Why My Kids Only Get Four Christmas Gifts Every Year

I am going to let you in on a little holiday secret, Mamas. Each year I start my Christmas shopping mid-October. You see my daughter’s birthday is November 16th, my husband’s birthday is November 26th, and my youngest son’s birthday is December 17th. My oldest was the only one who had the decency not to be born during peak holiday season. About six years ago, I discovered after the Christmas and birthday-palooza season was over that I had way over-spent. Keeping track of all the presents I had to buy in such a short amount of time had gotten the better of me. I knew something had to change for the next season, and so in 2012, five years ago, we adopted the four Christmas gifts principle. (Which I shamelessly stole from my friend Tess.)

The four Christmas gifts principle is simple: each child receives four Christmas gifts in these categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Brilliant, right? (Because again, most birthdays fall so close to Christmas in our family we decided to implement this for birthdays as well.)

I looked back at an old blog post of mine to see how my older two children reacted when I first told them about the four Christmas gifts policy. (My youngest is simply too young to remember us having done it any other way.) Back then I wrote:

At first, Sophie was excited about it, until Joshua clued her in to the fact that it used to be “something you want, something you want, something you want, something you want.” So they both kind of pouted for awhile, but after a few weeks of talking about it on and off – I think they’re both finally on board! 

Here is the Christmas wish list my son made for me that year. He was eight then and is 13 now, so it pains me to look back at this! (Holds back sob!)

Four Christmas gifts

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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