Most of us have memories of waking up and finding stacks of presents under the tree on Christmas morning and just getting that giddy feeling of magic in our bellies. I know as a parent you want to recreate that same magical feeling for your children this holiday season.
We want to take a million pictures of their smiling faces and awe expressions looking at the presents under the tree. We want to give them the world and all the joy in it.
But we do not want is debt, huge credit card bills, and stress waiting for us. Sometimes it takes months to pay off that 10 minutes of joy the kids enjoyed.
Now no one said we still could not spoil our kids, but we have to be smart of the items we buy and when we buy them. You do not have to watch your kids be disappointed with the gifts but you also don’t have to watch your debt rack on.
The great news there is a solution to keep everyone happy this holiday season. It all comes down to this easy gift-giving strategy called the four-gift rule.
What Is the Four-Gift Rule?
The four-gift rule is super simple. It even rhymes, so it’s easy to remember.
You will focus your holiday spending on just four things for each child:
- Something they need
- Something they want
- Something to wear
- Something to read
How it works is that you will buy one gift per category for each child – that’s it. The only catch is that it can get very expensive the more kids you have. To help offset the cost you could always take out one category, it will make a difference.
Using this strategy will help with clear boundaries and what type of gifts to get. Not only will you have an idea what kind of gift to get but how much you are willing to spend. This is a great way to start a new tradition with the kids. It will reduce the stress of finding gifts but also the financial stress.
Budgeting not only helps with stress but helps you stay within your holiday budget means. Trust us no one wants to deal with post-holiday shopping regrets.
Something They Need
The best way to tackle this is to look around and see something the kids might really need. It could be school-related or sports-related either way it could be something that needs to be bought. You can always sit down with the kids and talk about the things they need and pick one item.
You do not have to just stick to the basics of underwear and socks when it comes to this category. If you need more ideas check out our 55 gifts ideas that are not affected by the short-chain supply.
Something They Want
I am sure this will be the kids’ favorite category. They get to have something they have been wanting all year or maybe just saw on a TV commercial. This will be the one that counts to them the most. So you can save money on the other gifts and make this one the expensive one. You can make a list of the things they really want and tell them to make it count because you will only choose one item from the list.
Just make sure to set a spending limit for this gift — whatever works best for your holiday budget.
If you want your money to go even further try using coupons, rewards sites, and shopping sales. This goes for each and every category on this list.
Something to Wear
Honestly though – go for the socks and underwear. we always need those. If your household is like ours the socks have their own black hole they disappear to when getting washed and dried. You can never have enough socks.
Some other ideas for something to wear are hats, headphones, hair accessories, rain boots, and coats.
When it comes to this category you can even make an entire outfit if it’s within your budget. Maybe do some pants, a shirt, and shoes.
We highly doubt the kids decided to add any clothing items to their wish list, so you can make it fun and make it personalized. Maybe their favorite band t-shirt or personalized jewelry.
Something to Read
If you save this category for last it can be an easy decision on what direction to go. Maybe you go with the idea of doing a hardcover book or maybe get them an unlimited option like Kindle Unlimited from Amazon. They have amazing-priced membership options for all your needs and wants.
This gift category is a great way to get the kids to be more interactive with books and have fun too. The Kindle Unlimited offers so many options from cookbooks for kids, comics, arts and crafts for all ages and so many more possibilities. The best part is as they grow up they can find all their ever-changing wants and needs in books.
Bonus: One Gift From Santa
If you ended up getting all the gifts for each kid and still have some money left in your budget then you can do a gift from Santa. This could be anything from a game for the whole family or getting an extra gift for each kid. Maybe another one from the want category if it’s not expensive and says it’s from Santa.
A great way to use the extra money and buy small items to fill those stockings up. Check out Dollar Tree, they have so many great deals for just $1.
So the next time you are at the store buying gifts, just remember our four-gift rule to help avoid stress, debt and for kids to know some gifts are from you not just Santa.
Keep the holiday joy and fun without all the extra financial stress this year. Make it a family tradition so the kids can one day pass it on to their kids. This will help set your kids up for stress-free, debt-free holiday shopping.
And remember, have fun!
Happy Holidays from our family to yours.