Ever since my niece was born, I started a Christmas gift tradition with her. I do the tradition as well with my own kids with what they get from “Mom and Dad”. It’s harder to manage here because they get “Santa” gifts too. But with my nieces, I do my very best to stay strict to 4 gifts each.
I did this for a couple of reasons. I wanted to be more purposeful when I bought them items. I didn’t want to buy things for the sake of buying it. (Although I do sneak more than 4 things in sometimes by adding a few items to the box). I wanted part of what I gave them each year to be useful and not just for fun to be discarded 5 minutes after Christmas was over. As they grow older and understand more about this tradition, I also thought it’d be fun to have them take guesses with each one.
So what is it that I do? I use the phrase “Something you WANT, Something you NEED, Something to WEAR, Something to READ”. I actually print out the file I made, cut it into strips and tape the strips to the outside of the boxes!
This doesn’t complicate Christmas, it really does make it easier! I have a budget of what I’m going to spend and look for the want, wear and read parts first! Usually what’s left goes to the need. Because they are still so little, the NEED gift has always been college money.
They might not get as much out of it as I do. They might chalk it up to Silly Aunt Stephanie or wish it was all WANT gifts, but hopefully someday they’ll look back on this tradition and smile. I know I will.