Many parents shower their kids with gifts and stuff all year round, so buying something truly special for Christmas is not an easy task. You want to give them something they like, but you also don’t want to splurge on a pony or bouncy castle. Without a solid plan on the Christmas-present-buying process, you can end up spending thousands of dollars, overload your kids and end up with things that go unused. But now with a four-gift rule! Here’s how to use this gift-buying guide to provide your kids with a perfect holiday.
What is a four-gift rule?
We mentioned the four-gift rule above. What is that? Well, this rule allows parents to avoid overspending for Christmas yet provide their little ones with amazing gifts. The four-gift rule has four parts: A present they want, a present they need, a present to wear and a present to read. If you get one item from each of these categories, you will make your kids very happy without going overboard. And kids can still write a letter to Santa or provide you with a list of things they want—it’s a cute tradition that has to be kept alive.
Something they want
This gift will probably cost you the most money—something your kids want and hope for months before Christmas. Your kids will be completely surprised, but older kids can give you an idea of what to get them. Just to give you some examples, younger kids usually want toys, so check out what’s popular this season. Older kids might ask for a new phone, a skateboard or a bike. If you have multiple kids and they all agree on one big group gift, feel free to invest (like a trampoline, gaming console, etc.)
Something they need
You as a parent know best about what your child needs. However, depending on the age of your kid, they can also voice their own needs. Here are a few ideas that are universally needed for most kids: a new backpack for your high-schooler, a new musical instrument or some new art supplies for your little Picasso, or an investment account that will bring them a lot of money in the future. Pay attention to what your kid needs and surprise them with a perfectly reasonable and beneficial gift—gifts are not all about fun, but practicality as well.
Something to wear
Young kids might not particularly care about this category, but older ones certainly do. This gift can be super simple like a cute onesie for your toddler or something more specific like stylish children’s activewear for your little athletes. Activewear is a great gift for all kids because it can encourage exercise and instill some good habits in your kids. Make sure to take your time and pick out something that matches your kids’ style (don’t go with the same stuff for all kids) and they will love the new addition to their wardrobe and wear the item until it’s completely destroyed.
Something to read
Education is super important so make sure to highlight this fact on Christmas as well. Buying a book for your child allows you to broaden their horizons and spark their love of reading. And feel free to think outside the box (Harry Potter is great but it’s not the only book for kids) and opt for a piece of classic literature, an inspirational book, a cookbook, an autobiography or something completely silly.
For many parents, the four-gift rule is a real lifesaver during the holidays. It saves money and reminds us that Christmas is more than just presents, but family, peace, love and unity. It also teaches kids clarity and appreciation for things they have, while also keeping your house from becoming a pile of clutter.