December 1. You know what that means, right? Time to get Christmas shopping.
I can hardly believe we only have a little over three weeks until the big day. I’m notorious for not shopping until the weeks right before Christmas. I like to enjoy Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, and then Christmas. Keep them separate! Just works for me!
Years ago when we had three small children at home and were considering adding to that number, we knew that Christmas could become really expensive, really quickly. Add to that, we were intentionally living on one income so that I could be home with the family, and we knew we would have to get creative with our growing family and limited finances. So we did.
I had read a great tip on simplifying present buying by limiting it to 4 things. Yep, just 4. Per child.
Something they WANT.
Something they NEED.
Something to WEAR.
Something to READ.
That may be hard to comprehend in the give-me-everything world we live in today, but I can tell you it was and still is one of the best things we have done for our family.
See, when we got intentional with our gifts, we found our kids played and appreciated their gifts so much more. They didn’t walk off, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do with all the excess.
It also means when they make their Christmas wish list, they become intentional with what goes on it. They know they are not going to get everything on their list so they better put the things they want most. Some of my children have even been known to help us out by numbering their wish list in priority of what they want most!
With wish lists in hand, my husband and I usually enjoy a dinner out and make a plan based on our budget and the want, need, wear, read list. I can’t tell you how this has saved my sanity year after year.
We try really hard to get our kids their “want” – that’s their Santa gift. Now it still has to be within reason and our budget, but we try to get their most wanted thing. Within reason. Did I say that already? 🙂
That “need” category becomes a saving grace, catch-all category. Maybe they needed new bike helmets or outside toys when they are younger. Now maybe what they need is something creative or something practical like a docking station for their phone. It can be just about anything that they “need.”
Next category is easy because they always need something to “wear.” Outfits, pajamas, hoodies, shoes, boots. You name it, if it is wearable, it falls into this category.
Lastly, we always get them something to “read.” Maybe your kids aren’t big readers but depending on their ages, there are always alternatives like a doodle book, or a how-to book, or maybe their favorite story on CD. You can never have enough books!
I made a free printable Christmas List based on the want, need, wear, read method of Christmas shopping. Feel free to print one out and give it to each of your kids to create their wish list. Or print one out for each child as you make your shopping list!
I know Christmas can be stressful for a multitude of reasons, but I hope this tip helps simplify your shopping!
(psst: Those blue links above are affiliate links! If you click and buy through those links, I earn a little extra money to help run this blog and it’s at no expense to you!)