Growing up, my Dad would dress as Santa and wake us up with our best Christmas gifts each year. It’s some of my most treasured memories and also some of our best family stories. But that was my Dad’s Santa. Our version of Santa is a busy man and has a lot of kids that he needs to provide for each year. So our girls limit their ask of him to four items: something they want, something they need, something to read, and something to wear.
Mom and Dad will usually come through with an extra special present as well but that’s usually a surprise cause quite frankly, why does Santa get the credit for all the good toys….am I right?!
Not only does this level some expectations of what can fit down our chimney but it also helps corral my holiday spirit on Black Friday. Having that guideline helps us keep our spending in check and makes sure that what I’m buying is serving a purpose beyond the 5 seconds of gift opening bliss.
Ways to Save on Christmas Gifts
I’m a huge fan of eBates. Last year I paid myself back over $200 on my Christmas gifts. It’s free and so easy to use. I have a browser plug in that will pop up anytime I’m on a site that offers cash back and I can activate it right then. Easy savings. If you aren’t on the eBates bandwagon yet, you can sign up here and get $10. Most of the stores I have listed in the gift guides below are offering cash back. Even Target! Read my full eBates review here.
One other thing that I’ve started doing is taking the customer survey’s on my receipts. I had recently gone to Old Navy and they gave me a link to a survey. It took 2 minutes to do and they gave me a code that was good for 15% off online AND in store. That was on top of the 40% off they were offering AND discounts on certain items. All for 2 minutes of my time.
We use the categories for Santa but you could apply them for any family member as guidelines when they ask what the kiddos want for Christmas gifts. It helps people be mindful that the gifts have purpose without taking all the fun out of the gift giving. Here are some of our favorite preschool gift guides following the WANT/NEED/READ/WEAR guidelines.
I spend a lot of my time during the holiday’s trying to recreate the magic of my own childhood for my kids. Christmas was a magical time filled with lots of family, warm memories, great food, gift giving, laughter and tears (mostly of joy but some disappointments too). We are working hard to make sure that our kids have all of that but also understand the real meaning of the season. The season isn’t about getting, it’s about being thoughtful and learning the joy in giving. We start that with our Kindness Elves and continue through to Christmas morning.
And how great is OUR Santa?! He’s visited our annual party for the last four years. He never disappoints.