Our Family Christmas Gift Giving Traditions

Nov 28

This post was sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

A few years ago Bob and I sat down over coffee and had a long talk about our holiday shopping tendencies. It wasn’t our first such talk, but it was the cumulative talk where we got real with ourselves about our Christmas shopping habits to date and devised a new set of Christmas gifting traditions. Today I am collaborating with Walmart to share more about those new traditions and how we decided we wanted to put more effort into selecting fewer, more memorable gifts for the kids and our loved ones over the holiday season. We realized we were both feeling frantic every holiday season and it seemed we were buying endless stacks of gifts that lost their meaning because they were just one among many. We knew we wanted our kids to look back and remember joyful holiday celebrations full of love, cheer and a few really special gifts instead of just never-ending tearing of paper from packages. So, we are now the family with stockings packed full of little goodies, a small handful of carefully chosen gifts for each family member, and matching Christmas pajamas to give Christmas morning that extra cheeky cheer. I mean, you can’t forget the matching Christmas pajamas!

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

If you’re wondering how we stick to just a handful of gifts, we have a few fun guidelines! In general, we aim to buy just four presents for each of us (not including stockings), and each has to fit into the categories of something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. We have fun playing with what each category means so something you read could easily translate into an awesome book set or it could be a splashier gift like a tablet. I love that Walmart has so many amazing options for holiday gifts, especially for kids! Their selection of toys is unparalleled anywhere this side of the North Pole with a range of exciting choices that kids can treasure and play with all year long. At just two years old on Thanksgiving, Em is definitely at a stage where great interactive toys are where it’s at for her, like the Fisher Price Zoom n Crawl Monster, which is almost as cute as she is.

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

Since we changed up our gifting habits, we were shocked at how easily and happily the kids got on board! The teenagers especially find it fun to guess what they’ll get and to scheme up wish lists that fit the four categories. For all of us, it makes Christmas morning calmer, more peaceful and so much happier. The focus is on each other and these great things we chose for one another, which is what we think the season is all about anyway. To get you started with your gift shopping this year I’ve linked below to some of my favorite toys from Walmart! They’re great for kids of all ages and they’re sure to inspire endless smiles throughout the holiday season. Happy shopping!

Cyd’s Christmas Toy Picks | Fisher Price Zoom n Crawl Monster | Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball Pit | Soggy Dog Board Game | FurReal Roarin Tyler | WowWee Fingerlings | Mickey Roadster Transforming Roadster Racer | L.O.L Surprise Fizz Factory | Hatchimals Surprise | Num Nom Nail Polish Maker | Doc McStuffins Baby Nursery

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

Holiday Toy Guide from @cydconverse | Holiday party ideas, easy party appetizers, party recipes, cocktails recipes and more from @cydconverse

[Art direction + cute kid by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]

This post was sponsored by Walmart. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies.

12 thoughts on “Our Family Christmas Gift Giving Traditions”

  1. I could not agree more that Christmas has become so commercialized. We also started a tradition where each of our four children get three gifts as well as stockings. We wanted to teach our children that Christmas is not about endless presents but about the birth of Jesus and celebrating our love for Him and each other.

    1. I think that’s wonderful, Kathleen! I love knowing we aren’t the only ones scaling back and I think doing so makes it so much more special overall.

    2. I have been reading more and more about this 4 gift idea. My kids are 5 and 8 years old. Next year we are definitely doing this this this year we have been struggling financially and toys are becoming so expensive!!

      1. I hope you give it a try next year, Lori! I agree that Christmas has just gotten so expensive and it shouldn’t be so financially stressful. Lots of love to you and your family this year!

  2. I think it’s a point well made. Christmas is about so much more than just gifts! But what do you do when you can’t even buy a few? My girls are teens so of course they understand, but it still hurts knowing I work and work and can’t even buy a Christmas dinner. Life is rough.

    1. Hi Amanda! I know how hard it is to struggle, especially during the holidays. It’s such a weight to carry. One idea that comes to mind is maybe swapping names and each of you could make homemade ornaments for another member of the family, or you could all make a set together to commemorate the season together with something new and beautiful, that dosen’t cause a huge financial strain. I have a project coming up next week that uses broken crayons and very inexpensive glass ornaments that would cost just a few dollars to make. For dinner, why not make homemade veggie pot pies instead of a big roast or similarly expensive dinner? I hope these ideas help! I know it’s never easy and I’ll be thinking of you and your girls! xoxo

      1. We buy one gift each, girl buys girl gift, guy buys for a guy, price limit on ea,. Works great, if you can’t do that not obligated, no hurt feelings, Merry Christmas with LOVE

  3. My husband and I have come to the same conclusion. Our children are grown , have great jobs, own their own homes and really get what they need all year long. So it was like lets get them something they really need or something that will mean so much to them. Spend more time together and less time on material gifts! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    1. I love this idea, Nancy! A couple years ago my in-laws gifted all of us couples a weekend away with an IOU for babysitting. It was amazing and so much nicer than another sweater or expensive gadget!

  4. I love love love This And Am Going To Start This Tradition THIS Year…. I Was Feeling So Overwhelmed That I barely Have Any Gifts For My Four Older Kids…..but This Is So Much More Logical And Makes Me Feel that I Can Still Pull It Off!!!

    1. Yes, Anne! You can definitely pull this off and I’m so glad it’s helpful to you. Our teenagers totally get into it! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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