I read an excerpt last year that I thought was worth sharing this year. It was in regards to Christmas shopping for kids. First and foremost, I think its important to share with our children the importance of the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate.
Our secular celebrating is what sometimes gets out of hand. I'm the first to admit it is so hard to have self control when shopping for my kids, especially for Christmas. But, sitting back the last four years that I've shopped as a parent has helped put some things into perspective.
First of all, our kids don't need ALL the things we buy them! I've sat and watched mine not even play with so many of the toys they have been given by us and family/friends. So, last year I happened to stumble upon a post that gave a guide for parents on how and what to purchase for our kids at Christmas.
So, here it goes: The 4 Gift Rule
1. Buy things they NEED
I love to stocking stuff with things that they need like toothpaste & toothbrushes. Any hair accessories and brushes are also fun stuffers. I also like to get new hats, scarves, gloves, etc. for the winter and put in the stockings. I don't like to give a lot of candy, so I will buy one bag of their favorite candy to put in their stockings and no more. When they were babies I would stocking stuff bath toys, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, etc in stockings. The list is unlimited, but I find a lot of necessities in the dollar sections at stores like Target or Walmart. Also, Target has a dollar/ discounted section that is stocked for the seasons, so it is impossible not to find great stocking stuffers there.
2. Buy things they WANT
So, what's the one big gift item that your child wants? I think this by far is the hardest section to buy less of. Our kids live in the USA! Home of consumerism and sooooo many choices, how could our little darlings narrow down all the toys and "stuff" they WANT? It is hard for us parents to narrow our wants. This is why I say try to stick with one to two wants at Christmas.
3.Buy things to WEAR
This is like a need, but this really is a good time to buy clothes for the current season and ahead for spring and summer depending on when your child's birthday falls. I always try to include clothing at birthdays and Christmas gift giving. Socks, shoes, and underwear are also great things that can be used as stocking stuffers too.
4. Buy something to READ
This by far is one of my favorite gifts to give! As a former teacher, I tend to over buy books for my children. But, I also look at it as a great investment in their learning and education. I like to find books that are good quality. I recommend reading through a book first before buying. I will buy books that are on topics my kids are interested in, and books that can teach them something. One of the best ways to also come up with great books if this isn't your wheelhouse, is asking your child's teacher or google age appropriate books for your child's age. Amazon keeps pretty good lists of age appropriate books as well. Bookstores are also a great place to check if you are looking for anything specific.
So, this blog has no intent to lecture or scold for our urge to overbuy and spoil our children with things we think they need and want. I just wanted to share the list of 4 I read last year in hopes that it helps you as much as it has me in regards to trying to keep the purchases in check, and keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas rather than the spend spend spend mentality.