The Four Gifts We Bought Our Kids This Christmas

This year, we are doing something different for Christmas: We are only buying four gifts each for everyone in the family – something to read, something we need, something to wear, and something we want. That’s it! We all gave our input as to what specific item we wanted for each category, but we stayed firmly within those four parameters. 

Since Theo and Oliver can’t see this, I thought it would be fun to share with you not only why we did this, but what specifically we got the kids this year. I have to tell you, doing Christmas this way really simplified things, which was one of the motivations behind this decision.

We are great at over complicating everything, aren’t we? It’s amazing that we’ve managed to take a holiday that means so much, and reduce it to stuff. The consumerism is simply out of control, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a part of the problem just like everyone else.

So this year, in an effort to simplify and narrow our focus, we chose to only give four gifts each! (We will still stuff their stockings full of frivolous junk because I mean, that’s just plain fun.)

Here’s the thing, Christmas is so wonderful and magical as a kid and I certainly don’t want to rob that joy from my children. I’ve always loved presents. Always have, always will. So I made each of the four presents as fun as possible.

But more than that, I want the fun of the season to be wrapped up in experiences, not in tissue paper and bows. That is why I spent so much time creating our 25 Days of Christmas Activity List. Presents might be fun for a time, but the memories that you create through shared experiences last a lifetime!

Here are the four gifts we bought the boys:

Something to Read


Theo loves – loves -loves to read and be read to. This book was chock-full of stories with beautiful illustrations. Plus, I loved that the stories weren’t too long ;-). (Momma loves you buuut, it’s time for bed!)


We, like most families, love us some Sandra Boyton. This book was too cute to pass up for our own little snuggly puppy – Oliver.

Something They Need


Theo is SO close to being ready for a booster. He will be so excited to open this, as some of his friends are already in a booster and he just thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.


We’ve been bumming Oliver’s sounds machine to use since baby sister is in our room and is – well – pretty noisy. We purchased a brand new one for Oliver/the boys’ room. (PS We were totally snobby and anti-sound machine until one day, we needed a sound machine. Now I’m all like, “Dear Marpac Sound Machine. I love you. Don’t ever leave us. Love, your most devoted. -Rebekah”

Something to Wear


Christmas jammies!!!

Something They Want


Theo loves to play games with us, so I went to our local, independent, non-chain toy store and spent some time looking through their awesome collection of kid’s games. I’ve never heard of Set, but the sales clerk assured me that this is a game that has been around for quite some time and has a huge following. I loved that this game challenges kids to think outside the box and is as educational as it is fun.


The mustache tattoos are pretty self explanatory, and will surely be a hit with Oliver, our resident goof ball. (And let’s be honest, I’m totally going to put one of as well. I’m thinking maybe the red one?)

As you follow our family’s journey this Christmas, you’ll see us doing quite a few fun things. We don’t fill our schedule to the brim, but we are intentional about spending time together doing things that fill our hearts. So while there may not be a lot under the tree this year, we’ll have plenty of fun and love to experience, and I don’t feel bad about that one bit.





6 thoughts on “The Four Gifts We Bought Our Kids This Christmas

  1. Those staches are spectacular! They will definitely be worth a few laughs. And Snuggle Puppy is a cute book… We love the song.. Good for you for simplifying Christmas. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it.

  2. We follow these guidelines too! We also add a “donation” gift where the girls get a set amount of money and they choose where it goes. Obviously, this works better the older they get as it is pretty parent directed at this point. Last year they decided to combine their money and buy a share of a cow from Heifer International.

  3. I went the book route for my niece and nephew this Christmas. They have a small apartment and I imagine the last thing my SIL wants is more clutter, so I figured she’d appreciate something besides another toy. 🙂 Love those tattoo staches! 🙂

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