In yesterday's post about "how many gifts" to give your children Julia mentioned a tradition that some families practice of giving their kids four presents (only) - something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
We love this idea for both focusing gift buying/making as well as limiting the (often excessive) number of gifts kids receive when the holidays roll around. It's an opportunity to make the giving and receiving more meaningful. A little web browsing led us to Dandee Designs where Dandee's family has been practicing this idea for a few years after hearing about it from a friend. She describes the idea in more depth here and you can also read about how her kids responded to it here. (She even created paper and wood gift tags to commemorate the tradition.) This also sounds like a good idea for large families who exchange names and only shop for one person. Perhaps each person could write down whether they'd like to receive something to wear, to read, that they need or something more frivolous that they want (we'd also add "eat" to the options!) which might help the giver narrow things down. (photos: Dandee Designs)