5 Ways to Help Your Kids Want Less for Christmas

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Want Less for Christmas

Have you heard of the 4 Gift Christmas Rule? Each family member gets something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, something to READ.

Joywrap’s 5 Gift Christmas concept is based on the same, but with one more special rule… Another gift to GIVE to someone else in need!

It’s the perfect solution for families who want to simplify, reduce excess and be more intentional with their gifts.

The 5 Gift Christmas is a sustainable tradition that will serve you and your family for years to come.

It’s easy to implement if you are just starting your family or have young children who won’t notice the change. But- that doesn’t mean it won’t work for older kids.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this pandemic, it is that kids are resilient and adaptable. It’s us adults who struggle a lot of the time!

So let’s give our kids the benefit of the doubt, knowing that this new tradition will make your holidays more meaningful, sustainable and totally stress-free for many, many years to come!

Here are 5 tips to get your family on board with your first 5 Gift Christmas.

  • Start Planting Seeds Early

  • No matter how you go about it, changing expectations in advance will make a big difference in how things go on Christmas morning. Keep the conversations positive and start talking about it right away.

  • Be Upfront and Bring it Up Often

  • If your kids are old enough to remember how many gifts they got last year, they’re old enough for a open discussion about gift giving and what’s most important during the holiday season.

    If your reasons for adopting a new 5 gift tradition is to keep your stress level down or your holiday budget under control (or both!), go ahead and let your kids know. It’s good for kids to understand that adults have to make choices about how to spend money and energy, and that they’re not always easy choices. This will help them because one day they’ll be making those kinds of choices too! 

    Remember to keep the conversations positive so that you don’t stress your kids out with adult concerns. For example, you might say something like, “This year, we’re going to focus on giving a few awesome gifts instead of a bunch of just okay gifts.” If your kids aren’t familiar with the phrase “quality over quantity”, this is a good opportunity to introduce the concept.

  • Value Gift Giving (& Impact) Over Receiving

  • Our favourite of the 5 gifts is the “Something to GIVE to someone else in need”. That one leads to the most meaningful conversations, bolsters gratitude and gives kids a higher purpose. It really has the power to transform the way kids perceive gifts. 

    A study published in Harvard Business School’s Journal of Happiness states that, “People valued gifts they purchased for others more than gifts they bought for themselves. And when those “givers” completed a personal satisfaction scale, they consistently scored higher than those who purchased gifts only for themselves.”

    There are so many picture books about valuing giving over receiving that you can read together and discuss as a family. Some of the ones in our house are The Giving Tree, Boxes for Katje, A Chair for My Mother, The Giving Book, and I’m sure there are so many more. 

    If your kids are older, watch a documentary together like Living On One Dollar and then see what meaningful questions and conversations arise. 

    Brainstorm together how your family can have a positive impact this Christmas. There is no shortage of people who can benefit from your generosity and the lessons you are teaching your kids.

  • Lead By Example

  • Follow the same 5 gift rule between parents. You can also practice the concept of “strategic deprivation” throughout the year where you and your children experience the feeling of not getting everything you want as soon as you want it. 

    If you can model and share that experience with your kids, you can help them process those difficult emotions and build more resilience. 

  • Give Your Kids The 5 Gift Wish List

  • Instead of a traditional Christmas Wish List, have your kids categorize the items on their list according to the 5 gifts. 

    This will help them manage their expectations and set you up for your first 5 Gift Christmas with enthusiasm and success!


    Click here for a free 5 Gift Wish List printable!