I am sure many of you have seen this cute Christmas poem that is meant to help simplify Christmas and minimize shopping to 4 items.
Something they want.
Something they need.
Something to wear.
Something to read.
I love the concept, but I also love shopping and spoiling my kids at Christmas. Growing up I have very fond memories of the mound of gifts under the tree and the flying paper and chaos as me and my 3 siblings unwrapped all our gifts.
I know Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but I also know kids get a lot of joy out of the process of unwrapping and discovering the treasures inside – no matter what they might be. Growing up my mom would even wrap all the tiny items in our stockings just to extend the unwrapping process and the joy on Christmas morning.
Since I don’t feel I can fully commit to a minimalist Christmas, I decided to come up with my own minimal-ish version. I wanted something slightly more expansive to include other items I typically gift to my children at Christmas time such as a new DVD to watch or a boardgame to play together as a family.
A TOY they WANT: That one toy they are coveting. (Within reason, of course). Santa usually brings that toy in our house and I will pick out something secondary from my husband and I for the kids to enjoy.
An OUTFIT they NEED: New pajamas, a shirt and pant set, a new dress, athletic wear for a sport they play, a new snowsuit, a swimsuit.
A GAME to PLAY: Board games, sports equipment, a new video game, ITunes card for a new app.
A BOOK to READ: Any book or series they might enjoy, a magazine subscription for the year.
Something to BUILD: Craft kits, LEGO, beads, a puzzle.
Something for WATCHING: DVD’s, movie passes, sports event or theater tickets.
+ Enough small TREATS to fill a STOCKING: Chocolate, Gum, candies, small toys, a new toothbrush, a Christmas ornament, socks & underwear.
I have excluded Santa’s gifts in my version, as most people seem to do with the minimalist version. You can always modify as you see fit for your own family. Also, not all the gifts are from my husband and I to the kids – I have tried to include gift giving within our family in the 7 categories. My son will get a Lego set as his “BUILD” gift from his sister and books are always a gift to the kids from our furry family members. (Yes, I know this edges me towards being a crazy dog lady).
Each category also need not be expensive. My daughter’s book set is coming from the dollar store and her outfit is a $7 swimsuit to replace the one she has outgrown. Yes, it is more items and clutter then the 4 item version, but I have tried to get things that they will use and I know they will enjoy.
I think this is something I can stick with for Christmas moving forward. I feel like it will really help give me better direction when starting my shopping and force me to be a bit more mindful of my shopping. As the kids grow older I can involve them more coming up with ideas and the categories will ensure that they feel like things are being kept fair between them.
I have great memories of Christmas as a kid, but I think Growing A Jeweled Rose sums it up nicely in saying: