It’s no surprise that Christmas is an expensive holiday. With the great expectation on giving and receiving gifts, it can be so difficult to find balance. After Luke and I had our fourth child, I quickly realized I needed to implement some sort of system for Christmas gift giving for our kids. Our home was filling up fast with toys and I was tired of the expense and the overwhelm of Christmas. Enter: Something You Want, Need, Wear Read Four Gift Rule.
What is the four gift rule?
I’m not sure who first came up with this idea, but it’s been simplifying our Christmas gift giving for years! The four gift rule simply consists of allowing children to request gifts within four categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.
We also encourage our children to expect one gift from Santa and stocking stuffers, so I guess technically we have a 5 gift Christmas rule. If you don’t do Santa, your fifth gift could include a family tradition or activity!
Last year I shared some want, need, wear, read examples in my affordable large family Christmas gift ideas post, but it’s a new year and I thought it would be fun to share even more gift ideas!
Want, Need, Wear, Read, Christmas Gift List Ideas
I am buying gifts for seven children this year. Every October, I give the kids a Christmas wish list with want, need, wear, read categories and have them write down some gift ideas in those categories.
Want, Need, Wear, Read Ideas for Teenage Boy
- Want: Amazon gift card, Apple gift card, iTunes gift card. This age prefers to be able to buy things they want themselves.
- Need: You can place electronics here. My son needs a new battery for his laptop. You may decide to give big ticket items here like a laptop for schoolwork, or a phone since they are spending more time away from the house without you. Other ideas include a water bottle, umbrella, other rain gear, luggage, etc.
- Wear: Teenage boys grow fast! New jeans, shoes, or a coat would be great gift ideas here. You could also spring for Airpods, an Apple Watch, or athletic gear.
- Read: Last year my son got a new teen Bible. He also really enjoys the Rush Revere series. You could also purchase a magazine subscription or comic books.
Want, Need, Wear, Read Ideas for a Preteen Girl
- Want: My daughter has requested make-up, although I’m not quite sure she’s ready for that.
- Need: Here is another vote for electronics you may want to give your kids. Headphones, a tablet, etc. There are other things you can add here, too. Sports equipment (soccer ball, dance leotard, ballet shoes). Camping equipment: hammock, sleeping bag, flashlight).
- Wear: So many possibilities here. Shoes, hair accessories, purse or backpack, jewelry.
- Read: My daughter loves classics like Nancy Drew, In Grandma’s Attic, and Little House.
Want, Need, Wear, Read Ideas for Preteen Boy
- Want: Nerf Guns, VR Headset
- Need: Shoes
- Wear: Same as above, jeans, socks, underwear, winter clothing, hats, movie t-shirts
- Read: Last year we gave my son this Adventure Bible. He also loves any books about animals.
Want, Need, Wear, Read Ideas 5 Year Old
- Want: Dollhouse, Train table, this Bluey House that my five year old is obsessed with.
- Need: School supplies, a bicycle, play couch, wiggle board. (I’m going for ideas to help them get out their energy here!)
- Wear: Same as above…pajamas, winter clothes, etc.
- Read: I love children’s books! Find my big list of living book ideas for kindergarten here!
Want, Need, Wear, Read Ideas Toddler
Last year I came up with my baby’s first Christmas gift ideas, and this year I have a toddler!
- Want: Stacking toys, ride on toys, rocking horse.
- Need: Bath toys, bath gift set, new bath towels, new shoes
- Wear: Socks, adorable outfits, a little coat
- Read: I have a list of all of our favorite toddler books!
Want, Need, Wear, Read Free Printable
I have created this adorable letter to Santa with a want, need, wear, read section that you can print off for your kids to help you with planning their gifts!