As Christmas approaches, temperatures drop and credit card balances rise. “I just want my kids to have things I never had, growing up,” is an endearing sentiment from many parents and grandparents every year. But what once was a holiday known for family gatherings and goodwill toward men, has now become synonymous with keeping up with the Joneses.
Nowadays, getting a single Christmas present is unheard of. Not only do people focus on getting the hottest toy before it sells out (or be forced to pay triple the price online), but they also focus on getting the flashiest presents and / or the most presents they can get for their over the top budgets (if they even have budgets). It’s no wonder that Christmas has gotten out of control.
But not for Everyone…
Within the past 10 years some people have started simplifying their Christmas givings in an attempt to rein it in and be more intentional with their gifts. For years a trend has been circulating about doing category Christmas presents, which has also been referred to as the 4 Gift Rule.
The idea is that the receiver gets 4 presents- something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. While I think this is a nice idea, it is not as easy as it sounds.
The flaw in the plan is the need category. Basic human needs are food, water, shelter, and love. Chances are, if you are considering implementing the 4 Gift Rule, 1) You have the internet, and 2) Your basic needs are met. The problem with all other needs is that if they truly register as a need, you try to take care of the need as soon as possible and not wait until December 25th to fix it.
This year I am revamping the categories. I consider clothing a basic need, but it has its own category in the 4 Gift Rule. This is a problem because when I think of the “need category” I think of socks. They are practical and boring; no one wants to buy them. They are need, but you also wear them, so how do you categorize them? Henceforth I propose we combine the two categories. People need clothes. End of story.
Now, what category should we add to the rhyme? Many parents are shifting their mindset and wanting less “stuff” and more experience gifts, so why not make it a category? Let’s call it, “something to do,” instead of using the word “experience.” Many people are actually opposed to the word experience because they associate it with going to an event or taking a vacation, which are both difficult concepts to wrap and fit under a tree. By saying, “something to do,” it takes the pressure off of people who want to give gifts that can be unwrapped. Receivers can still unwrap board games, kitchen items, a science kit, etc. They are still experiences, but it’s an easier concept to explain to others.
So, as of 2017, the New Categories for the 4 Gift Rule are:
Something they Want,
Something they Need,
Something to DO,
And Something to Read
Please comment below with your thoughts!