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Do you sometimes get a feeling of dread when it comes to holiday gift giving? Are you worried about overspending on the kids each year? Then keep on reading for more about the 4-Gift Rule for the Holidays including how to implement it.
The 4-Gift Rule for the Holidays
Somebody, nobody knows who, did once plan what is known as the “4-gift rule” for Christmas, and it has turned out to be an excellent guide for Christmas shopping, as well as to save money. Whether you are budgeting this year, or whether you want to discourage the idea of materialism in your family, consider this plan and you might well be thinking about it every Christmas into the future.
The “4- gift rule” has been around on the Internet for a few years already, so you might well know of it – nobody knows the origin of it and there are even a few variations on it.
I’ve even seen the idea of a snowman from gifts, one per person, that sits by the tree.
The idea behind the 4-Gift Rule for the Holidays
You buy your children no more than four gifts – this really simplifies shopping and does not overwhelm you or your children. Let’s look at it a bit more closely to see how you like it. Here’s how it all works:
- Rule 1. You buy something your child really wants
- Rule 2: you buy them something they really need
- Rule 3 You buy them something to wear
- Rule 4: you buy them something to read
And that’s it!
That’s all they get. It is broad and specific enough and it won’t break your budget either. If your kids are older, you could encounter a bit of disappointment, particularly if they are used to heaps of gifts coming their way or if they have friends who receive far more gifts than what they will now be getting under the tree.
But you can use the opportunity to encourage thankfulness too, and help them to understand how important it is, also, to work to a budget. It is helpful for them to realize that you are still giving them gifts, in fact, four, but it should be explained to them that you are being responsible with your money so that you are able to help them even later in their lives, like for their college fees or a car.
The beauty of the “4-gift rule” is that you can modify it to suit your family.
So for instance if you have a baby or toddler in the home you could do it like this:
- Rule 1: something they want: could be a wooden toy, or ball or doll or train
- Rule 2: something they need: could be like starting a little investment account for them – you will know what to put in
- Rule 3: Something to wear: could be socks, or a special hat, or a special jersey – you will know
- Rule 4: something to read: could be a lovely book for a baby where he can interact with you, singing or counting or where the pictures pop out and interact
If you have teenagers, for example:
- Rule 1: something they want: maybe a cellphone to keep in touch with their friends
- Rule 2: something they need: maybe they need something for school, like a Tablet, or a Laptop, or special sports equipment, etc.
- Rule 3: something to wear: could be a gift card at their favorite clothes store
- Rule 4. Something to read: a new book series you know they’ve had their eye on, or a magazine subscription, etc. My older boys have used Kindle Unlimited to find things to read (and no late fees!)
4 Benefits of using the 4-Gift Rule for the Holidays
- A real benefit you get out of the 4-gift rule for Christmas is that it takes away the stress, and makes shopping much simpler, particularly if your family is larger.
- Another benefit is that it makes it easier for the child to receive the gifts because if everybody else is also buying presents, children often become overwhelmed – now they can enjoy each one more.
- Another benefit is that it saves you money too. The 4-gift rule gives you motivation too, to keep your money spending in check, within your budget. If you don’t budget, it simply becomes easy once again to overspend and that means carrying debt into the New Year.
- You can apply this rule too, to somebody in need – you and your children together could choose a person who really is in need of something. You could give the gift to a child who is in an orphanage or someone who is old and housebound and has no family or friends. Helping someone in need can make a great difference in their life as well as your own.
Have you implemented the 4-Gift Rule for the Holidays?
What types of gifts would you select for your family members?