Have you heard of ‘the four-gift rule’?
It is a simple idea that helps make shopping for kids’ presents a little less overwhelming. Basically if you follow the four-gift rule you buy four presents for your child at Christmas or on their birthday.
These four gifts fall under the following four categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.
Want. Need, Wear. Read.
How neat. And it rhymes. Bonus.
This is more or less what we do here for birthdays and Christmas – except our version (although I can’t take credit for its invention) goes like this …
SOMETHING TO PLAY WITH
SOMETHING TO WEAR
SOMETHING TO READ
SOMETHING TO SHARE
It is just as neat. And it still rhymes. Bonus.
It is almost the same. The ‘NEED’ present is gone, but I think ‘WEAR’ covers that generally. That’s the (maybe) boring present taken care of. And this one has ‘SHARE’ which is a great concept – especially if you have a few children.
How this Four-Gift Rule works
This is THE present – the toy they REALLY REALLY want! At Christmas time in our house this is the present that Santa brings them.
This is some new clothes, which my son will throw to the side (unless there’s a superhero emblem on the front) and my daughter will get very excited about – demanding she wear it straight away. Note to self: pre-wash all Christmas clothes.
I love to buy books for my kids. They each receive two new books a year – one for their birthday and one for Christmas (with fortnightly trips to the library in between). I always put a message and date on the inside cover so we can keep track of who received it and when.
For birthdays in our house this is usually a present from one child to another and it is usually something little that is most fun to use when playing with others, such as a board game, jigsaw or walkie talkies etc. At Christmas though, this can be the present from Mum and Dad and it is usually a bigger ‘shared’ present. One they can all use – like a swing set, trampoline or cubby house.
Why I like the four gift rule
- It like that it is simple and it makes shopping simple. It focuses your ideas and stops you going overboard – or it helps you when you don’t have much of a clue on what to buy.
- It can help stop you overspending.
- It gives a bit of consistency – children will know what to expect.
- It still looks impressive under the tree.
- I also like that it includes the opportunity for children to give presents to their siblings on their birthday and enjoy the giving as much as the receiving.
How do you ‘do’ present-buying in your house?
We’ve created some printable Play Read Wear Share gift tags for you if you are keen to try this out in your house this year.