The first year we celebrated Christmas as a family (11 years ago) we decided to keep the focus of gift giving with four thoughtful gifts; something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. This has not only simplified our Christmas shopping, but it follows the "less is more" reminder. This allows for more time and thoughtfulness as we choose each gift. This also allows for more time spent as a family, celebrating our "gifts of togetherness" in December - another post to come explaining this.
These are the gifts they get from us and then Santa fills their stockings and brings a gift or two for each and or a group gift. This varies year to year and just depends on what they are asking for.
My husband and I also give these 4 gifts to one other, but we simplify it even more. The "need" is often a kitchen utensil that needs replacing, or a tube of toothpaste to show the kids just how practical we are. ha ha. One year I wrapped lipstick as his "something to wear". And you can use your imagination on what he wraps for me each year as my something to "wear". There was 1 or 2 years my husband and I skipped doing this for one another (somewhere between the thick of parenting and birthing and nursing 4 babies), but now especially as the kids are more aware, It's important to us that they see us sharing these thoughtful gifts.
I involve the children as much as possible in shopping for all members of our family. They've come up with some very creative ideas - like how to give Daddy a gift that they actually want. Family board games have work well in this category.
The next 4 posts I will share my read, wear, want and need gift ideas for my family. I hope you'll follow along and find some new ideas for your family and I'd love to hear your gift ideas also!