I prefer the numerical limit to the dollar limit, but I do feel like I need to be careful and distribute the gift-giving wealth evenly. For example, hubby and I strongly considered giving each child a laptop this year, but then it became clear that our youngest two would prefer, and better appreciate, toys. Plus we’re trying to “unplug” them as much as possible. So saying, “here’s your very own computer” probably wouldn’t be the best way to do that. Our oldest has a computer already (though it’s a bit past its prime) so we decided it’d be easier on our budget to get just our 13 year old a computer–and even possibly buy the components separately so he could build it himself. Then we realized, we can’t really give three kids 4 modest gifts and get one a computer! I mean, we could, but I would fear there’d be hard feelings. This is why we usually save the more extravagant gifts for birthdays, which we will do with the computer.
An image circulating Facebook suggests:
1 thing they need
1 thing to wear
1 thing they want
1 thing to read
I do like this idea and set out to try and emulate this.
Then I realized my kids don’t really NEED anything. They have their wants and I have my list of wants FOR them, but those things still aren’t really needs.
The only need I could think of is warm(er) clothing, and that’s already handled before Christmas. Our weather changes (from shorts and sandals weather) starting early November and that’s when I bring out or buy the long pants, long sleeves and sweatshirts…and those things will only be worn through the end of February for the most part. So clothes and boots really are out.
Pajamas covers the “1 Thing They Wear” and new PJs have been a long-standing tradition in both my family and hubby’s.
I decided for “1 Thing They Read” that I would do boxed sets of a book series for each.
“1Thing They Want” is definitely the easiest, and we’ve modified this to “3 Things They Want.” We are very strict about not buying toys very often, so I don’t mind buying them each three new things to play with (including games) this time of year.
Stockings are usually candy and little trinkets that are too small to wrap.
We also give each child a small gift on the first night of Chanukah and gelt (chocolate coins) the remaining nights.
I’m considering replacing “need” with “handmade.” I haven’t made the kids handmade gifts in years, but I can sew decently and have lots of ideas from super-hero capes to fleece socks. 🙂