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Christmas List – Why We Only Get 4 Gifts for Each Child + Freebie

Christmas List - Why We Only Get 4 Gifts for Each Child + Freebie    www.GrowingUpTriplets.com #christmas #santaDoes your family tear into the gifts – with the wrapping paper flying all over the place? Or are gifts opened one at a time – everyone “oooohing” and “ahhhing” over each one?

Personally, my family (growing up) fell into the latter of the two categories and I loveloveloved it. David grew up with the first! (Funny, isn’t it? How even in these “small” things there can be a mesh and merge of traditions, ideas, and preferences?)

I remember my mom making a Christmas list in a spiral-bound notebook of what each child was getting – and the corresponding numbers were on each gift! Having five children (before shopping was done on the internet!) meant lots of stores, boxes, gift wrap…and trying to keep track of what everyone was going to get! Oh, and everything had to be pretty “equal!”

Whew! Exhausting, right??

My Christmas List Plan

Well, when the hubby and I were discussing what we wanted to do with our own little/big family, we stumbled upon a really cute idea to keep the gift-giving under control. Now, since our kiddos are still young this Christmas (yep, if you’re just joining me – triplets!), we can keep the $$$ waaaaaaaaaaaay under control. In fact, it’s rather sick how much I can save versus what I know “toys” will cost in 10 years (ish!). This year everything is consignment or used! And I’m thrilled!

Even with the savings from buying used, it’s easy for things to get outta control. I don’t like “outta control.” And I really don’t like toys everywhere. So last year we implemented our new strategy. All year long I keep a “wish list” for them over at Pinterest (<—- Psst! Are you following me there, yet? Check it out!). And then I go pick from there for the following list from David and me:

1. Something They Want

This year we’re getting them Cozy Coupes! Since we live in Florida, I’m hoping they’ll get lots of good use out of them over the next few months. 

2. Something They Need

Ok, really they don’t need anything. But the girls “need” doll cradles for their babies, and Noah needs a tool box like Dada.

3. Something To Wear

This one is so fun. I love dressing my girls alike (my sister and I were 18 months apart and often dressed similarly growing up). So I got them a couple of adorable cardigans in bright colors (kind of like this one, but I couldn’t find the exact ones again). And Noah is getting a studly cardigan himself. :sigh: Is this why people have more children – so they can continue dressing a little one? ;)

4. Something To Read

The babies love – I mean, love books. I’m thinking about this one, this one, and this one. Ok, I love books. I can’t wait to read them their new books!!

So, there you have it. We love this set up because it’s easier to keep track of who gets what, we spend less on gift-wrap, I stress less on fewer gifts, and the focus can stay on the real meaning of Christmas!

Don’t forget to download the freebie below! And if you wanna share the love – I’d be grateful!

My Christmas List – 4 Things

How do you figure out what to get your kids each year from their Christmas list?

Linked up on Meet Penny.

Comments

  1. This is what we do. It works out great!

  2. I love this idea! I would love to know how you interact with friends and family and manage their gifting.

  3. Wow, you are generous – 4 gifts!! Our kids ‘might’ get 2 gifts this year. We have 7 kids, so we are getting them one big ‘family’ gift and maybe each of them will get an additional small gift, but I haven’t decided on that yet. I can’t think of a practical second gift yet and I don’t want to get them another gift just for the sake of gift giving. We have definitely cut way back in the gift area over the years (for birthdays too). Over the years I have learned that they really don’t need much and I try to keep the toy buying to meaningful, practical, educational, and long-lasting toys. And besides, they get spoiled from grandma anyway. ;)

    • Well, like I mentioned, all their gifts are given, used or consigned, so I think we may spend a total of $50 this year – on all 3 kids! As they get older, the gifts they “want” may be something we help them determine ;) such as passes to the zoo or science center.

      • Zoo and museum passes are great gift ideas for ‘larger’ families!

        For me, it’s not about the cost, but more about the quantity. Bringing in so much extra stuff into our house just adds more stress for me – more stuff to clean, maintain, find a place for. My MIL goes overboard every year and bringing all the gifts home and figuring out what to do with them all stresses me out. We usually end up donating most of them.

        $50 for all three kids is great!

