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Want, Need, Wear, Read – What we did

January 3, 2012

As I’d mentioned previously, I caught wind this fall of the “Want, Need, Wear, Read” gifting philosophy.  Kind of simple, yet really useful.  Of course, we likely always give our kids gifts that fall into some combination of these categories.  But having the categories clearly stated at the outset helped David and I to frame our ideas, and helped us to function with an actual list, instead of just throwing money around willy-nilly.

When we first heard about it, we thought, “okay, 4 gifts per kid, one per category.”  But that’s not what we ended up doing.  It was hard to do that for a few reasons.  First, I wanted to give them more than 4 gifts.  Second, it was tough to keep balance between the girls.  Lemon wanted either a set of Harry Potter DVDs or an electronic keyboard.  But Mouse wanted a make up caddy (I so hope she grows out of this phase . . . ).  So, $70-$100 for Lemon, and $25 for Mouse.  Not fair!!

So David and I thought – okay.  We’ll EACH get them one gift from each category, and make sure things balance out around the whole.  It ended up working out pretty well.  (Of course, us “each getting one gift” is a fiction – since it comes out of the same budget. And while he did find ways to even out Mouse’s wants, he wasn’t thrilled that Lemon ended up with both the keyboard and the Harry Potter DVDs – even though both combined came to well under $150 thanks to some amazing sales).

One little cheat I had was their stockings.  I added an extra thing here or there that was more substantive than your typical stocking stuffer.  Mouse had a pretty nice wallet and a watch.  Lemon had a similarly priced necklace.  They both had movie theater gift cards ($20 each) – and, of course, Broadway tickets to see Anything Goes.

I also had a last-minute cave.  The girls and I really enjoy the t.v. show Gilmore Girls.  So far, we’ve seen one season, and ended up watching it by “renting” episodes via iTunes.  Not cheap.  It annoyed me.  They want to watch season 2, but we haven’t kept up with our hard disks from Netflix, and it’s not available by streaming, and I refuse to keep “renting” them, and if I were to “buy” them through Netflix, my hard drive would explode.  Out of curiosity (because we were talking about ordering disks from Netflix to watch in CT), I checked the price for the entire series on Amazon, and it was . . . lower than expected.  And because I have Amazon Prime, I ended up accidentally clicking the “quick purchase” (or whatever it’s called) button, and waa laa!  An unplanned “want” that wasn’t on the list.  “But it’s for both of them!  It’s a joint gift!”  I whined at David (after the fact).  Despite the caving, it is still remarkable that this was the only instance.

Even though we did more than 4 gifts, we still felt like using the Want, Need, Wear, Read philosophy helped us to stay sane in our gift-buying, and to make reasonable, well-rounded lists.  Seriously, last year, I just wandered around the mall and bought things that looked nice (ended up heavy on the “wear,” and honestly, it didn’t even turn out that they even wear the stuff that often).   This kept us from doing that (ignore previous paragraph).

We will do it again next year, I’m sure.  Depending on how all this job stuff turns out, we may very well be forced to stick to one gift per category – we’ll see what happens.

Funny thing about this year — I’m sure that we spent well under HALF of what we spent last year (if not 1/3), and still, the girls walked away saying “This was the best Christmas ever!”  Pure success.

 

 

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One comment

  1. What a nice way to handle gifts. I tried to do the same thing with our girls, but my husband didn’t want to, so I’m going to try again next Christmas.



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