As the holidays approach and I think about what they’ll look like for my freshly expanded family of four this year, I can’t help but reminisce on my childhood traditions. As a kid, I’d circle away to my heart’s content in the JCPenney toy catalog that came in the mail every year. Ultimately, Christmas wasn’t about “stuff” but rather the magic of the season. Family. Tradition. Joy.
This December, I want nothing more than to see my babies experience that same type of magic. So, when it comes to Christmas gift-giving, my goal is to be intentional. In a world that so often tells us more is more, I want to teach my babies that less can be more. Though this approach may not be every family’s cup of tea (or hot cocoa!), I hope it might encourage you to enjoy a less stressful, more fulfilling Christmas season with your loved ones.
Gifts Become More Meaningful
When we ditch the notion that we must give our kids everything everyone else is giving theirs because it’s “in,” we force ourselves to think about what will be genuinely cherished by our children. Plus, one or two unique gifts are more likely to stand out as treasured and beloved over the years—adding to the magic that is memories of Christmas past.
Gifts are More Appreciated
A pile of presents can be fun to open, but kids can quickly lose interest in any gift when they have a dozen more to choose from. With fewer gifts under the tree, they might prize the ones there are more. Plus, the whole family can be present and tuned in to everything else Christmas morning brings, like togetherness and gratitude for the small things.
We Set an Example for Our Children
Can’t we all agree that the idea that money doesn’t buy happiness is healthy to introduce to our children? Even if giving “more” is within your means, the gift of humility and the ability to enjoy the simple things is invaluable.
We Teach Our Children About a Minimalist Approach
Kids might not see the benefit of this when they’re young, but there’s a great chance they’ll appreciate it as they grow older. Until then, let’s be honest: the playroom doesn’t need to look like Target’s toy aisle for your kids to enjoy it. There’s enough to keep up with daily, and living without extra clutter never hurts anyone.
Other Types of Traditions Become More Special
Cutting back on gifts under the tree means more room to delight in everything that makes Christmas what it is. Whether that’s leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, attending Christmas Eve church service, or reuniting with extended family, those are the moments your children will cherish. Whatever it looks like for your family, there’s so much more to love about this time of year than material things.
Ways to Embrace a Less is More Approach This Christmas
There are many ways to give “less” to make it all count more. Here are a few ideas.
The Four Gift Rule
This is also known as “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.” This method streamlines gift-giving expectations while allowing you to fulfill their practical needs and most-wished-for items.
Rather than filling the home with more things, experience gifts minimize “stuff” but keep on giving. These can be anything from zoo memberships to concert tickets to family getaways or day trips. Memory-making is critical here. If you’re worried about your little ones not having much to open, try getting creative with their stockings. Who says you can’t wrap each stocking stuffer?
Embracing this approach at home can provide families with endless opportunities for creativity and fun. While it may work best for those with older children, there’s something extra sweet about each member focusing specifically on one other person.
Remember To Focus on What It’s Really All About
It can be easy to get caught up in the chaos of the holidays. But Christmas is more enjoyable when we remember to focus on what it’s all about. By realizing that less can be more when it comes to Christmas gifts, we allow our families to soak up the truly good stuff the season has to offer.