We Need A Little Christmas- Very Little.


I almost abandoned the Four Gift Rule a few days before Christmas Eve. We were riding along in the car discussing what Brenna hoped to get for Christmas when she said “I need underwear, mine are too tight…I need a size 65 feet…oohh and socks, really soft socks”. She then stared wistfully out the window with a small smile on her face contemplating the joys of really soft socks. I wanted to dash through Toys-R-Us and get everything imaginable for a child who was delighting in the idea of receiving socks for Christmas. Then Stevie said she wanted “Jessie toys” (her new hero from the Toy Story movies) and I knew there was not going to be a single Jessie toy under the tree. I questioned myself about shopping to early, restricting the wonder of Christmas to 4 rigid gift guidelines. I will admit their stockings were heftier than usual but otherwise I held to the Four Gift Rule.

Christmas morning the pile under the tree was much smaller than years past, but the smiles on the girls faces were not. They loved the bean bag chairs that came with their books (To Read). Brenna’s Need item was not 65 foot underwear (though she did get a neat size 6 and some soft socks in her stocking) but a hardcover sketch book, markers, crayons and paint. Stevie’s Need item was a ballerina dress, with wings and wand…and a tea set. I cheated and wrapped them together with ribbon as one gift. The rule was as much for me as for them and I bent it. Brenna’s Want Item was a big one that we debated even getting her-The Nintendo DS. She was ecstatic when she opened it…but it really hasn’t seen as much play in the days following Christmas as we thought it would. I’m a little disappointed that my 4-year-old was influenced by everyone around her that has one, and now that she has one is satisfied to go back to playing dress-up just knowing its there. The girls also received a gift each from Stephen and I (Legos and play make-up) and their gifts from Poppy were there to open Christmas morning (a karaoke machine and a train table). There was plenty to play with Christmas morning, there was still a pile of paper of ribbons and they still didn’t know what to open and fiddle with first. None of the magic was lost.

Our tree and it’s gift stash were smaller, our holiday decorations were at a minimum but this was one our greatest Christmases as a family to date. I thoroughly enjoyed choosing meaningful gifts, having less holly-jolly clutter and the absence of the Elf on the Shelf antics. If you tried the Four Gift Rule or generally scaled Christmas back this year I’d love to hear about it; take a minute to comment here on the blog and let us know how it went for you and your family.  Happy New Year!

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3 Responses to We Need A Little Christmas- Very Little.

  1. Heathervg says:

    After reading the original blog about the four item Christmas (and BTW bear with me me with my comment…I don’t write anywhere near as good as miss hot pants here) I immediately decided to run with this idea. I didn’t even bother discussing it with my other half. He loves most things “cut back” so I knew he would agree.
    Anyway, I embraced this idea to it fullest. I even stole her letter from Santa. I changed it a little cause I don’t have two girls. I have one of each. But, they got the letter in the mail from the Santa along with a book and a few other small things and they read the letter and were so awesome about it. I think they walked a little taller knowing that Santa thought they were good kids that would embrace this idea and give more to the needy.
    I was so much less stressed about What crappy toy I was gonna get my kids that I knew would eventually end up in the donation pile. And felt much better knowing that my kids were getting things that meant something. Not just What was $1.50 cheaper on black friday. I will admit, there was a couple things wrapped together with each category But I didn’t go to far over the limit. Want- they got a nabi 2 tablet and a Wii game a piece. Need- Evan got a bedroom set n Taylor got her a cool ds case. Read- both got cool books and something coozy to read with. Wear- they got PJ’s and a Cool neon jacket. And they got two gifts a piece from mom n dad.
    After everything was said n done and Christmas morning came and went the kids had wonderful Christmas. In my opinion, best one to date. And I think next year I think next year I think we may step it up a notch and have the kids participate in giving to the needy! Thank you for the idea Chris! U rock!

  2. Denise Fisher says:

    I, like you, believe less is more. Our kids are older now (12 and 9) and sadly, they “know.” However, we have always done 3 gifts on Christmas morning from Santa and one on Christmas Eve from us. If three gifts were good enough for Jesus birth, it’s more than enough for us. Let’s face it, I can’t say all, but most of us reading this blog probably have our all of our needs met and some of our “wants.” Like you, I have cheated and catagorized some things over the years. But in the end, my kids have never received enormous or elaborate gifts at Christmas or any other time, but what they do receive is love, time and attention.

  3. Heather says:

    I’ve said it before and will say it again – I wish I had known of this concept when I was raising my kids. i think it is a great concept. The world has become so materialistic and it’s absurd. Some teenage mothers concerned with having name brand clothes versus getting a job. I’ll leave that one alone though. So where was I? Oh yea, smaller Christmas equals larger investment.

    Our Christmas was smaller this year. We lessened what we spent for a few reasons: this concept, money, etc Nobody really questioned anything. Bummer because i was hoping to pass along this new way of thinking about Christmas giving again. 🙂

    This will continue in our home. Less gift giving and more time investment.

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