Controlling Christmas

Christmas gifts.
Image via Wikipedia

If gift-giving is part of your family’s holiday traditions, it can be difficult to know where to stop or how to control the chaos, clutter and costs. There is a very simple poem that can help. Consider this Victorian adage to narrow down your gift selections:

Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear
And something to read.

The first one is the fun gift-a toy theyʼve asked for, a DVD they love, a game or craft kit you think theyʼll enjoy. The second gift is utilitarian. In the past that has included new character sheets for the bed, curtains for a newly decorated room, toy bins, decorative pillows, a lamp, etc. The last two are obvious, but donʼt feel limited by clothes and books. Consider shoes, dress-up clothes, winter boots for the snow, jewelery and coats. Some fun ideas include magazines, book lights and story kits to fit the last category.

The key is to control your budget by not over doing it. There is no reason to spend a ton of money on gifts just for the sake of having a bunch of gifts under the tree. Set a budget, stick to it and if you end up spending less, that is okay too (especially with young children who donʼt understand the dollar value anyway).

The holidays should be a fun, relaxing time so don’t get caught up in the rush of having the largest stack of presents.