Monday, July 30, 2012

The Five Gift Rule

I've seen the four gift rule all over Pinterest.  It's a great idea, but I feel like something is missing.  So, I have an addition.  Here is my five gift rule.

Ok, so it doesn't flow quite as well, but I think it's time to get back to creating with our hands.  Back to giving gifts we've poured our time and love into.  Sure, I know not everyone is crafty or wants to be, but there are so many great tutorials out there that require zero special skills (think Napoleon Dynamite).  Why not give this t-shirt scarf a try?  Or this one? This sugar scrub would make a great gift for a teenage girl.  Have some old crayons hanging around?  Melt them into fun new shapes your kid will love.  If baking is more your speed make an extra special cake for your child's special day.  Or try your hand at poetry.  Maybe your mother or grandmother is an excellent quilter.  Then get them involved in the process and have a quilt made from your child's baby clothes like this one here.  I still have some of the gifts my mom made for me and someday I'll pass them on to my children or even their children.  So, all you craft-tastic folks out there and those of you willing to give it a try, go ahead and pin this five gift rule.

I am all for giving a reasonable number of gifts and I struggle with this.  Really, who doesn't want to give their kids the moon - in theory?  But I felt like the four gift rule, while a great start, just wasn't complete.  So there you have it, my five gift rule.  We have two birth days coming up and I'll post on how we incorporate the five gift rule for our kids.

Update: Check out the Five Gift Rule in Action to see how we applied it to Ada's first birthday!

I'm linking up at:
The Shabby Nest
The Humble Brag Link Party


  1. I absolutely love this and will use it!

  2. Great idea! I love the idea of something homemade for any giftgiving situation.

    1. Thanks, Debra. I love receiving homemade gifts too, don't you? Glad you stopped by.

  3. Hey Rachel, What a great idea. We typically stick to one smallish gift and small stocking stuffers, but this is so cool. I'll have to talk to the hubby about doing this!
    Thanks so much for linking up last week at the Humble Brag! Hope to see you back tomorrow to link up more great projects and see if you were featured.

  4. This is great! It fits my ideals with the kids and my tiny budget, but what about Santa? Do you do this too? Can he bring a few? Just wondering! But, love that you included a homemade mom always made us something along with our other gifts :)

  5. This is a bit crazy to me, as a European (Belgian). I've seen the stacks of Christmas presents in American movies, but always supposed this was not something the average American really did. Now I see all these lists propping up on internet, and my mind is having a hard time wrapping itself around the idea that giving 5 Christmas gifts is considered minimalist... . Our kids get the following for Christmas: one book from my parents and one small toy or book from my husband's parents (the grandparents chose what they give). That's it. To be honest we do have "Sinterklaas" (a kind of Santa Claus) in the beginning of December, when they will get a total of three toys from the holy man, and here some of my fellow Belgians do go a bit crazy (I find, but compared to this 'minimalist' list, they would still be very, very frugal). For this, the children get to make a wishlist, but Sinterklaas ultimately decides what to get them, it's all very exciting! In our household, the total sum spent per child is around 70 dollars (+ chocolate). So if they want a bigger Lego box, it will be given in subsets at home and with the godparents. The only other occasion for giving a gift would be a birthday, where we also maintain a total cost of around 70 dollars, godparents and parents together. My concerns when reading this is 1. how do you keep finding fun things to give? 2. how do you cope with the environmental guilt of buying so much stuff for one child? 3. don't children get a bit spoiled? and the big one 4. how do you get all that stuff into the house and then keep it all organized? To be honest, I already struggle with all of those points myself (especially in December,when all the kids get new toys at the same time...), but the idea of having to deal with a heap of gifts for every one of my four children every Christmas stresses me out just thinking about it. But I guess this kind of thing becomes normal when a lot of people do it, and none of us want to deprive our kids, make them feel like they are weird, or worth less, by giving them less than other kids get, so if I were living in the US, I would probably be along for the ride (and get a bigger house, we have a 1500 sq ft house for six people). Good for you that you are trying to gift more thoughtfully!