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October 17, 2018 3 min read

Remember when you were a kid, and Christmas was absolutely the most exciting time of the year?  It meant dessert at lunchtime, spending all day in the pool and, of course, a sweaty Santa bravely battling an Aussie summer in fur-lined boots and jacket.

But now, the tables have turned.

We are the ones responsible for making the magic of Christmas happen.   And when that magic comes to mean mountains of presents (putting you in a debt hole that makes you seriously consider selling a kidney on the black market) it’s no wonder that Christmas starts to feel more like a time to endure than a time to enjoy.  And what do our kids get out of the present mountain?  Overwhelmed?  Entitled? An overflowing rubbish bin a month (or a week) down the track?  Christmas has become ‘Consume en Masse’.

However, one simple idea could change all that.  It’s the 4 present Christmas strategy, a concept that is designed to bring back the simplicity and joy that was the best part of Christmas in the first place.  The guiding principle is that you buy four good Christmas presents that come under four different categories.  Quality over quantity wins the day every time. There are a couple of variations floating around, one of the snappier ones is as follows:

Good Christmas Presents Challenge

Something to play with

This will often be the present that your kid has been asking for ALL BLOOMING YEAR.  Obviously, there’ll be some sort of monetary cap for this based on your personal budget.  Life-size, fully functional Batmobile may not be a viable option.  (Or it may be, in which case: props to your welding skills)

Something to wear

While your child’s thoughts may go straight to bright pink, taffeta Princess Elsa gown with this category, there’s a really wide range of options for good christmas presents in this category.  Shoes, swimmers, kids sunglasses (we’ve got that covered)… this can be as practical or as playful as you need it to be.  Babiators Lost and Broken Guarantee means that Babiators are the gift that keeps on giving.

Something to read

While it may not be the most initially exciting present, a good book with a special message written inside will be treasured for many years to come.  These characters and stories will form the imaginary landscape of their childhood, a precious gift indeed.  And it doesn’t have to be a book.  I remember practically inhaling my monthly Bugs magazine subscription when I was a girl (what can I say, it takes all types).

Something to share

This category is for those good christmas presents that enrich family and sibling time.  It could be indoor presents – a boardgame or a puzzle.  Or it could be something for outside – a slip’n’slide or a cricket set.  If you’ve been looking at something bigger, like a cubby or a trampoline, this could definitely be a shared present.

 

Are you breathing a sigh of relief yet?  Calling time on rampant present-buying means that you will have the time and energy to enjoy the real magic of Christmas:  spending time with your family. And the best bit of it is, your kids can learn the vital lesson that gratitude doesn’t come from how much you get.  Rather, it’s in the heart of the receiver.

Do you have your own version of the Good Christmas Presents Challenge?  How has it impacted on your family’s Christmas giving?

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