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I love the idea of the “want-need-wear-read” rule for Christmas. But, is this a Christmas gift rule you want for YOUR family — and can it ALWAYS be the standard?
The Want, Need, Wear, Read Rule
It’s pretty simple:
Want: Something your child wants. Pretty simple, right (until you get a teenage boy, but I digress). Don’t miss my post on the best headphones for teens.
Need: Something your kids needs. Maybe a new backpack, or new cups to drink out of. There’s lots that we buy kids that could be given as a gift.
**I think we need to make sure our kids understand that things we NEED can also be gifts. My kids didn’t get this for a long time, probably because I thought Santa only brought fun things — but there is a lot that we need that can be AMAZINGLY useful (and frankly, awesome, in the long run
Wear: Clothes. Yup, clothes.
**If you wanted to cut this rule down, you could just go down to want, need, read — and their need could be something to wear.
Read: A book. Or a subscription to Scribd might be fun. Depends on your kid.
** I find this to be harder with my teenage boys. They just aren’t into books, and I hate to get something that they won’t use. Books aren’t cheap…
Awesome things about the want, need, wear, read rule
This rule helps you limit spending. I tend to cray-cray at Christmas anymore.
It also helps you show kids that needs can be awesome gifts as well. That’s an important factor (and they will actually ask for more needs as they get older and realize they don’t want to pay for those things on their own)
Christmas is a time of giving gifts, not an all-out gift craze. The end.
Problems with the want, need, wear, read rule
Again, I love the IDEA…. but….
Buying just ONE want is kind of hard.
Especially because my teenagers want EXPENSIVE things. New phones, video games.
My daughter wants washi tape and paper…..
My mamma’s heart has a hard time buying her $10 bucks and them $200…..
Anyway, that can be an issue.
Also, I already discussed how books get less and less fun/used… Something I have to consider with older kids.
Examples of the Want Wear Need Read Rule in Action:
Toddler Want, Need, Wear, Read Example
- A new (likely, loud) toy (like this)
- A fun new toothbrush (these are cool)
- A new piece of clothing they will think is fun
- Books are easy with toddlers — a good board book or touchy feeling is awesome — I list TONS of awesome books in my quiet bag post.
Preschooler Want, Need, Wear, Read Example
- Something on their list from Santa that you can tolerate
- A new backpack for preschool, or a water bottle?
- Fun new clothes (often with a character they love, as we don’t often buy those items)
- A book they will find amazing — often Costco has a wealth of awesome preschooler books (in sets)
Related Gift Guides:
Gift Guide for the 4-Year-Old Girl
That type of example works fairly well through elementary school
Teenager Want, Need Wear, Read Example
- Possibly something on their list, or possibly a gift card to help them buy it?
- Maybe a whiteboard for their room, or new bedding, etc
- Shoes are often an issue this time of year. 🙂
- A gift card to Scribd or an audible gift card so they can get an audiobook (or a real book if they still like to read for fun).
Gift Guide for Your 18-Year-Old Boy
Where to Hide Gifts in Tiny Houses
Anyway, just like with anything, you have to adapt this rule to your own family.
What do you think? Do you like rules for gift giving and planning things out, or do you prefer a more loose-goose approach? Tell me in the comments!
LOL! I have been in Christmas mode for 2 years straight. This year we are taking our youngest to Disneyland for her first trip ever. (in utero does not count! I was only 3-4 months along.) The girls want to dress up which means I have been sewing and gathering bits for their dresses (young Elsa and Anna dresses and Frozen Adventure gowns). Not to mention shopping for unbreakable tree ornaments for a small 4 foot tree we will have in our hotel room.
Since we spent so much on the 4 day 4 night trip as it is we told the girls that this would be their Christmas present . Not to mention we are going to upgrade our 4 day passes to annual passes at the end of the trip. I have a few gifts I picked up during the year (like you but I also get things on sale a year or 3 in advance.) Mostly I have small items I picked up from the dollar store to make the trip more fun and some low dollar amount Disney gift cards so they can buy the trinkets my husband and I wouldn’t normally spend on.
But following your rules for gift giving I think I am set…
They will get new Frozen gowns for dress up.
Frozen themed books for the little one and Coraline for the older one.
They got new raincoats for just-in-case to use on the trip but they also outgrew their old ones (rainy season is right after Christmas in SoCal)
And the annual passes are something they will want once we start our trip. Our oldest didn’t ever want to leave when it was her first trip to Disney.
Hilary Erickson says
Awh — I love this. Having a theme is awesome!