Hi friends! Gift buying is in full swing and now that our little family has grown to three littles we are sitting down, revisiting our budget and what we want to spend this year. We are also trying to focus on more meaningful gifts.
My sweet friend Sarah shared this new idea with me…..well new to me. Everyone might already know about it. LOL. After asking her if I could share it with all of you she was excited for me to spread this idea around. When it comes to buying for your children it can get overwhelming and add up so quickly. This year we are trying out a different strategy.
First, I had to share my three little men in their cute Gymboree Christmas pajamas! I bought these back in October when I was Halloween jammie shopping! I also linked some other cute Christmas pajamas below from different retailers. I had fun looking at the girl pajamas too since that NEVER happens over here. 🙂
(If you are reading this in an emailed version, visit my blog to see hyperlinked pajamas) :). I linked my new favorite pair for $15 here. (raised hands high***)
First off, there are 5 categories in this gift buying guideline to follow. When our children were turning 2, 3, and 4 it was so fun buying ALL the toys and surrounding them with gifts. Then a month later, wondering why we have so many toys….. what can we gather to donate or share…….. how to teach our kids to be grateful and take care of their things. So many mixed emotions and thoughts……all me over thinking it….I know. 😉
It does all become so much and can be overwhelming for everyone, even our boys! When there is a room FULL of toys how do you expect everyone to keep it all in a perfect little place and organized in the right color coded labeled basket we made!
So, with that being said, this year my kids are making their usually letters to Santa. They are circling all the goodies in the Toy R Us catalog. (this is something I remember doing as a kid). It was so fun to circle 1/2 the book. I never got it all, but it was still the excitement of this colorful catalog filled with everything we wanted.
The gift planning and guideline for buying gifts will go as follows. (Please remember this is just a guideline)
GIFT #1: NEED
The category of need is a gift I can choose for them that is something they use day to day, but also I want them to enjoy it. I am using this category lightly. For example, a need could be clothing or shoes. It could also be a new IPAD for an older child that needs it for school or college. Category gifts will vary depending on the age of your child too.
Each one of my boys will be different, as my oldest is 8 and my youngest is 1. My 8 and 5 year old NEED new bikes. They have ridden their current bikes for at least 3 years now! It is amazing how long they have lasted. Their knees are reaching the handle bars and Davis’ bike is literally falling apart. He rides so fast and hard I don’t think the bike can handle his little power and speed any longer!
So with that being said, they both NEED new bikes for their rides to school and our family rides to the park on the weekend. This gives them the opportunity to get outside and play together which equals a successful gift choice on my end!
GIFT #2: WANT
The second gift category, the easiest for me to buy is something they WANT. Being little this category is easier, since my boys are always talking about a new toy they have seen at Target or in a commercial. I hope to narrow down this category by focusing on something they have talked about for a long time, not just a recent find. This gift takes a lot of thinking because you are only getting one WANT so its gotta be good!
This year I think we may experiment with something like the Nintendo Switch, Wii or DS. They are still young and we do limit their screen time, so we don’t want to encourage more screen time, but figure a small gaming system or something that is active at the same time will be a good WANT since they keep asking about them. I will keep y’all posted on what we decide on.
GIFT #3: WEAR
This one is usually a no brainer, my boys can wear out a pair of shoes from everyday wear and tear in less than 6 months. Any wearable item fits into this category.
I haven’t quite decided exactly what I will get them this year for the WEAR category, but I know to make it more exciting a pair of Star Wars pajamas or favorite sports team t-shirt might have a better chance of bringing a smile. Also, depending on age this category may be easier for some. I remember asking for certain clothes as I got older and out grew most toys. Also, another idea for older kids would be a certain pair of sneakers, baseball hat, a clothing item you would not normally purchase.
GIFT #4: READ
The fourth category is something to READ. My boys LOVE to get the Scholastic flyer from school. Even if we don’t order anything, it’s always fun to browse the new books. Picking out something to read this year is an easy one for me. Bryson is working on the series, STINK. They have been a fun at home read. He is interested in sharks and nonfiction also, so I think those are my winners for him. Davis loves EVERYTHING baseball, so another great idea from a friend, was KIDS Sports Illustrated Magazine. I think we will try that for him and see how he likes it.
My mother-in-law also found Little Passports online that we are trying out this year. She is ordering them a 6 month subscription. They will get a monthly book with details on exploring the United States and learning all about our country. I think this is a terrific idea! I can’t wait for them to get their first Little Passport book with details. Check out Little Passports here.
GIFT #5: EXPERIENCE
The last gift will be an EXPERIENCE. This is something like tickets to a special show, movie or membership to a particular attraction that they would love to go to. We don’t live close to our zoo, so it is a treat when we can all pack up and head down there. I think this would be a great EXPERIENCE gift.
Another experience gift, would be a membership to our Houston museums. My oldest loves to go and with school again it is hard to make trips there like we use to. Other ideas in this category would be a theme park, concert, or an outing that is out of the ordinary.
This raps up the 5 category gift buying guideline we are using this year for Christmas.
Now with all that being said, I know everyone has different guidelines, budgets, number of kids etc…. This is just an idea that we have thought about and instead of TOYS TOYS TOYS we wanted to change it up and try this.
We are hoping our kids will see the difference and understand that gift giving is a well thought out meaningful thing. And that we are blessed and thankful for all we have.
More pictures of my cuties…….. They were so excited we got our Christmas tree over the weekend! (Bryson, 8) (Davis, 5) (Weston, 1)
You can even shorten this list to picking 2-3 gifts instead of 5. Narrow the list down to the number of categories you feel is best to fit your family.
Another family idea we do every year is I take my two older boys to the store one at a time to buy a gift for the other one. They are still young, so this gift we keep it small and inexpensive. I have taken them to our local Five Below store or discount store for this. We talk about what the other one likes and loves to do, then we browse around and pick out something they would like. I let them wrap it and write their name on it for the other one.
It is so sweet to watch them really try to pick something out and then watch the other one open their gift that is from THEM! Makes them feel so proud. As they get older this idea gets better and better. We even did this for some family members in years past.
Bryson was young and we took him to our local store and he carefully picked out little gifts for his grandparents. He chose a Cinderella Christmas ornament and a light up bulb necklace for his grandmothers and a small holiday tie and Christmas ornament for his grandfathers. It was the cutest idea and his grandparents loved it!
I hope my thoughts have given you more ideas for this gift buying season! I am so excited to try this category gift buying guideline! I would love your feedback and thoughts. Have you tried something like this? Did it work? What successes did you have? Or thoughts to make the guideline better?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!