        • I completely agree with and understand the need to limit spending and gift-giving to meaningful toys. However, children are only small once. I feel that basing your gift- buying decisions on how it impacts your housekeeping and home maintenance duties is a very selfish point of view. My children are aware that Christmas is about giving and we focus on the birth of Christ and the meaning of this in our lives, though they also look forward to receiving a special, indulgent toy that may or may not be educational, but that they truly want. We do not go overboard either, but seeing the excitement and joy in their eyes on Christmas morning when they are surprised and delighted with their new toy is one of my greatest treasures and I would not change a thing. -

          • Wow, I never thought of my gift-giving strategies and feelings as selfish, and even after your comment, I still don’t!

            Having way too many toys and things in our home not only effects me but it effects our whole family. It overwhelms the children too.

            I never said we weren’t buying our kids ANY presents, I simply said we limit it; when you have many children, you have to do that for financial reasons and space reasons; it’s not selfish, it’s practical and logical.
            My kids will be ‘indulged’ with a gift this year that they are looking forward to receiving and I look forward to seeing and sharing in their joy. I don’t see the point in buying them multiple gifts, just for the sake of giving them something.

            My children are aware of the true meaning of Christmas and as I said above, we usually end up donating most of the toys that get from others.

          • I am sorry if I misunderstood your previous comment, but in stating that the “extra stuff” in your home “stressed you out” made it seem like this was the focus. It just made me sad for the children. I agree with you that gift-buying should make financial sense and that multiple gifts are unnecessary, but what struck a cord with me was the comment about possibly not buying them a small gift each because you couldn’t think of anything practical. I feel like sometimes we need to just let children be children. We are also limited for space in our home, but I live with the clutter because I enjoy watching my children play and would never deprive them of their own things simply because I don’t like to clean around them. Soon enough they will be grown and I want to cherish every moment of the “mess”. Have you considered having others donate toys in your children’s names instead of gifting them, so that your children don’t have to part with new toys that they haven’t been able to play with?

  4. I completely agree with and understand the need to limit spending and gift-giving to meaningful toys. However, children are only small once. I feel that basing your gift- buying decisions on how it impacts your housekeeping and home maintenance duties is a very selfish point of view. My children are aware that Christmas is about giving and we focus on the birth of Christ and the meaning of this in our lives, though they also look forward to receiving a special, indulgent toy that may or may not be educational, but that they truly want. We do not go overboard either, but seeing the excitement and joy in their eyes on Christmas morning when they are surprised and delighted with their new toy is one of my greatest treasures and I would not change a thing. -

  5. I really love this approach. I’ve been trying to figure out what to to for my trio this year. Thanks!

  6. I love this thought!

    We have five kids and limit it to $25 per child. The older ones know that their toys/wants usually cost more for a quality item so they may only get 1-2 gifts where as the littler ones can get a few more items for the same amount. We explain why there might be a difference in the number of gifts, and they don’t mind at all.

    Our youngest is three and we were able to find new games (unopened still) at a used store this year. It’s so nice to be able to focus on the reason for the giving rather than the amount of toys.

    And I totally agree – there’s only so much room in one house. A lot of times our gifts are books (we have veracious readers) and I love this as they are gifts they love, they don’t take up a lot of space, it’s something not easily broken, and they will have their own collection to take with them when they leave home and start their own families.

    Great post!

  7. We do something very similar – not quite as structured, but similar. Our kids have grown up knowing Santa brings a present. That’s right, one present. Now that they are a little older (twins 5, and 3), one of the 5 year olds asked if maybe they could have 2 presents since they share everything. (seems fair…)

    So our kids get 1 present from mom and dad, a full stocking and 2 presents from Santa. They don’t feel short changed, they play with everything they have/get, and it is about thoughtful gifts – not large volumes of “stuff.”

    In the past Santa gave one ‘fun’ gift and then something they needed (like usually a new snow suit and boots). This year it snowed well before Christmas, so those things came out early – so giving two Santa gifts way probably going to happen anyway.

    We have told family our kids want TIME with them, not ‘stuff’ – and it is completely true.

  8. I can get so carried away buying things for my kids because I just want to lavish them with gifts! It’s my love language. :) Narrowing it down and keeping it under control is very helpful for me. I love your idea. It’s similar to one I picked up a few years ago – they get 3 gifts because the wise men brought baby Jesus 3 gifts. :)

  9. Opened ended toys like blocks,homemade is great cardboard, foam, they float, ribbons tie them on bracelets, or wooden dowels,cars,boats,paints, paper, trucks,all sizes,we get them at thrift stores, small people, felt, for pretend ponds, grass,and sand, they all stir up imagination and work well with blocks,Legos,small or large plastic,animals. Hours of fun

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