The Gift of Not Giving {Too Much}

While we are amid the holiday madness, we are wrapping up our final holiday shopping items. I have a challenging time looking at the crazy posts on social media every year about the craze toy of the season or the undertone competition about what parents are purchasing for their kids. Did we not just say what we are thankful for? Health, happiness, and family?!?! Hey – let’s forget that and start a competition with the highest prized item for our kids.

I learned of a great gift giving trend a few years back that Mike and I have introduced into our family. Instead of the abundance of a million toys, clothes, and, let’s be honest {junk} Vinny doesn’t need, we will get him 4 items: Something to wear, something to read, something he wants, and something he needs. This way all our bases are covered and Christmas gifts don’t go overboard. Our son is blessed by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended family that he will get more than enough from all of them, so Mike and I will keep it tame.

Here are a few examples of the 4 gifts:

  1. Something to wear: Is your tot in desperate need of some pants? Is your teen son wearing out his tennis shoes? Now lets not go cray-cray and get a Burberry jacket for your 2yr old or a pair of Gucci shoes for your teen son. Lets reign it in and be realistic. What is a wearable item the child is in need of? We tend to get Vinny items he is low on or growing out of, pants for under the tree and socks in the stocking.  
  2. Something to read: This is a wonderful opportunity to add to the book collection! Vinny loves his bedtimes stories. We always are eager to add to the collection. Lets be honest most teens are on their phones reading stories on Facebook, but now is a time to reintroduce reading. You can always purchase their favorite magazine subscription Glamour, Cars/Trucks, GQ (heck we can read them if they don’t).
  3. Something they want: This can be the item they are really desiring from the big red-suited guy. However, set limits so that you keep this on a reasonable budget. Christmas is the season of giving but not overextending. Is your teen asking for a new phone because it’s needed or wanted? Does your tot really want that power wheel or do YOU want it to be the cool parent?
  4. Something they need: Does your child need a new backpack? This is an item that you know your child needs but didn’t ask for. Now, remember this is NOT an item you THINK they need but more or less an item you KNOW they need. Right now, Mikey and I are relishing in the moment of more reasonable pricing requests. We are adding money to Vinny’s college fund.

The idea to keep things simple is also setting a budget for our holiday shopping. We create a list of people we shop for and then set a budget. We also set a budget for spending on one another. This helps us not get carried away with spending and keeping things within the financial budget. It’s so easy to go overboard if we don’t set a budget before we begin brainstorming ideas for family and friends. The purpose of the holidays is to be surrounded by family and friends and enjoying the company of everyone. Vinny and I love to make cookies, visit target to look at the trees and lights, decorating the house, dancing to Christmas music (hello 100.3 WNIC). We love the holidays!

Let’s remember: the joy on your child’s face seeing lights, trees, and being with their family says more than the money gifts buy!



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