The Five Gift Rule for Kids this Christmas

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The five gift rule for kids by Messylearningkids

Now that the holidays are approaching it’s time to start thinking about presents for the kids. Christmas is a time for giving and parents have to get creative with their kids’ presents.

The 5 gift rule Christmas is an excellent way to make sure your children are spoiled without going overboard. 

We have collected some ideas for you according to our and our kids’ needs, but first, let’s find out more about the five gift rule for kids.

What is the Five Gift Rule?

This Christmas, don’t get caught up in the materialistic trap of thinking that more is better. Your kids will be just as happy with 5 Christmas gifts as they would be with fifty. In fact, following this will save you time, money, and stress. 

If you enter the five gift rule in your gift giving, it will help you focus your shopping and keep your budget in check. And it will help avoid those holiday meltdowns we all dread. 

So what is the five gift rule? It’s simple: each child gets one gift that they want, one gift that they need, one gift to wear, one gift to read, and one surprise gift.

want need wear read

Something You Want 

So, what’s the best way to ensure that your kids get something they really want this holiday season? 

Probably they have already come up with their Christmas wish list. There might be more things on that list, but you know your kids best and you have paid attention to what your kids are interested in throughout the year. 

What are they constantly asking for? What do they talk about non-stop? Chances are, whatever it is they’re interested in most is something they’d love to receive as a gift. 

My daughter loves her Calico Critters (Sylvanian family’s) house, so any accessory to it is a hit. I will probably go for the Calico Critters Caravan Family Camper this year. 

Emma has asked for a bicycle for months, it’s not a question for her parents, what she wants.

Sara likes ice cream in every way and play doh too, so she will get a Play-Doh Ice Cream Truck Toy Playset.

Something You Need

For example, if your child is in school, then getting them something for school would be a great idea! This could be anything from a new backpack, or a lunchbox to any other accessory they may need – a tablet, Kindle, or Laptop with/without a Printer.

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4 Christmas gift rule - Something you need

My daughter needs a new set of markers and she liked her aunt’s double sided markers, I will go for those.

Something to Wear

Christmas Pajamas make the perfect presents from Santa. They’re cozy, they keep you warm, and they’re always appreciated. Plus, they can be worn on Christmas morning.

If pajamas aren’t your thing, any quality kids garment will do. Kids’ jewelry, a watch, or a pair of shoes are also something that can be worn. 

Kids always need new clothes, so why not help out with a practical gift? Regardless of what you choose, it will be well-received.

Something to Read

If you’re looking for book ideas for young children, here are some ideas to get you started.

something to wear something to read

For the younger crowd, ages 6-12 months there are a variety of touch-and-feel books on the market, so you’re sure to find one that your baby will love.

These books are designed to stimulate your baby’s senses, and they’re a lot of fun. 

For toddlers, there are some classics and traditional reading materials that are sure to please.

Something with bright illustrations and a simple story makes it a perfect choice for little ones. There are also sets of books, sound books or Leapfrog interactive books that are very interesting.

For slightly older children, ages 4-7 there are books that are great for beginning readers that can spark their imagination.

They really know what they like, so some encyclopedias, history books, art and crafts might be also a good choice.

Somewhere to Be

This gift will be a special experience or voucher for a getaway.

A trip to the gallery, museum, or a trip to trampoline park will be an exciting diversion, and the whole family can be involved. 

Plus, with season tickets, you can give the gift that keeps on giving all year long! 

best Christmas gifts for 5 year olds is an experience

But something like an eating out gift or a confectionery voucher can be a fun gift for a family member.

If you actually plan fewer gifts and you plan to skip this part, change your shopping goal for a 4 gift rule for Christmas that includes only the previous four things on your list.

Why You Should Try the Five Gift Rule this Christmas?

Do you ever feel like your kids have too many toys? Or that they never play with the toys you choose for them? If so, you may be interested in the 5 gift Christmas rule.

The 5 gift rule is simple: when choosing Santa gifts for your kids, limit yourself to five gifts. That’s it! 

Overwhelmed Kids Toys, Christmas Gifts

Every Christmas, our children can face a mountain of gifts from both us and our extended family.

