for almost two years. This lifestyle has greatly impacted how I approach holidays and gift-giving. I have centered my priority to quality over quantity. It has been life-changing not only for me but for my entire family.
A Frozen Gifts
It wasn’t until last Christmas that we really began the “4 Gift Rule.” From being an over giver, if you will, to a minimal giver was difficult. I wanted to get my family all the things. So, I was definitely hesitant going into it, but it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. Or should I say we? Because while my husband thinks my urge to have less is a bit crazy, he totally agrees with the want, need, wear, read Christmas gifts.
I will admit, last year was hard on the kids. From 8 or 9 gifts each to just 4 was a little traumatic on them. Throughout the year though, I have been fervently trying to instill in them that Christmas isn’t all about gifts – it’s about giving and being with family and friends. In giving and sharing time I believe that as a family we walk away with a better grasp of what Christmas is truly supposed to be about.
Gifts They’ll Love to Wear
What we have come to agree on is that we give 4 gifts to each child: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. On top of that, they’ll have stockings stuffed with a few additional items outside of the big four. The items we choose for their stocking are very intentional. We try to avoid just buying crap, if you will, just to fill the stockings. This year the entire family will have matching jammies to wear on Christmas Eve and I’ve even bought a fun Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar this year.
What’s new this year, because I love always adding to tradition, is our 5th gift rule – family. Each holiday season we will choose to do something as a family that we wouldn’t normally do, something that we’ll probably only do once. This year I chose The Polar Express Train ride. This is a pricey experience, but it is just that – an experience. One that I know all five of us will absolutely love and hopefully remember for the rest of our lives.
Gifts From a Galaxy Far, Far Away
That being said, not including the family experience, jammies, and advent calendar, I try to keep the 4 gifts + stockings at no more than $200.
Now, I bet you are wondering what we do about relatives, right?! We have shared our feelings with others about gifting, but Matt and I decided that our plan is to kindly accept any gifts given to our children without hesitation. We are thankful that others care enough about our kiddos to buy gifts for them. Giving is a love language and we wholeheartedly want them to feel that love. I most often encourage books because I am raising readers, and experiences but what others choose to gift is truly up to them.
Raising Readers Gifts
Is your heart telling you to start the 4 gift rule this year? Have questions on how to get started? Let me know in the comments.
And have the merriest Christmas ever!