A few years ago, I was a slave to the toy catalogues, joining the layby in July for Christmas frenzy and worrying about everything I put on my list for my kids. What if they hate it? Is it enough? Is it too much? How many things should they get? Should this gift come from Santa or mum and Dad? and the list goes on. Crazy hey?! I absolutely love Christmas time, but shopping for gifts was fast becoming very stressful the more kids we had! We also seemed to be drowning in stuff by the time the kids received gifts from our extended familiy as well, and the kids seemed tobe overwhelmed with everything and didn’t appreciate anything they were given. It just felt a bit wrong, and the more I worked on simplifying other areas of our home and life, the more wrong it felt.
So over the last 3 years I’ve managed to make things a whole lot simpler for myself, I adopted the ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’ mantra. This has helped in a two big ways –
- It gives me a guideline for choosing what to buy so it makes the decision making much easier.
2. I don’t buy too much, and the kids end up with with some things that they’re really happy with. The unexpected benefit from this was that the kids are much more grateful for what they get.
So here’s the nitty gritty on how I buy gifts for our kids –
The kids all have a stocking that I’ve made for them, and they put it under the christmas tree for Santa, and ‘he’ fills it with 4 things as mentioned above. As we’ve been on a big decluttering journey the last few years, I don’t always put a book if they’re not that into it, only because we don’t have alot of storage in our house and we tend to borrow from the library. So for some of the kids I might put a a crafty or educational type thing in there instead.
Then I usually buy them one small gift, or one big thing to share from me and Dad, and these are wrapped and put under the tree. Quite often it’s something they probably need anyway.
I’ve also asked our extended family to buy the kids things like movie vouchers, and by doing this we have cut down on the amount of stuff that needs to find a home in our little house. Then we don’t have to spend a fortune on an outing in the school holidays, and the kids don’t end up with too many toys. Win win!
So how about you? Have you heard of the saying, and has it helped you to lessen the stress at Christmas time?