Sometimes holiday shopping is overwhelming.  I’m not even talking about buying for people outside of my immediate family.  I’m just
thinking about buying for my little unit.  The kids are full of ideas of the things they want, and I’m focused on the things they need.  Finding a balance between the two has been a struggle for years here.  Thankfully the recession has really taught my husband and I that we can have an amazing holiday without spending tons and tons of money.

We have developed asystem for our holiday shopping.  Each child gets one thing they want.  This usually is a toy that ends up being the “santa” gift.  They also get one thing they can wear, be it an entire outfit, or underwear, or shoes.  Then they get one thing they need.  A lot of times the thing they need and the thing they wear are the same.  More often it’s separate, and the thing they need is something that my husband and I make.  For example, this year I am repurposing an old formula can into a chic monogramed headband holder to organize my daughter’s headband collection.  Lastly, each child gets a book.  We are huge readers here, so new books are pretty exciting.  And as far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many books.

So that’s how we keep our Christmas shopping in check, everyone gets roughly four presents from us.  One thing they need, one they wear, one they want, and one thing they read.  It may not sound like a lot, but our kids are more than satisfied with what they get, and my husband and I are satisfied with how much is coming out of our wallet.  Everyone is happy!  How do you prioritize your holiday shopping?

-Stephanie Wright

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