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The Christmas Five Gift Rule

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The Christmas Five Gift Rule

Christmas is a time for giving but sometimes, it can feel like we’re giving too much. By this, we mean “we’re” as in the nation. TV ads, social media and physical advertising as we wander down our highstreets – they’re full of companies employing shiny faced celebrities and bright lights in order to vie for our attention and sell us their wares. 

After the restrictions of a global pandemic, we can’t blame them. But is it time we thought more carefully about what we’re buying and where we’re spending our hard earned cash? Should we be making more mindful purchases, and fewer of them, inspired by this strange, mid-pandemic world? 

After all, we’ve all seen the Instagram worthy photos of piles of presents and Christmas trees struggling to stay upright due to the mountains of presents below. Is this a little passé now? A little bit, showy off?  

As climate change becomes ever more at the forefront of our minds, is now the time where we can confidently say no to too much stuff? Haven’t we reached peak stuff anyway? 

That’s why we’re fans of the five gift rule concept. It’s not a rigid concept, but it’s loosely based on buying five gifts for someone along the following lines:

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to do
  4. Something to wear
  5. Something to read

To some of us, buying five gifts is super extravagant anyway, and you can adapt this to what suits you and your family. Some of them, such as something to do, can be free – it can be an IOU on some pretty paper to promise the bearer to a day out to the seaside for example. 

Here’s some examples of each for the kids, and the adults, in your life.

For the little ones:

  1. Something they want – the latest toy or game, they would’ve been letting you know about this for weeks anyway!
  2. Something they need – you’ll know, or ask their parents what they need but would equally love to open 
  3. Something to do – a trip to a nature reserve 
  4. Something to wear – their favourite football strip or a practical new coat 
  5. Something to read – colourful books focussed on the beauty of the natural world 

For the bigger kids and adults:

  1. Something they want – you’ll know, as hopefully they would’ve been leaving hints 
  2. Something they need – practical gifts don’t have to be boring, if it’s for something they love doing such as gardening, baking or tinkering with their bike, then go for it! 
  3. Something to do – an IOU for a trip to a restaurant of their choice 
  4. Something to wear – some cosy socks to wear snuggled up during family movie night 
  5. Something to read – the latest hardback by their favourite author or a magazine subscription 

Deciding to do Christmas a little simpler this year by sticking to the five gift rule will hopefully make things a little less stressful. It’ll also help you all appreciate the true meaning of Christmas, and that’s loving and spending time together. 

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