Fighting the Gift Giving Man: the Rule of Four.

I have always considered myself to be a rather cost conscious gift giver, particularly around Christmastime when my list is six times longer than I ever planned for. But on Tuesday night? Oh no. I switched from the lady that kept a running tally down to the penny of what I’d spent, to the woman who has a glazed, “Spare-no-expense-keep-that-debit-machine-warmed-up-I’m-buying-stuff-for-my-kid” look!

Scary, like whoa.

Like many of you lovely folks, I’m trying to reduce the amount that my family consumes. And if ever there is an opportunity to pare down, Christmas would be it. My goal is to minimize the junk that piles up at our house and instead have a home that contains cherished items (you’ll note I specifically didn’t say “full” there). I have been trying to remember to purchase the best quality items I can afford when I am looking to replace items our family needs; in theory better quality items will last longer and look better – it’s worth the investment. Right?

So what the hell came over me as I was standing in that toy store? Why did all the $2.99 and $6.99 cheap plastic toys hold so much appeal? Why did I think for a milisecond that Attia needed “this” or “that”. To further illustrate how unnecessary those items were, I can’t truthfully even recall what toys I was considering in that moment. I am stunned that I remember telling my mother-in-law on multiple occasions, to prevent me from buying anything else for my eleven month old.

Ah! The dangers of retail. Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s necessary, useful or will be loved. I know this. Sean and I have talked at great lengths about it. So why did I fall victim to the urge to BUY! BUY NOW! BUY MORE! SAVE 10% 15% or 50%! Those damn retailers are good at what they do, that’s why. And I guess I have impulsive tendencies.

For the rest of my shopping, which thankfully isn’t much, I will be armed with a list of names of people that I need to buy for and specifically what I need to purchase for them. I will not be open to suggestion, or easily swayed by sales. I want what I want – and that’s final. Further to that, when it comes to my immediate family, this is the guideline we’re now following for Christmas and birthdays. Four presents: want, need, wear and read.

This image has been madly popular on Pinterest as of late, and for good reason, I think!

What guidelines, if any, do you guys follow for gift giving. Do you lean more towards quality or quantity? Do you set limits? How long is your list?

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