Gift Guide: Wear, Read, Want, Need, Give, and Get From Santa Claus
This generation of parents – US – we are changing things. We are parenting in a time when research is readily available, and we are all well aware of the mistakes that have come before us. We are making changes and causing waves, shaking it all up! (Or trying to anyway.)
We watched our own parents over-give, and now we are seeing them struggle into retirement. We are learning the value of living smaller, simpler, and smarter. We are trying to raise children who are grateful, charitable, kind, connected, and inspired. This ties into day-to-day living, as well as holidays and birthdays. It is incredibly hard for so many of us – I actually suck at it. I over-buy and over-celebrate everything, but I am really trying to cut back this year. Yes, I have said that before, and yes, I will still over-buy compared to families who have this method down, but I own it, and I am trying – and I never spend what I do not have.
I’m embarrassed to say that I keep a running list of ideas on my phone throughout the year for holiday gifts. This can get out of control quickly in my house. I have read (and tried to implement) the “Wear, Read, Want, Need” rules in the past and have failed miserably at following through. So this year, I am trying it a bit differently. The overall gist of the above mentioned planned is to simplify the holiday gifting experience; making it easier to afford and easier to appreciate the gifts that are selected. Instead of buying all the things, you focus on one gift in each category:
- Something To Wear
- Something To Read
- Something You Want
- Something To Need
But four gifts each is not the Christmas my family desires.
I love that so many families have made this work!! I just want to be real here. We are not capable of this right now – it’s just not our mentality. With that in mind, I wanted to share what our plan is this year. Perhaps it will help you, inspire some genius idea that you can share with me so I spend less money too - ha!
Wear, Read, Want, Need, Give, and Get From Santa
I created six papers for each child, each one with a different label at the top. They can write lists, cut pictures out, draw, or ask for our help, but can fill the pages with all of their ideas. From these lists, my husband and I will create our master gift list and include different amounts from each category. The categories are:
- Something I Want To Wear
- Something I Want To Read
- Something I Really Want
- Something I Really Need
- Something I Dream About Santa Bringing
- Something I Would Love Santa To Give To a Child In Need
(The list making has begun) I will try to keep the categories limited to under 5 gifts, but I still make no promises. Think about it – 5 small books? I know I’ll get more than that, and I’m not beating myself up over it. I will also make sure that all of the gifts are awesome. No one wants to unwrap plain white socks – this is the perfect chance to find unicorn-covered rainboots and knee-high striped socks! Who am I kidding? I’ll find a pair of polka dot socks too. This can be a slippery slope, and that’s what I’m trying to prevent, but I know myself and do want to have fun while shopping!
My major rule is to only buy what can be afforded. I highly suggest you follow this rule too – I know I want to spoil my grandchildren some day and not be terrified of my financial situation.
The categories of “WANT” and “SANTA GIFT” will be the longest lists from the kids, I am sure. This will take serious restraint. The Santa Gift will be 1 large family gift and then a few small items per child. The “Want” gift list is the one I will need to sit down and talk through with each child. I want to work on helping them talk through the wants – why it is wanted, the purpose and use(s) it will play, and the quality of the item. I want the kids to narrow the lists down over a two-week period and rank the top 3-5 items. From there, my husband and I will pick 1-3 of the highest ranked items.
My favorite category is “GIVE.” My children love to buy gifts for each other! My husband spends a day taking each child to the store to pick something out for the other siblings (we have four children). I think making a list of ideas will help them when choosing on the day of. We also collect items for an angel tree person each year, and we donate toys for families in need, but this year, I really would like the kids to plan it on their own. I will pull four angel tree children similar in ages to each of my children to purchase for, and let them brainstorm for a few days.
There is nothing better than teaching your child how special it is to be Santa on Christmas. Just writing this article has me all excited for the holiday season! What are your holiday gift giving ideas this year?