The Four Gift Rule: Making Christmas Special With Less

I've come to my senses when it comes to gifting around the holidays.

Several years ago I heard of the four gift rule and my first thoughts were that it was never going to work but now that I have embarked on what you can call an eco parenting journey, I've come to my senses when it comes to gifting around Christmas.

Changing My Ways

For years I bought a lot of tat and plastic crap from the likes of Ali Express and Wish to fill their stocking with stuff that was never looked at twice. I would pile their presents in a display like manner a week or so before Christmas Eve just to get an idea of how many presents we had. I'd wonder was it enough and if not I'd be off shopping again like a crazed woman.

A New Approach

It was absolutely bonkers and it got out of hand pretty easily. Looking back now a huge portion of that "stuff" is now at the landfill having been played with a handful of times and I couldn't regret it more.

We have a strict gifting rule in our house. The kids now get one main present from Santa after that me and my partner pick and choose what they get. It might sound mean to some but it's just how we do it around here and I have absolutely no regrets. As they get older things may change slightly but right now it works for us.

In order to cut down the stress of Christmas, the four gift rule became a huge tradition in many homes and I can totally see why. I think it's brilliant.

Not only does it save a lot of time, money and sanity, but the four gift rule will also teach children that they can't have everything they want.

After all, nobody wants a little greedy gut who wants the sun, moon and stars under the tree, am I right?

What Is The Four Gift Rule?

The four gift rule is pretty simple. Let your child pick something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

It's a catchy little rhyme alright.

Personally, I think it's genius. Not only will it eliminate all the crap they get at Christmas, but it can also help prevent us parents going overboard and children will actually appreciate what gifts they get under the tree instead of being overwhelmed with stuff they don't really need.

The Four Gift Rule

  1. Something They Want

    A bicycle, scooter or skates, it's the big-ticket presents that will spark utter joy.
  2. Something They Need

    Do they need a musical instrument, swimming lessons or maybe a tablet for school projects?
  3. Something To Wear

    We are not talking about pants or socks here. Now is the perfect opportunity to get the tracksuit, sparkly dress or trendy trainers they've been pining over for months.
  4. Something To Read

    It can be something as simple as a large picture book for littles or an entire series for teens whatever you choose, keep it inspirational and memorable.

Over to you, what do you think of this thoughtful tradition? Is it something you are willing to try this Christmas?

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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