Four Gift Christmas Rule

November 29, 2016

It's finally that time of year! The sleigh bells ringing, the Christmas trees being put up, and the every worrying of mothers trying to figure out what to get their children, and still have a decent budget afterward. For the first several years after Monkey's birth I would save every extra money to buy him a dozen toys that he never used or that he didn't care about it (I mean seriously, why did I think a 1-year-old needed a bike I have no idea. But the point remains... I seriously believe families these days stress way too much about what to get children for Christmas. 

As a Christian household, we obviously celebrate the birth of Jesus during this time. The gifts, the candies, and everything else has started to overshadow that in my opinion. I hear of people going into debt for Christmas gifts, and setting crazy high allowances for each child. If you are able to do that, that is great! I am not dogging you at all for it, but in my family of a single household we just can't.
Last year, I came across an idea of the Three Gift Rule, and The Four Gift Rule.  I loved them both. Now the Three Gift Rule  is based on the three gifts given to Jesus at his birth, I adored it. But as someone just starting to try to "slim down" on the presents, the four gift rule fit my family better, for now, we hope one day to be able to do the three gift rule! 

There are several different versions of the four gift rule and this is ours: 

  • 1 Thing They Read: I love reading, and I want my children to love reading. The best way to keep reading as an important part of the home is by making books readily available. We have a lot of books, and it's probably something that I should declutter but I just can't yet. We use the "1" loosely because sometimes 1 thing can mean 1 box of several little books or 1 big expensive book. Just depends on how you want to do it. 
  • 1 Thing They Want: If your child is like mine, anything they see on TV or in a magazine is directly followed by a  "I want that". So this gift is simple, pick something that they want. Doesn't have to be educational, doesn't have to be what you like, just something that they want. 
  • 1 Thing They Do: This is probably my favorite gift to buy, it takes some thinking. This can include passes to the zoo, the local museum or even those pottery kits from Walmart. No matter how you want this to go (maybe movie passes for an older kid), this is my favorite gift because it gets rid of the "boredom" and gives them something to do.
  • 1 Thing They Watch: Throw your stones if you want, but my five-year-old loves to watch a movie before bed. It's been our routine for several years and it works for us. But watching 1 movie every night throughtout the year means you get to watch a lot of repeats. I should mention he doesn't have anything but a DVD player in his room, so he has to watch DVDs). This is his time to get something new. If you don't agree with watching TV that's okay, this can mean tickets to a play, tickets to a game, or something along those lines.

What do you do in your household? Do you have a particular tradition that you will follow this year? Let me know!

1 comment

  1. This is a GREAT idea! I'm a Christmas NUT and I always go WAY overboard. I mean, way, way, way overboard. I'm a giver, it's my love language!!! LOL So when it comes to my FAVOURITE holiday and my FAVOURITE people, I go crazy. This year we're going to Belgium to visit my brother (He lives there) so we have to bring our presents on the plane! It's been really tough to find things small enough and light enough to go in a suitcase but that still compete somewhat with the other years. Pretty sure, this is going to solidify Santa isn't real. Whoops!


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