In my last post, I wrote about how eager I was to get the house in order before Thanksgiving. So far, I've organized the toys and tackled the mountain of outgrown clothes (10 bags for donation and 4 bags of garbage). I still need to clean off the mantel and the kitchen counters. I have quite a few craft/sewing/knitting projects to finish up as well. All of this is done with the goal of having a simplified Christmas.
We follow the "4 Gift Rule" at our house: something you Want, something you Need, something to Wear, and something to Read. With three kids, I like the "4 gift rule" because it makes it really easy for me to plan out the giving. I get similar things for each kid: a toy, a practical thing, a book, and pjs. I even do the "4 gift rule" with my husband. We also do stockings and a "big toy" for sharing. This year, I'm doing a dress-up box; last year, it was a play kitchen.
The other way I simplify is by getting all the present shopping done as early as possible. This frees up our budget for other Christmas related expenses (like travel and baking). It also helps me to be more relaxed and able to focus on the kids and their memories (baking, crafting, reading, etc).
Want, Need, Wear, Read
Bullfrog (husband): Hans Solo action figure, "return of the nerd" coffee mug, new socks, and "Vader and Son" book
Dragonfly (3): Loving Family baby set, pink towel, "wearable" blanket (homemade), and "My First Tea Party" book
Skimmer (2): Fisher Price lights and sound car, blue towel, Planes pjs, and "Planes" board book
Tadpole (1): ___?, green towel, pjs, and touch and feel board books