This is part 4 of the Simplify Your Season series.
How is your shopping going? I’m guessing some of you are already finished purchasing gifts…and some of you haven’t started yet! I’m in the in-between stages–I still need to pick up a gift for the husband and one other family gift, and then I’m all set. Simplifying our approach to gift-giving has definitely made the holidays much easier!
Here are three ways to simplify gift-giving:
1) Consider using the three gift approach.
We started this several years ago when the girls were smaller. The girls receive three gifts from us—and we talk about how Jesus received three gifts after He was born. For us, it has simply been a way to draw the attention back to Jesus instead of to the gifts.
Our gifts usually include:
Extravagant: This gift could be a bicycle, doll house, legos, or other fun gift. It’s a gift that isn’t a necessity.
Practical: Clothing, shoes, school curriculum, and books are just a few of the practical items we’ve given over the years.
Spiritual: We also try to give the girls one item to encourage spiritual growth throughout the year. It could be a Bible, Bible study, CD, or a DVD of some sort.
2) Give consumable gifts.
Consumable gifts are those gifts that will be used up. I love how they help keep household clutter to a minimum. Magazine subscriptions, crafting kits, clothing, lessons (piano, art, etc.) and gift certificates are just a few of the options.
I’ve also begun to prefer consumable “experience” gifts. These are simply gifts that help you make memories together. It might be a ticket to a play, an ice-skating trip, dinner and a movie, an outing at a museum, or anything you can experience together! This year our “extravagant” gift for the girls are tickets to a Disney on Ice performance coming up this spring. We’ve never done anything like that before, so I can’t wait to see their faces!!
3) Stock a “Gift Closet”.
You already know I love deals! If I find something I know will be a great gift for one of the girls and it’s on a huge discount, I will pick it up–even if it’s January 1st. Shopping ahead of time allows me to take advantage of the best deals and forgo paying retail price. There is an area in one of our closets I’ve designated as our “Gift Closet”, so I can pick up inexpensive toys, early Christmas presents, and book deals I find. I realize this isn’t an option for everyone (we are fortunate to have extra storage space), but having our gift closet definitely takes some stress out of buying gifts for me.
What are your favorite ways to take the stress out of shopping and buying gifts?