This year, the Hubby and I will be welcoming a new baby into the world SO SOON! And while this is a super happy occasion, it has also made us think more about budgeting and how we want to raise our little kiddo. Our good friends, Eric and Kindsey are missionaries (soon heading to the Dominican Republic) and told us about a neat way to help simplify the Christmas gifts and help to keep the budget under control. It is super simple – each child gets something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. You can still do stocking stuffers and you can still let Santa bring a gift or two if you want. But this way, you can keep a cap on spending and still keep everything even for all of the kids in your house.
A few ideas for what each gift could be:
A Want: Anything can fit into this category – literally anything. Try to go for something fun here like a toy or game. Be sure it is a want and not a need, this is a great teaching moment to help you kids understand the difference between wants and needs.
A Need: Maybe your kiddo needs a new pair of snow boots or they are drivers and need an oil change in their cars. Or maybe they need something for school since we have reached the half way point for the year. This could even be a Hyvee Gift Card for a college student so that they can go buy groceries. Really sit down with the kids and teach them about wants and needs because even as adults this can be a hard concept to understand.
To Wear: Depending on your budget – this can be anything from socks and underwear to a new piece of jewelry or a watch. Or it could even be that pair of bedazzled jeans or the sports jersey your kid has been begging for.
To Read: This can be a book, a magazine subscription, or depending on your budget and the age of your kid – you could even get them a reading tablet or gift card for E-Books.
My favorite thing about this gifting idea – other than being a budget saver – is that it allows the focus to be taken off of the “things” and more on the time spent with together. When your kid knows there is only one “Want” under the tree – the focus isn’t all on ripping into the presents. You can teach them to be more appreciative and thankful for the things they have received.
Another great way to really drive this point home is to volunteer at a shelter or have your kids pick someplace to donate money to. My grandparents gave each of the grandkids $20 the week before Christmas to donate to a charity of our choice and then report back on Christmas where we gave the money and why we felt they needed it. My in-laws also started this tradition last year and it is so neat to see where we all donate. Some of us gave to food pantries while another would pay for someone’s groceries or fuel. Use this season to give to others and teach your kids to do the same.
Until Next Time,