As parents, we often buy into the lie that more, more, more increases the value of our love for our kids when in reality a handful of carefully chosen gifts is much more meaningful. We buy too much because we want to give our children everything we never had, we want Christmas to be special, or we want our children to see how much we love them in the form of tons of presents. I understand how it feels to want to let your children know how much you love them, but you can achieve your goals in another way that will bring true happiness to yourself and your family. Not to mention- you will be dealing with far less clutter littering your home after Christmas if you stick to these 4 guidelines for gifts. You can even take a Minimalist approach with the gifts you request for yourself. Read this post for some pretty sweet gift ideas for Minimalist mamas.
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YOUR CHILD ONLY NEEDS 4 GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS
You see, the whole point of limiting the amount of stuff inside your home is to avoid overstimulation. Too much stuff constantly in view will leave you and your children feeling overstimulated and over time that could lead to anxiety.
It doesn’t hurt to mention that if your children are always given each little thing they ask for then they never have time to fully appreciate what they’re given. It is better to choose only a few carefully selected open-ended toys that appeal to their likes, hobbies, and age. Give your children the gift of time to get to fully explore a toy before another new one overtakes it. Don’t oversaturate their environment.
Before you know it kids grow up and move on to something new. Don’t worry that your kids will feel like they don’t have everything the next door neighbor kid has. It may take a little time to adjust, but I’ve begun to notice with my own children that the fewer toys we keep in our home the more my children bond to those toys and value them. They don’t have their eyes peeled for the next shiny thing because they have a relationship with their toys at home.
Let’s be real. Grandma and Grandpa will gift your children plenty of extra stuff. Politely let them know before any holiday or birthday parties that whatever presents they decide to buy for your child you’d like those toys to stay at their house. Better yet- ask them to choose an experience gift for your child and let them spend the day making memories instead of accumulating junk.
Making a change to a better lifestyle isn’t without its bumps in the road. The grandparents, or other loved ones, may not love hearing your request to limit toys, but as long as you keep your disposition sweet the situation is more likely to go smoothly. They don’t have to like your parenting or lifestyle choices, but you do deserve for them to respect those choices.
'The less stuff you have, the fewer gifts you receive, the more you will value and care for the things you do have.' -Leah 'MamaBear' MartinClick To Tweet
A GUIDE TO BUYING CHRISTMAS GIFTS WITHOUT OVERDOING IT
When I was growing up, I thought that things had to be extremely intricate, detailed, or over-the-top to be impressive. The older I get the more I understand the value of simplicity- basic items that are very well made- and I respect things that are more practical, and my suit my needs.
Last year I stumbled across the Minimalist method for purchasing Christmas gifts for kids. You can read a little more about what I thought about that in this post, but this year I feel like it is a better fit for my family now that both my children are old enough to talk and show me things they like or dislike.
Minimalist Method for Buying Christmas Gifts for Kids
The basics are this: each child gets something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Choosing to buy your gifts this way will bless your child with a well-rounded collection of Christmas gift items when all the packages have been opened, and it will limit impulse gift buys on your part that won’t satisfy your child long enough to leave the Christmas tree.
What Does a Minimalist put in a Christmas Stocking?
Okay- I’ll admit. That heading sounds like the lead in for a bad joke. lol But I can imagine you’re sitting there wondering what the heck am I supposed to do with my child’s stocking if I follow this Minimalist Christmas list? In lieu of dollar section junk that will be broken before the kids go back to school, I would recommend filling each child’s stocking with consumables. Consumables are items that will disappear as they are used. I would highly recommend hot cocoa mix, bath crayons, fresh oranges, mixed nuts + a nutcracker (hours of fun for kids, y’all!), chocolate truffles, or a Starbucks gift card for your teen.
Something They Want
This gift will vary based on a lot of variables. You should spend some time with your child intently watching him play. Observe the way he interacts with his toys. What does he like? After spending several afternoons watching your little one play, ask him directly what types of things he may be interested in adding to his Christmas list.
When I choose a new toy for my children, I prefer to pick items that cater to their imaginations so those are the types of toys I’ll suggest to you today.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Boys and Girls
Something They Need
When deciding upon a gift that fits this category, I would suggest choosing something specialized that they may not realize they need. For instance, if you choose to purchase your daughter a motorbike for her “want” gift then you may decide to purchase her safety gear as her “need” gift. If you purchase her a set of real caterpillars to watch morph into butterflies, you might consider a microscope as her “need” gift. Try to imagine accessories that fit her hobbies.
Something To Wear
Start here and read more on creating a capsule wardrobe for your children as well as how to curate your child’s shoe collection down to the only 4 pairs necessary for any child. I would suggest culling items your child no longer wears or plays with before Christmas comes that way you will see what is missing and be able to filling the gaps with the gifts you choose to buy. Gift ideas include: a new winter coat, a warm, sweater with an epic phrase that reflects your child’s personality, or a handmade hat.
Something To Read
You can find a list of my toddler’s favorite books here.
What’s on your kiddo’s must-have list for Christmas this year?