Some of you might be wondering, what is the four gift rule? Well it is typically as follows :
1. Something they want.
2. Something they need.
3. Something to wear.
4. Something to read.
[I have tried to convince my husband to do a fifth gift: “5. Something to eat.” but he says that’s ridiculous….. Clearly he is the ridiculous one.]
*If you were to chose to try this sometime, know that stockings are definitely still a thing!*
I first saw this idea circulating around Pinterest in 2011 and would always say “That’s a really great concept, I want to do this next year”, then next year would come and I’d be knee deep into the present game and say “well, next year I want to do this”.
Alas folks, this is the year I’m doing it. For most who know me, they know that my main love language is gift giving so you can only imagine how, although I’ve wanted to do this for YEARS, it is also killing me to do this.
Taylor, if it is killing you to do it then why are you? Good question. Have time for a story? Well here’s one anyway.
Once upon a time there was this girl. She would start grabbing a few gifts a month starting in January and twelve months (and lots of $$$) later… Christmas would arrive. Now, more often than not, said gifts would be greatly appreciated and we’d all go on our merry way. The year 2016, though, was an eye opener. It was two days before Thanksgiving and my husband decided to take a job in West Texas that would start the Monday after Thanksgiving. (We were currently living in Ohio.) Our oldest was attending a Montessori school so we agreed that the boys and I would stay until school let out for break and then move to Texas along with him. This meant that all the gifts that had been collecting in special hiding places all over the house, would have to be boxed up and put in a somewhat easily accessible area in the cargo trailer. Once we made it to Arkansas from Ohio, the boxes were unloaded at my Momma’s. After the boys would go to bed each night, I’d spend a few hours wrapping. But by Christmas Eve, I still had so much to wrap. I ended up staying up ALL night, frantically wrapping gifts from the time they went to bed until they woke up to a tree skirt full of presents. I had so killed myself trying to get everything done that within the first few minutes of them starting to open presents, I FELL ASLEEP. I didn’t even get to experience the joy that is a child’s face while tearing into wrapping paper. The day after Christmas we hit the road to West Texas. Because we had yet to find a place to live in our new town, we let the boys keep out three of their gifts and then boxed up the rest and put them back into the trailer. Ten days in a hotel then three days unpacking and getting settled in later…. the boys had completely forgotten about any of the presents they opened other than those three items they chose to keep out. February rolls around, still no interest… March, no questions about where the other presents went…. April, May, June, July, August….. radio silence. I was baffled. I started thinking of all the other presents over the years that got tossed to the side and went unappreciated. Not only at Christmas but birthdays and other holidays that we tend to gift at. Once I realized just how forgettable most material items are, I decided that I’d like to start gifting experiences instead. We had already been implementing this when gifting family members (mostly those of the younger ages or the ones that didn’t actually “need” anything) and felt like it was the right move to make for us and the boys. We ended up going to Universal Studios for the very first time this year for Christmas and I CANNOT wait to share that experience with y’all. It was magical.
Now tell me, do your kids remember everything they get for Christmas? Do they remain interested in the gifts after a month or so?