Should Christmas Be Simplified?

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I don't know about you, but the "stuff" in my house seems to breed while I sleep: the clothes, toys, unmatched socks, not to mention the piles of mail! 

In years past as we would approach the wonderful, beautiful time of the Christmas season, I began to dread the onslaught of gifts for my kids. We have always tried to keep the focus off gifts and to keep things simple, but somehow the gifts still seemed to grow out of control.

My husband and I realized that we needed to do something. We have SOOO many toys around here, so many that they are often unappreciated, overlooked and mistreated! In fact, if the toys in this Nursery came alive á la "The Velveteen Rabbit," they would certainly be working to form a union to protest unfair work conditions, gross abuse,  malcontent, and, too often, neglect! 

After seeing the idea many places, we decided to give our kids only four gifts, each corresponding to four words: want, need, wear, read. 

Here's a breakdown of how it works for us:

  • Want - An item your child desires to receive, like a light saber or a baby doll.
  • Need - Maybe this could be athletic equipment, like new soccer shoes, socks, belts, or even a new pillow!
  • Wear -  Matching pj's for all! Or maybe your kids need new shoes too! Wear can be fun or practical. 
  • Read - I think this calls for a search for a fantastic book, not just Star Wars or Scooby Doo. Check our book recommendation post for some ideas!

I think whoever came up with this deserves a prize! It's easy, tends to be very fair/just, and it has really made for a less gift-focused day for us. It's been a great way to streamline the shopping process, make us appreciate of what we receive, and give us time to discover the true meaning of Christmas!  

Have you considered paring down the crazy of Christmas and getting back to what is most important?  Think of how much easier your shopping could be!