Simplify your Christmas gift giving by giving only four gifts to your children using these four gift rule for Christmas printables. Make this rule a fun family Christmas tradition.
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Keeping our Christmas traditions simple and focused on Jesus has always been a priority for me. The day after Christmas used to be complete chaos as we were still knee deep in wrapping paper and trying to find places for all of the new toys my children recieved.
We used spend the week before Christmas cleaning out and minimizing, but it never seemed to help? This is when I discovered the four gift rule for Christmas, also know as the Victorian Christmas.
We still spend time cleaning out and decluttering, but the pressure is not as much to find lots of space since we started using the four gift rule.
What is the four gift rule for Christmas?
Basically, the four gift Christmas rule is exactly what it sounds like. Each child or person receives only four specific gifts. They are:
- Something they want.
- Something they need.
- Something to wear.
- Something to read.
Does the four gift rule work for all ages?
The four gift rule is perfect for all ages of children, even grandparents and extended family. Everyone wears clothes, wants something, needs something and can enjoy reading (or creating something). It also helps kids to not be overwhelmed with the amount of gifts they receive, and to appreciate what they get.
How can I make the four gift Christmas rule a new tradition for my family?
Make it Fun
Introduce the four gift rule in a fun way. Here are a few things you might try:
- Have your children make a wish list for each of the types of gifts. You might find some things on those lists that surprise you.
- Have you kids make lists for each other of things they think the other kids want.
Get Everyone Involved
Ask grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles to get on board with the four gift rule. They will most likely love the idea as it will make gift giving easier for them. You might even see if some of your kids friends’ families are interested in doing the same thing. This way, the kids will be “in it together” so to speak.
How do you get the grandparents on board?
Getting the grandparents on board with only giving four gifts per child may be a difficult task, especially if your parents are like mine. They love to bless their grandchildren with lots of gifts at Christmas. Here are a couple of ideas with convincing them to start this new family tradition:
- Sell them on how it will be good for your kids to get less and appreciate what they do get.
- Show them how much easier it is.
- Suggest some Christmas charities that provide for less fortunate children that they could contribute to.
- Make a tradition of the grandparents shopping with the grandkids for Angel Tree children.
- Ask them to use the four gift rule as a way to pass down favorite books or items of sentimental value to your kids.
Do kids only get four gifts total or just from parents?
You can handle the number of gifts your kids get any way you like. Some people like to have the children get four gifts total while others like them to only get four gifts from mom and dad. You can use the rule to limit gifts any way you like. I share below how we plan to use the rule to help limit spending in our large family.
How do you handle kids wanting more than four gifts?
Helping kids make the transition from getting lots of gifts from friends and family to only getting four gifts or significantly limiting their gifts with the four gifts for Christmas rule, can be a challenge for some children. The situation can be handled differently for each child but some general rules of thumb to follow would be:
- Make the change as positive and fun as possible.
- Don’t change your mind based on your child’s reaction. Keep your word.
- Be excited, even if your child is not.
- Get your child involved in giving to others.
What if my child does not like to read?
If your child does not like to read, you can handle that situation in a couple of different ways. First, you could stay with the “something to read” idea and buy the child books that you think they may like such as comic books, graphic novels, or purchase a magazine subscription. You could also purchase audible credits for them that could be used for audio books.
A second option would be to change up the last gift from “something to read” to “something to create.” There are lots of options out there to fit in this category. Creating can include anything from crafting to baking. Some parents like the creative category so well that they add this category to their gift giving and use a five gift rule. The choice is yours
How do I make the four gifts for Christmas rule work for a large family?
When you have a large family, the four gift rule can be used to lessen the burden of gift buying for everyone. We plan to use the printable gift tags below to let our children draw names and specific gifts. You can read more about that process here.