I've always believed this gift-giving rule is great. It keeps things simple and prevents over-buying (and spending), curbs the "gimmes" and helps not fill up your house with a bunch of over-priced, poorly-made, going-to-be-broken-or-forgotten-about-within-a-week junk. It helps us re-focus on what this holiday season really is about. Whether that is religious or spiritual beliefs or simply a focus on kindness, giving and family & friends. :o)
While I think this rule is great- I've never been able to go quite that simple. We do something along these lines- but I couldn't cut back to just 4 gifts. I guess have the expanded version of the 4 gift rule. LOL
Then of course there's the gifts Santa brings. He brings 1 or 2 gifts for each boy off their wishlist, depending on what they are. Momma had a talk with Santa a few years ago and asked him to cut back on his gifts and he was nice enough to agree. Mommy also is in contact with Santa each year to let him know what items are ok to bring and what ones she requests be vetoed. ;o)
- Something they Want (usually a toy or video game)
- Something they Need/can Wear (Eldest always needs clothes since he grows so fast & the Littles always get a new shirt b/c ALL of their clothes are second-hand and I think they deserve something new at least once a year. Usually socks & undies show up too.)
- Something to Read (a new book)
- Something to Play (a board or card game)
- Something to Do (usually a jigsaw puzzle or a word search/puzzle type book)
- Something to Create (like a coloring book, drawing pad, art supplies)
- Something to Watch (a movie) This one isn't a must- but it usually is included b/c I find great deals on new or used DVD's and we love having family movie time. :o)
Santa also takes the time to help fill the stockings. He decided to make Mom's Christmas morning a little less hectic by putting an orange in the toe, along with a small juice bottle & mini donuts for us to munch on while opening gifts. He's usually pretty thoughtful and sticks a new toothbrush in there as well. And he never forgets some cool fun-flavored chapstick for the boys either. If the boys were extra good that year then he puts in a small candy treat & small toy (like matchbox car or new earbuds) as well. Mom sometimes will sneak a few things in the stocking before Santa comes too- especially in Daddy's stocking.
Now I'm curious as to what all other parent's gift giving ideas/rules at Christmas are. How do you control the craziness of this gift-giving season frenzy? Or do you not even try? Please share with me in the comments. No judgement here. :o) Just curious. While I admit I'm not able to go as simple as this rule- our tree is nearly as over-loaded as it once used to be years ago.