This resulted in overwhelmed kids, anxious parents, ridiculous waste, and huge credit card debt.

The five gift rule can help your child focus on and appreciate the gifts they receive without being overstimulated.

4 gifts for Christmas is more than enough :)

Save Money

Saving money during Christmas time can be difficult, especially when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for loved ones. It can be hard not to be caught up in the idea of fully rewarding our children.

But what if we could simplify the gift-giving process this holiday season by simply trying out the five gift rule for Christmas? 

Stick to your list! Don’t be tempted by all the holiday decorations and sale items that are not on your list.

This method will ease the financial burden of gift giving and will help in easier shopping.

5 gift rule Christmas

No More Frustrated Parents

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a pain in the you-know-what. Are you tired of feeling like you need to spend a fortune on Christmas gifts? 

Do you end up with a pile of unwanted presents that end up re-gifted or worse, in the back of a closet?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then the 5 gift rule is for you! This rule will not only save you money but also time spent shopping and wrapping.

How to Incorporate the 5 Gift Rule for Christmas

If you’re looking to incorporate the 5 gift rule for Christmas, there are two things to do before shopping.

First, take a look at your budget and see how much you can realistically afford to spend on all the gifts. Once you have a number in mind, start making your list.

Ideas Baby’s First Christmas and Toddler Gifts

When choosing a toy for a baby you can actually decide for them what they would want. One popular gift for babies is the Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker.

how many gifts from Santa or parents do a baby need?

This toy helps them learn how to walk while also providing them with entertainment. It’s the perfect way to help your little one explore their new world.

Other great options for a baby’s first Christmas are toys with sound. Babies love anything that makes noise, and this will help them develop their auditory skills.

Choose a toy that plays music or has fun sound effects to keep your little one entertained.

4 things for Christmas - something they want
want need wear read ideas
how many gifts per kid for christmas

Toddlers might already know what they want, but you can still have an influence and guide them toward a useful decision.

Ride-on toys are very popular among toddlers, it helps develop gross motor skills and increase physical activity.

Toys that motivate moving are a quite good idea. Like indoor slides, a balance board, or climbers. 

We have an article on the best learning toys for toddlers you might want to check out.

Preschoolers Christmas Gift Ideas

Is your preschooler on the nice list this year? Check out these gift ideas that will help them fine-tune their motor skills, while also enjoying playing!

Magnetic tiles are a great way to get those little hands moving. They can build all sorts of structures and creations with these colorful tiles.

Lego duplo is another classic toy that preschoolers will love.

You might also consider a more serious toy like a tablet. It can be helpful, but of course with limited screen time. There are all sorts of educational games that they can play on these devices.

Older Ones and Teens Gift Ideas

Tell about the 5 gift rule to your bigger kids. They will probably know what they want, but in case you need some ideas, check out these options.

If your grade-schooler is into Legos, you will have an easy job, Legos are always a classic and there are so many different sets to choose from.

Teens will appreciate the thoughtfulness of a well-chosen gift. Something practical like headphones, speakers or an instant camera:

When You Have More than One Child

If you have more than one child, holiday gift giving can be a daunting task.

How do you balance the prices between presents so that everyone feels equal? You want to avoid any of your kids from feeling as though they have been given a raw deal, so be sure to choose gifts that are similar in price.

If your teen wants something like a phone or game console for Christmas, the other 4 presents should cost less. If a smaller sibling asked for something that cost less, you can spend more on the other 4 presents.


The five gift rule for kids this Christmas is the best way to go. You can enjoy the holidays, knowing that you’ve got this gift giving thing under control. 

By following this rule, you can avoid the holiday madness and keep your kids focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

So, if you’re looking for a way to reduce your holiday spending and stress, give the 5 gift rule a try it might become a family tradition.

Photo of author


Eniko is a mother and wife, ex-teacher, and world traveler. Loves to be creative and admires spending quality time with her family. Enjoys outdoor activities-, and connecting to nature. She loves sharing her enthusiasm and inspiration. For more details check out Messy Learning Kids.

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