Christmas has become too commercial in our house. In an effort to stem the tidal wave of “I wants” we instigated what I call the Rule of 4. Each child receives 4 gifts. One they want, one they need, one to wear, and one to read. We usually only ask our kids for a list of appropriate gift items to give to their Grandparents. They still enjoy shopping for our kids, but at age 12 & 14, but are uncertain about what they would like. Gift cards are great as always, but Grandparents really want to see them open a gift.
This year the items to wear and read will be fairly simple. Our youngest gets cold easily and our oldest (being a crazy teenager) will play soccer outside in any weather. Both will get cold weather gear to wear under their clothing. Reading material is easier this year as my oldest is into survival/wilderness books and my youngest is enjoying creating computer games using Scratch Programming. Both subjects are found on Amazon for easy purchasing.
Needs and wants are a bit different. They often choose what they want, but we choose what they need. This year will be iPad mini’s. I am using Quizlet to help them study for the classes that they are struggling in and there is a Quizlet App available in the App Store. I am typing up information for each class. They then get to use the program to study (flash card mode) and to practice taking quizzes in different formats. We have already seen an improvement in my oldest sons grades just from using Quizlet for one weekend. The mini’s will enable us to have them do more studying while we are traveling and it provides something my son with ADD actually pays more attention to. I am also hoping to find videos in the subjects they are struggling with. Wants are the one item that we pick off the kids Christmas lists.