Christmastime is the most wonderful time of year, but it can quickly take over all your hard-earned savings and lead to a significant amount of stress. Year after year, my husband and I have followed a Pinterest-inspired idea that has kept us on a budget. Our gift giving tradition has allowed us to refocus on what’s truly important during the holiday season — our family.
What’s our secret? Well, it’s all over the internet, so I bet you’ve seen it by now. But just in case, here it is!
We choose a budget for each other and then select a gift from each of these four categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It may not seem like much, but this is a tradition in our household that makes the holidays a truly special time. I always look forward to my husband’s creativity and seeing what he picks out for each category. Along with many other holiday traditions, this is certainly one that we are passing down to our children. Although our daughter is too young to fully grasp what all this means, and our next baby isn’t due until February, I am hopeful that they will both enjoy the simplicity of this tradition as much as we do.
In addition to the four gifts above, we add two more gifts that I think make this simple gift-giving theme even better: a family experience and an act of kindness. The family experience might include passes to a museum, a gift certificate to a favorite family restaurant, or tickets to a show.
For the acts of kindness, there are no limits on how many you can complete, and no act is considered too small. For the last several years, we have participated in a local gift drive in which we are assigned a child and then asked to purchase clothing, toys, and other items. Sticking to a holiday budget allows us to buy for a child in need, which makes it worth it year after year. I look forward to when my kids are old enough to help us pick out the toys and deliver them to the local organization. There are countless ways to give back, and there is no better time to do so than during the holiday season!
I would love to hear from all of our readers! Do you limit how many gifts you buy for your children, or do you load up the presents under the tree so the unwrapping lasts for hours? There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone has to do what works best for their family, and my hope is that we can all teach our children to be appreciative of what they have and to be generous and kind to others.