Like a lot of people, during this hectic time of year, I use to buy for the sake of buying. I would do this for pretty much everyone on my list, our children included. Of course, there were always the "show-stopper" gifts that the kids would include in their letters to Santa, but on the whole I was lost. I constantly felt like I needed to add things to meet my gift quota per child and this is where things always end up going nutty for me. I would purchase random things so they, "had something", but this always resulted in useless junk that the kids had no interest in. This is also probably true for the random gifts I purchased for adults as well... but I'll leave that for another post.
The first Christmas post KonMari was a huge eyeopener for me. The idea of buying for the sake of buying was simply not an option as I felt really called to buy with absolute intent. I wanted every gift to bring joy and allow for creativity, play and learning. But, how?
As soon I established I wanted to change the way I shopped for the holidays, I discovered a list on Pinterest that served as a guide for shopping for children. Unfortunately, I cannot find the source of this awesome concept, but from what I gather, it has been around forever. This little rhyme of sorts, hits all my criteria for gifting my children and keeps things so easy!
Over the last couple of years, I've altered and refined it to serve my needs and ultimately, that of the KonMari philosophy of Sparking Joy. This simple guide (see photo below) can easily be downloaded to your mobile device or computer for easy reference. I recommend creating a separate list for each child and predetermining which of the categories on the list you want to focus on for them. Beside each category, include some ideas and start crossing them off as you purchase/make. Easy!
Some Things to Note
- Not every category needs to be bought for
- It is fine to purchase multiple items for one category
- This list can also be used for gifting adults
- Consider giving gifts that encourage: imagination, play, physical engagement and creativity!
- Buying used items is a wonderful way to repurpose and save money
Summary of Categories:
Something they Want: This is the big ticket item(s) that almost every child has on their list.
Something they Need: There is nothing wrong with using the opportunity of Christmas to gift something that is needed. Examples include: sport/hobby equipment, clothing/footwear, bedroom items, etc.
Something to Wear: While not every child gets excited by new clothing under the tree, this can be an opportunity to splurge a little on attire you wouldn't normally buy and/or shop a bit more specifically for clothing that will excite your child. Perhaps your little one is a big fan of a specific character/theme - delight them with a new piece of clothing to reflect that. Older children may especially appreciate the treat of name brand clothing if that's not normally what you purchase.
Something to Read: Books make a wonderful gift no matter what age! Like #3, not all children will necessarily get excited about a new book(s), but when you shop specifically based on their unique interests, it's more personal and is typically well received.
Something to Do: Consider gifting experiences! Not every gift needs to be a tangible one. It's fun to gift something that children will look forward to, especially after the novelty of their other gifts has subsided. Suggestions include: movie passes, theatre/museum/event tickets, a "date" (dinner, outdoor activity, concert) etc.
Something for Me: This is personally my favourite category, because it is so special. The love of this gift and the magic of the Christmas it was received, will carry through many more Christmases and years to come as a treasured keepsake. Set aside some time to create something unique for your child(ren) such as a handwritten letter, picture album, video, painting, handmade gift or other. This will show your child just how much you care for them and teaches the appreciation toward "from the heart" gifts.
Something for Family: This category suggests buying or gifting something for everyone to enjoy together. Serving as an opportunity to encourage spending time with all members of the family, ideas include: game(s), movies, a shared experience/outing, subscription service (i.e., cooking or crafting), etc.
This is such a special time of year to share the joy that is gifting, doing so in a manageable and beneficial way truly makes for a world of difference. If you've never shopped for the ones on your list this way, I encourage you to strongly consider it!