Less Is More in Gift Giving, Right?


Reduce your stress, give the credit card a break and move away from the belief that more is better, and possibly start a new holiday tradition for your family.

It happens every year, that moment in December when you realize your closet looks more like the storage room of a toy store. We are all aware that between the abundance of holiday flash sales, coupon codes, free shipping, and advertisement overloads, that somehow it has become normal to buy dozens of presents for your children each holiday season. And as much as we love seeing that precious moment when their faces light up as they walk down the stairs and see the beautifully wrapped gifts stacked up high – it has become a bit excessive, don’t ya think?

Consider scaling back this holiday season with this simple gift-giving guideline that will forever change the way you gift. Spend less, choose higher quality gifts with more meaning, reduce your holiday stress, and most importantly – provide your children with valuable, lifelong lessons.

Four gifts per child is all you need:

Something You Need.
Something You Want.
Something To Wear.
Something To Read.

Less Really Is More

Try embracing the less is more strategy this year when buying gifts for your little ones. Follow the guidelines of four categories that are practical, sensible and minimal. Present each gift to your children one by one while explaining each category to create the structure of this new tradition, and trust us, they will be grateful for each gift and get excited about this fun gift-giving custom for years to come.


Something You Need: Excelling in piano lessons? Perhaps they need their own keyboard at home to practice with. Starting to take on more responsibilities? Maybe it’s time for a new watch to keep track of time.

Quality, Not Quantity: Because you are only buying four gifts per child this year, your dollar will go the extra mile. Let yourself shop higher-quality brands so your choices will last for years to come. You’ll feel better about purchasing a designer product knowing that you aren’t spending hundreds of dollars on a roomful of less expensive gifts that will break or wear down more easily. If you are on a tight budget this season, then this gift-giving structure is the perfect way to budget down and get more for less.

Something You Want: Little ones can still have fun writing a holiday wish list, but won’t expect to receive every item. Plus, you will still have it as a handy guide while shopping!

Reduce Stress: Yes, the holidays are a magical time. But if you’re anything like us, the carol, “12 Days of Christmas” is less like a cheery jingle and more like a terrifying reminder of the list of things we need to do before Santa comes down the chimney. Less shopping, less wrapping, less running around – we can get on board with this.

Something To Wear: Maybe it’s fancy, maybe it’s trendy, maybe it’s funky. Pick out something outside of normal everyday clothing or accessories to get your little one excited to make a fashion statement.

Family Values: Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this approach to the holidays, is the lesson it instills in the whole family. By putting less emphasis on the material gift, and more on the meaning behind it, we are teaching our little ones to get excited about the things that are really important: family tradition, thoughtfulness, and appreciation for the meaning behind each gift.

Something To Read: Whether it’s a magazine subscription to National Geographic Kids or a complete Harry Potter box set – we don’t need to spell out the benefits of this educational gift to you.

However you choose to shop for your family’s gifts this year, have fun with it and get creative! NJMOM wishes you and your families the happiest of holiday seasons.

Bonus Gift Idea

Consider gifting your family an experience versus a gift. The value of building memories and traditions with your little ones is one they will keep with them throughout their life.

Be sure to tag #NJMOM and @njmomhq to share how your family celebrates the holidays this season.

About Author

Chelsea is a freelance writer and photographer based in the kid-friendly community of Asbury Park, and she loves sharing tips and news about this cultural beach town with NJMOM readers. When she's not discovering new bike trails, playing in her handbell choir, or reading on the beach, Chelsea works as a Children's Library Associate at a public library. You can catch her out in Asbury Park watching her husband play drums with talented local artists - be sure to come say hello!