Every holiday season we’re reminded of our gross consumerism and while I’m not the kind of parent to ban Christmas gifts (don’t get me started on those types) I do think it’s important to put limits on the amount of presents my kids receive. I’d rather give them gifts such as dance lessons throughout the year. I want my kids to enjoy visiting family for the sake of keeping in touch NOT for the gifts they will be given. Plus, I don’t like the mess. The packaging alone makes me have an anxiety attack, so much trash!
For a few years now we’ve been focusing on ONE bigger gift, not from Santa by the way-I never understood why he gets all the glory, let your kids know that YOU worked to be able to afford what gets put under the tree-he just stuffs the stockings in our house. Anyway, I should say we try to focus on one gift but as the day grows closer I’d end up picking up more and more so this year we’re giving the Want – Need – Wear – Read concept a try.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, gifts are limited to something you want, something you need, something to wear, and finally something to read. I have to say, I wish we’d started this sooner. Christmas lists this year were much more thoughtful, it wasn’t a bunch of toys that would find their way to Goodwill within a couple months. Thinking about the things they needed spilled over into the way they thought about everything.
Science kits that would normally be a homeschooling expense were listed as wants, electric toothbrushes (don’t ask) were listed as needs, and for the wear category they included new bags for sparring gear and dance shoes, again things that would be normal expenses associated with their extracurricular activities. This has made it much friendly on our pocketbook and easier for me NOT to overspend!
Below is a free printable of want, need, wear, and read tags you can print off for yourself if you’re ready to give something new a try! I’ll be sharing gift wrapping ideas, including how to use these tags, next week!