Christmas Categories-a new take on gifting

Each year, I go crazy at Christmas time. It’s my absolute favorite time of year. We have a tree in every room of the house, mounds of wrapping paper, and Christmas music can be heard starting in early November. I love buying gifts for my kids and each year they have over a dozen wrapped items under the tree from us, countless gifts from friends and family, and a large item Santa brings. I’m seriously finding items from last year in my kids bins that have still never even been opened! So this year, I decided I wanted to take a different approach to gifting. I had seen online about some moms doing a 4 gift per kid principle by using the “something you want, something you need, something you can wear, something you can read” concept. I liked this but decided to adapt it a little because A. I can’t commit to buying my kids a “need” for Christmas. If they “need” something, we just buy it when it’s needed. B. 4 didn’t seem like a right number to me but 6 did. Don’t know why. lol So after brainstorming a little with Dave, I came up with these categories for our kids this year:

1. Something to play together
This could be a wii game, a board game, a play set they would all enjoy, etc. For this category, I picked a board game for each of them.

2. Something to create
This is a craft, art item, or activity. My kids love creating things and doing busy work with their hands like their mama. This could be a craft set, art supplies, or activity of some sort. I got P a paint by numbers print of Van Gogh’s Starry night for her room, T got a set of Bunchems, and A is getting a set of bendaroos

3. Something to read
Pretty self explanatory. They each got a boxed set of books they enjoy.

4. Something to wear
I went with cute Pj’s and slippers for this category for when we are roaming the halls of Great Wolf after Christmas. But it could obviously be anything like a cool scarf, a new pair of shoes, a shirt.

5. Something they wish for
Just a small wish list item. P wanted me to re decorate her room for Christmas so she’s getting a new quilt for her bed and some art work for her wall. The other two wanted a puppy surprise.

6. Something made by Mama
This was one of my favorite categories. I wanted them each to have a gift made especially for them by me (with some assistance by Dad in some cases). For T I made a Shopkins display frame with glittery shelves. I’ve of course stocked the shelves with several new shopkins baskets too! You can see how I did it here. For A, I’m painting a picture of the moon over the eiffel tower. She always tells me she loves me all the way to the moon, all the way to Paris, and all the way back home. So I plan on writing that on there too. I’ll certainly post a photo when it’s done. For P I have a HUGE plan to make her a custom dry erase headboard that looks like a giant piece of notebook paper. Then she can doodle on it to her heart’s content. I’ll post a photo and directions of that soon too. I have to find a secret workplace to complete it! lol

This is our first year doing something like this and I really liked having a little check list to go along and it kept me from going insanely overboard. I found some cute little felt shaped tags at Target and assigned a category to each shape. When it’s time to open gifts, we will hand out all the gifts with the same shape out together that way they are all opening their pjs together or their books together. Should be fun!
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We asked Grandparents to gift experiences rather than toys as our children are fortunate to already have so much. We suggested a trip to Greatwolf Lodge, gymnastics classes, horseback riding lessons, ballet classes, museum memberships, etc. Making memories is really better than any toy at the store!

Do any of you do something similar for your kids? If so, what are your categories?

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