The time for gift giving and receiving is here. For some families the day is extravagant while other families have a very low key simple Christmas. Our family has run the range of holidays. When I was a child our family was sponsored by the Salvation Army one year. I was too young to have a lot of memories of that year, but I do remember how stressed my parents were that they couldn’t afford presents for me and my brother. The Salvation Army Christmas is one that I will never, ever forget. It was a magical Christmas to say the least!
Now I am all grown up and I have a family of my own. This year we are doing something different. We are going with the Want, Need, Wear, Read approach. The girls know that they are getting a present from each of those categories. Big Sister wants a new robe to wear while Little Sister wants a bow for her hair. Isn’t that funny that they chose entirely different things to wear?
My reasons for going with this approach started out selfishly, to be very honest. We recently went through our play room and donated 2 totes of toys to preschool, and donated even more to Goodwill. Plus we threw away a few bags of absolute junk. I didn’t want our Christmas to be another day to fill the corners of our house with junk again.
My girls have embraced the Want, Need, Wear, Read approach. Instead of having the “Gimmees” over everything they see they know that they need to think about what they ask for. We read The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies a few times a year and my girls really like that book. When it comes to Christmas, they know that Mommy and Daddy are getting them four presents. You don’t even know the stress that has been lifted off of my Christmas Shopping Shoulders. It is no longer a race to find all the toys that my girls want…..and at the best discount. Now I have the time to sit down and talk to the girls about what they really want. It is so much easier finding 4 deals than 40 deals.
Gift Ideas for a Simple Christmas
How are we going about giving gifts for a simple Christmas?
After taking the girls to the store they wrote down a list of items that they wanted. The top items wanted include Lego Friends and a Minnie Mouse stereo. Wants are easy. Almost too easy!
Things needed can include things other than underwear and socks. This is a great time to get new sheets, shoes, wallet, organizational item, fun smelling lotion, or more. You know that toothbrush or toothpaste your kid has been bugging you about in the store for the past bajillion times you have shopped, but they either didn’t need it right then or you knew there was a coupon for it somewhere? Well, get it now!
Clothing is a broad category. While pajamas are always fun, I feel bad giving my kids festive pajamas on Christmas. I think they should be able to wear them for the whole month of December instead of getting them on Christmas. Slippers, robes, snow pants, earrings, necklaces, scarves, hats, and hair bows are other items that fall into the Wear category.
We are very lucky to be a family who appreciates good books. The first weekend of every month our library has a book sale and we have started collections of Little Critter, Bearenstain Bears, Junie B. Jones, and Magic Tree House books for 50¢ or less per book. The library book sale is like a treasure hunt, and there are a few coveted books we have not been able to find. If there isn’t a collection that your child likes, you can always check out Caldecott winners. I will always recommend Berenstain Bears if you need a little help getting started. Here are some of our favorite Must Read Books this year.
Of course there are also a few Santa gifts, but those will be items that they write to Santa about. So far the girls have asked Santa for Pillow Pets Dream Lites, Legos, and a teddy bear.
Do you like a simple Christmas or one that is a little more complex?
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We give the kids an exciting gift from us and then Santa is bringing a want, need, read and wear. I’m having trouble finding needs for K3 because he has all of K1’s hand me downs!
We are doing a want, a need and something to read this year. My kids have really been excited about it and it made shopping so much less stressful!