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4 Gifts For Christmas: Why We’re Downsizing Christmas This Year

It’s beginning to look a lot like.. 4 gifts for Christmas! You too?

Want the TL;DR version? A refreshing way to reign in the spend at Christmas with the “4 Gift Rule” to Gift Giving. Bonus, it helps to keep the over supply of unnecessary, bad-for-the-environment “stuff” at bay.

Last weekend we visited our local Christmas tree farm. They had a cute Christmas grotto setup, and a small herd of reindeer out in the fields.

In between feeding the reindeer, and indulging in hot chocolates, we admired the handmade tree decorations on display from the local church ladies. And the wreaths that had been made by the quote unquote—crazy-deer-lady who owned the farm. Naturally, my Pinterest-addicted, Christmas-DIY-loving-self was very happy.

As I picked up a couple gifts, it got me thinking about Christmas and the art of gift giving. This year we’ve decided to take a different approach to presents, following the 4 Gift Rule, and I’m honestly so happy about it.

The New Rules To Gift Giving At Christmas That’s Simplifying Things for Families Everywhere

In our family, we celebrate six birthdays between the start of November and Christmas Day. And three more between Boxing Day and the New Year. It’s a busy time!

Whilst this doesn’t phase me too much, my mother-in-law has been fretting since August. Bless her, she does love to be organised! So when she requested our Christmas wish lists this year, I thought it time to set new guidelines.

We said no to unnecessary stuff for the sake of it.

I’ve always valued experiences over stuff. And since embracing minimalism, I’m no longer a collector of unnecessary “things”. So the thought of having my house overrun with children’s plastic toys that made noise and required a battery filled me with dread. To ease my fears, I decided to take action to allow a leaner, more sustainable Christmas experience this year. We implemented the 4 gift rule to giving at Christmas.

That isn’t to say that down the line, we will never have a house full of toys. Because I’m sure despite my best efforts to keep things minimal, we totally will. For this year, though, a smorgasbord under the tree just didn’t seem necessary, and here are the 3 primary reasons why.

01. We couldn’t come up with a huge list of things he needs.
We’re pretty minimal when it comes to baby and children’s things, for starters. We benefit from a lot of hand-me-downs, and we have a select collection of age appropriate toys/games that encourage his natural curiosity. We’re also lucky to have play centres and playgroups within a stones throw.

02. We don’t have the space for excess things.
As we don’t have a whole lot of room in our house for a bunch of “stuff”, I’ve had to be strategic about storage options. We want our house to be a child friendly space that’s conducive to the Montessori philosophy, whilst still stylish and comfortable. Which means we try to be intentional about the things we purchase. So if it’s a toy for the sake of a toy, we can do without.

03. Christmas is expensive, and it’s not worth going into debt over.
Our extended family has grown fairly considerably over the last 18-months. So Christmas was looking expensive. Therefore we unashamedly made a pact between the adults that for the sake of our sanity, and one less trip to the shops during the busy season, we’d just do the children this year. And we’d keep things comparatively low key, budget wise.

At Christmas time especially, it’s easy to get caught up in need to have the latest things. Which makes it easy to rationalise the expense. And it’s usually wrapped up in the intrinsic desire to spoil your loved ones. All of this usually results in an indulgent overspend that has us regretting it come January. The reality is, a heartfelt gift that’s special is worth more than a bag full of stocking fillers.

Which brings me back to my original point, the power of the 4 Gift Rule to gift giving at Christmas that’s simplifying things for families everywhere. To be honest, this guide is not so much a breaker of new ground, as it is common sense–assuming you’re not the type to get caught up in a Christmas shopping spree.

The guide follows four key principles that you can implement in your home this Christmas. Ready? Here it is. Read it. Save it. Share it. Implement it. And enjoy a leaner, more eco-friendly, sustainable, economical, and intentional Christmas gift giving experience.

Not sure what to gift? Reign in the rampant spend this Christmas, and give just four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. After all, whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is a time to celebrate and enjoy yourself. Here’s hoping the ‘four gift rule’ helps us to appreciate what we receive.

So there it is, the 4 Gift Rule to gift giving this Christmas. Rest assured, Christmas is definitely happening in our house! Santa’s mince pies and brandy and carrots for the reindeer have been ordered. And I have no doubt the tree will not look barren, and Christmas Day will be a joyous occasion.

After all, my very enthusiastic 3-year-old nephew has made Santa well aware of where we all live. But it’s my hope that we’ll be fortunate to give and receive things we need, that didn’t break the bank. Plus if I’m honest, I’m secretly hoping for a lie in on Christmas morning–which would be the best Christmas gift ever!

> You too? What’s Christmas like at your house? Do you have any gift-giving traditions?

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