THE ART TO BUYING GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
Although I come from a family with loads of children, when it comes to buying presents be it for birthdays or Christmas I’m always at a loss. I obviously want to buy the perfect gift that will be loved the most when the kids open it. However, the budget for me is important and plays a huge role. I don’t believe in purchasing expensive gifts either, especially if the children are still at an age that everything they see they want. I was thrilled when I came across the 4 Gift Rule to buying a child presents over Christmas, as I think it super handy!
WHAT IS THE 4 GIFT RULE?
You may have already seen a few posts about the 4 Gift Rule doing its rounds, I hadn’t until recently, and will definitely be using it going forward. The thought is that you buy your child no more than 4 gifts for Christmas.
Basically what the 4 Gift Rule Entails is:
- Buy something they WANT e.g. BumbleBee Transformer
- Buy something they NEED e.g. Running shoes
- Buy something they can WEAR e.g. Golf shirts our son looks super adorable in them 🙂
- Buy something they can READ e.g. A book about aeroplanes
Our son is still pretty young so it’s not so much about asking for super expensive gifts, but it’s all more about the concept of opening presents. I confirmed it recently as we were undecided on whether to have a party or not. Our son’s only concern was that he needed to have his friends around so they brought him gifts. With the 4 Gift guide, it does make it easier when shopping. You will always know what your child really wants, needs and the wear and read, neither can anyone have too many of those. As they get older and budget dependent you can adapt the rule to suit your family.
BUYING ON A BUDGET
If the 4 Gift Rule doesn’t work for you and you’re on a budget, another way of buying Christmas gifts for your kids is deciding how much you’re allocating to gifts and buying a gift costing the same amount for them all.
So if you have R300 to spend on gifts for your three children, then you will have R100 to spend per child. Just don’t be tempted to add on because you found something super adorable which they simply must have.
Times are tough and we need to watch how we spend over the holidays.
LET THE KIDS BUY
Growing up this was the method my mother used on us kids. We would all be given say R100 and asked to buy a gift for the other siblings. It forced us to be super thoughtful and creative with the gifts, and at times we may have even pooled the money in order to get a gift one of us kids really wanted.
It’s a super cool way to teach the kids the concept of thinking about others.
NO KIDS OF YOUR OWN
Before I had a child of my own, I loved spoiling my nephew and nieces, and some of my friends’ kids too. Never at the time realising that I may be buying them gifts the parents would be “hating on me” for it.
Here’s a list of gifts that I believe shouldn’t make the uncle or aunty shopping lists:
- Stuffed animals – I’ve had to donate some of the ones our son received from his baby shower. He never really got into them, and we just have too many. I was really running out of storage space… ok! Don’t be judging me now. I know a few of my parent friends who feel the same way about these stuffed gifts.
- Sweets / Junk Food – there’s so much communication about eating healthy, please listen to it. Too much junk and us parents are dealing with a child that’s puking or crying or complaining of a sore tummy. It’s not funny and we have to deal with it while you chill at home.
- Giant Toys – They look cute in the shops, not at home. That’s why you seldom see a whole bunch at the store you’re buying them from, there’s always one or two. It’s for a reason. Like point 1 above, we DO. NOT. HAVE. SPACE. at home.
Here are a few items you could get for your nephews and nieces, that parents will love you for it:
- Clothing – kids can never have too many cotton pyjamas, t-shirts, shorts, shoes just please keep the colour neutral so it’s easier to mix and match with what they already have. Also, please ask the parent for the correct size. We had a situation once where our son received a t-shirt that was for his age group, unfortunately, he is wearing clothing 2 years above his age group.
- Books – there are so many great classics that we grew up with, find one that you enjoyed or is interesting to share. These will be read over and over again over the next few year, else it will just gather dust. Just being honest.
- An Experience – wanna be a super cool uncle or aunt? Why don’t you find out from the parent what the child/children are into and plan a morning or day with the child experience it with them. They will love it! The memory of the day will stay with the child for a long time, and you will give me a break and some quiet time. If you can’t go on the experience a voucher to experience it with a parent will do just as well.
Now go out there a conquer those malls sooner rather than later 🙂