Gift Giving Philosophy

I love Matteo and as much as I want to give that little boy everything in the world, I am also very conscious that I want to raise a child who is grateful, humble, and who does not put too much stock in material possessions. I know so many people to whom “stuff” is all powerful and who will rest at nothing in order to keep aquiring more and more…

That said, with Christmas season fully upon us, Tony and I sat down to talk about how we would go about purchasing Matteo’s presents. I know he’s only 1 year old, and will have no idea what’s going on when he unwraps gifts on Christmas morning, but still — starting early we want to instill traditions that keep him (all of us!) grounded.

Some years ago, I read the saying “Something you want, something you need, something to play with, and something to read.” as a gift giving philosophy and thought it was wonderful! Some people replace “play with” with “wear”, especially for older kids. Here’s a great site that goes over this idea, and how it can change as kids grow — and can be flexible when you want to give a little more:

The idea behind it is you simplify your gift giving by having an outline in mind before you start buying so that you have a natural stopping point. Brilliant!

I mentioned it to Tony and we decided to make it the model we’d use with Matteo. He will receive four presents from us this year, one for each “category” of want, need, play with, and read. We hope to stick to this tradition as Matteo grows — not only to keep Christmas from getting out of control budget wise, but also to keep Matteo from expecting the universe at his finger tips come Christmas morning. We might throw in an extra present or two “From Santa” once Matteo’s old enough to believe in Santa Claus (and then forever there after — I still get a gift from Santa every year. And for the record, Santa’s handwriting looks EXACTLY LIKE MY MOM’s).

Anyways, just sharing this in case any of my mom friends are looking for a way to reign in Christmas without feeling stingy and so that you have a guideline for giving. So far, we have Matteo’s “want” and “need” gifts purchased, and just need to get the “play with” and “read.”

Hope your Christmas Season is shaping up to be very Merry!!!

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