Ahhh gift giving, not supposed to be the reason for the season, and yet somehow that’s what it’s become. Believe it or not, the easiest part of no spend December has been buying Christmas gifts.
Soon after we got our kids, we decided me would only give them 4 gifts at Christmas. Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. The trend has caught on a bit recently, but when I first heard of it (from a minimalist friend of mine a decade or so ago) it wasn’t a common fad. Living in a city means we’ve never had a ton of space for extra stuff, so this plan has fit our family well over the years.
I considered trying to make gifts for my kids, but if I know anything about life, it’s that those crafty Pinterest projects end up costing 10 times more than the store bought version.
Instead, I rounded up all the gift/reward cards we had laying around. I also redeemed the points on my debit card for a few of these (something I often forget to do).
$5 Reward card to Toys R Us
$10 Gift card/coupon for Target
$11.52 Left on a Michael’s gift card
$20 Kohls Cash
$20 Gift card to Bath and Body Works
$25 Gift card to Children’s Place
$25 Gift card to JC Penney
$25 Gift card to a local book store
$100 Amazon gift card
First, I searched the local ads and google for coupons to those stores. I was able to find 15%-25% off at most of them and $10 off a $25+ purchase at JC Penney. I also found a coupon for a free mocha at McDonalds. It’s no Starbucks, but I’ll drink it.
I calculated how much I could spend at each store with my gift card/reward + coupon and then set off. I usually prefer online shopping, but I opted for in person shopping to avoid shipping costs.
I used the Target and Michaels ones on holiday things (like gingerbread houses, sprinkles for sugar cookies, and a few little Christmas crafts), and then used most of the others on gifts.
Because we are going out of town for the holidays, we opened family gifts last night. I had planned to wrap everything in newspaper, and then decorate the paper, but the kids offered to close their eyes and that seemed much easier. (They squeezed themselves into their Christmas jammies from last year which were only a tad short in the arms/legs)
None of my kids asked for anything specific this year, which made it super easy. We ended up giving them…
Want: New soccer balls, cones, and goals for the backyard
Need: Bath stuff (bubble bath for people who still bathe, shower gel for the showerers, new loofas for all)
Wear: Headbands, gloves
Read: Our upcoming kids books club selections (March, A Night Divided), and an Eric Carle book for Violet
I won’t divulge their Santa gifts yet, because I think James sometimes reads my blog at school and we are waiting until Christmas to give those (get back to class mister!)
But that’s it, no spend. The only hard part was the guilt I felt over not buying anything for relatives. But it’s just one year, and I like to think they’ll understand.