We have been working on simplifying our life and being more intentional. With the commercialism of Christmas this task can seem really hard at this time of year.
This year, we are implementing the four gift rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. I had heard about this rule a few years ago and really liked it. I just found it a lot harder to put into motion than I thought.
It is actually an ideal that I wanted to use from Bug's very first Christmas, even if I didn't have the exact little rhyme to go with it. I remember telling a friend I really didn't want to go way overboard with presents for her that year, especially since she was only 10 months old at the time. I ended up getting caught up in the season though and bought her way more than I had planned. Every year has gone pretty similar, I start out with the best of intentions and get caught up in the "good deals" of the season and the excuse of giving my kids presents. I want so badly to make the holidays a special, fun time for my kids that I somehow forgot that it isn't all about the presents.
I much rather give presents rather than receive them, this year will be different though. This past year, I have become overwhelmed with the mass amount of stuff we have. The kids have so many toys, books, and clothes. They don't need anything nor do I want to add a bunch of toys that will be forgot in a couple months. I really want to be more mindful about this Christmas, so I made a list. Lists are my happy place. Organization makes me feel in control and less stressed. I set four numbers for each kid on a piece of paper and filled in what I wanted to get them for each category. I have modified the list a few times since I started it but have stuck to the four item rule. They will also get one gift from Santa of whatever they ask him for, no matter how I feel about it, and some small things in their stocking on St. Nick's Day.
Some days it has been hard not to just buy them all these toys and clothes that I see in the stores but then I just look at our living room and it helps bring me back to earth and my goals. It is much easier when I stay out of stores or only go in for the items I need and not browse the whole store.
Do you have any rules for your Christmas gifts? Do you do a set number or the set amount?