Last Christmas was our first Christmas with a baby. When the conversation of Christmas came up we had to decide what traditions were going to adapt as a family. It was exciting to pick what we wanted to do. Things I knew I didn’t want:
- to spend a bunch of money
- to raise spoiled children
- to have a house full of toys
That’s when I went looking for a tradition that didn’t involve aimlessly shopping for a crap ton of toys and I found The 4 Gift Tradition.
What is the 4 gift tradition?
If you have never heard of the tradition it goes like this- each kid gets 4 presents each one falls under a specific category.
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
I love that this tradition covers the difference between want and need. It’s such a good lesson and I really like the idea of teaching it so young.
So this category is what you think of when you think of a Christmas present. This is the present that would be used as their “big present.’ What is that thing they have been wanting all year or would love to get. Both of our babies are still under 2 so we picked this present for them but if you have toddlers here are some ideas of things they may want.
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This is where you can get your kids really thinking about what they need to have.
Some ideas could be:
- equipment for a sport (new glove, a bat, skates)
- something for school (a backpack, new organizer)
- do they need to replace something that is broken or outdated?
- supplies for a hobby they have (scrapbook paper, new headphones)
One of our presents to our kiddos is either a new outfit or something they can wear. This category is kinda open ended. You can customize it for each kid or make a rule for all your kids.
- new coats
- something they’ve had their eye on to wear
it’s completely up to you.
Ahhhhhh… my favorite category as an educator, books! You can change this up for whatever age child you have. For older kids I love the idea of having them writing down books they WANT to read. It’s a great way to make reading fun for kids.
For smaller kids like mine, we buy them an assortment of books to start exploring. This year we opted for cloth books that both our 19 month old and 2 month old could enjoy together, were soft enough to play with around the baby, and were durable enough to last.
Christmas is about family and tradition. You can use this system and make it work for your family. We do these four gifts but we also added a gift for the kids to share and we still do stockings as well.
This tradition works for us because it keeps the holidays simple. Using the 4 gift tradition keeps Christmas about family and not JUST about gifts. I want my kids to understand that we are not made of money and that presents are great but wants and needs are separate things.
Buying 4 presents will make each one special and Christmas morning will be more than just a free for all of wrapping paper. My house won’t be turned into a giant toy box of toys that will be forgotten by January 1st. My hope is that this tradition will make the holidays fun, will teach my kids to appreciate what they have and will keep us from being wasteful and buying things we don’t need.
So, what do you think, will the 4 gift tradition be something your family will do?
What to get a mom to be for her?
I don’t know about you but I am really big on handmade gifts or gifts that are helpful. So, when I got invited to my first baby shower since becoming a mom I wanted to make sure my gift would be helpful. I knew that this mom to be had lots of family who had made sure she was covered for baby essentials. So, I wanted to make sure she had a few items that made all the difference to me. Which led to making a mom to be care box.
Making a care box
Once I decided to collect a few items for the mom to be and skip the traditional baby shower gift. I knew I wanted to add items that were useful. So, I added the following “somethings”:
- Useful- an item that I used a lot once I was a new struggling mom.
- For self care- beauty, bath, an item that would make her feel good about herself.
- Sweey/cozy- who doesn’t need to feel cozy after baby is here.
- Helpful- an item that you wish you would’ve known about sooner.
Think of a gift that helped you get through those early days of being a mom.
For my something useful I went with this laundry backpack. I was so sore after I gave birth and with our laundry on a different floor I couldn’t hold a basket against my tummy. I found something similar to this on clearance when I was postpartum and I LOVE IT! It made getting laundry done so much easier.
At my baby shower a close friend made me a little hospital goodie bag of things to pack. It was a super sweet and useful gift and full of things I would’ve never thought of.
Two of those things were dry shampoo and face wipes. So, so simple but made me feel so human after delivery. These were my two self care items for this care box.
Just try and think of the thing that made you feel clean or fresh while at the hospital or when you got back home. What helped you feel “put together?” Include this as your self care item.
Sweet and cozy
This one was easy. What is something that would make your mom-to-be feel cozy or sweet? Maybe she likes a certain kind of chocolate or is she a coffee lover?
For my care box I got her a coffee mug that had a cute Mom saying on it. This is her first baby and I always love getting mugs that make me feel good when I read them. So this seemed fitting.
Who doesn’t want something helpful as a first time mom? Think of an item you discovered or were introduced to when you were a new mom that you wish you knew about sooner.
My something useful was Mother’s Milk Tea.
My friend wants to nurse and doesn’t have any moms around who have nurses so I wanted to include this tea.
This particular tea helped keep my supply up when my son and I were struggling with nursing. Such a simple gift but a game changer I wish I knew about before beginning my nursing journey.
After I collected all my gifts I bought a super cute box that could be used after she opened the present and of course added a small hand written note explaining my gift.
There is something about personalized gift that always made me feel special and hopefully my friend I gifted this to felt that way. Small things can go a long way.
What would you include in your mom to be care box? Let me know in the comments.