Now that Thanksgiving is finished, the leftovers are finally gone, and everyone is awake from their tryptophan-induced naps, it’s time to set our sights on the December holidays.
A few weeks ago the Smyths Toys catalog came through our letterbox. Punky immediately snatched it from my hands and went in search of a sharpie. He was on a mission to make his Christmas Wish List – something I always encourage so I know exactly what he wants, what price it is, and so I can hunt for deals ahead of time.
This year was a bit different. Instead of circling exactly the items he really wants, he was circling entire pages. Really, kid?
He has an entire Ikea Kallax 4×4 shelf in the living room stuffed to the brim with toys he rarely plays with, plus his entire stuffed animal collection chilling out in his bedroom. When he does decide to play with the toys, he dumps out all of the boxes to hunt for what he wants, and then leaves a gigantic mess for me to clean up. Hardly seems fair, does it?
By using the Want Need Wear Read tradition, Punky will get more joy out of what he does get than just random tat that looks cool for the sake of having a big pile of presents under the tree. This isn’t the first year we’ve done Want Need Wear Read, and honestly, he doesn’t really notice that there aren’t quite as many gifts under the tree. We’ve never gone absolutely crazy when shopping, but somehow Punky always ends up with way too much stuff anyway.
Want, Need, Wear, Read
For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, Want, Need, Wear, Read is a plan to give your kids meaningful gifts during the holidays without going over the top. You buy four gifts for each of your children; something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. This can also be extended to include Make, Do, Share, and Feed. Something to Make (such as a craft kit), Do (an experience), Share (such as a family board game), and Feed (a favorite snack, or a restaurant gift certificate).
There are several benefits to Want Need Wear Read. You’ll have less clutter floating around your home, the kids will be able to actually find their new toys along with the old, and the holidays won’t be as hard on your wallet as if you went on a massive shopping spree. This is also a great opportunity to teach your children that Christmas isn’t just a giant gift grab – it’s about spending time with the people you love.
Now, I know this is a hot topic for many families. The WNWR tradition has been highly debated because some people don’t want to only give their kids four presents. They want to have huge, extravagant Christmases. Guess what, guys? If this tradition isn’t for you, no one is making you participate. Celebrate how you’d like.
This year we’re extending WNWR to include Make, Do, Share, and Feed. Some categories will have more than one present because I always make an allowance for a few extra items of clothing, and I always buy several books to add to his library.
Punky’s Christmas List
Here’s a preliminary gift list that I’ve put together from piecing together the random lists Punky has strewn around our home.
Want: Five Nights At Freddy’s Plush Toys
Need: New jeans, sweatpants for lounging around the house in, and t-shirts (he’s in the middle of a growth spurt)
Wear: A new winter coat
Read: The Truth Pixie book by Matt Haig, and The Dinosaur That Pooped series by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter
Make: A Hama Bead Kit
Do: A Grow Your Own Glow In The Dark Crystals science kit
Share: Scrabble Junior board game to play as a family
Feed: A handmade family night out coupon. This entitles Punky to a random dinner out with me and The Husband whenever he chooses. This is perfect because we don’t actually go out to restaurants very often, so it’s a very special gift indeed!
Do you incorporate the Want Need Wear Read (and extended Make Do Share Feed) tradition into your holidays? Share your story below!