Gift Giving – The Rule of Four

gift giving

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I just started it myself and I’m already feeling overwhelmed with the gift giving that’s fast approaching. That’s why I’m sharing with you The Rule of Four. It’s a simple rule I learned about a few years ago that has saved me when I get stressed during the holidays. But first…

What is it about the holiday season that makes us feel so much pressure?

It could be all the work that goes into decorating your house and making it feel magical. Or it could be the food prep that may takes weeks to do in order to have the perfect meal. I think it has to do with the gift giving we have to do. As I get older, I’m realizing it is getting harder to shop for people. We don’t know what to buy but at the same time want to make sure we get just the right gift. The pressure also comes from trying to figure out if you’re spending the right amount or buying the right amount of gifts.

With all the stress surrounding gift giving, we’re forgetting one big piece that would remove some of pressure.

Let’s Talk Love Languages!

Love Languages are a key piece to personalities. They help us understand how us and others want to be loved. If we take these into consideration when we’re thinking about presents for others, gift giving will be tremendously easier. Here are each of the languages, their definition and an example of a gift to give.

Love LanguageDescriptionGift Giving Idea
Words of AffirmationHandwritten words on a note or letter or something handmadeA handwritten letter detailing how much you appreciate [insert person here]
Acts of ServiceDoing something for someone or taking something off their plateCooking dinner or doing all the grocery shopping for the month
Quality TimeSpending time with someoneA coffee or lunch date filled with conversation
Physical TouchHolding hangs, a hug or moreCuddle time or a massage
Receiving GiftsReceiving gifts, big or smallAlmost any gift, big or small

Now that you know the Love Languages, how do you think it will impact your gift giving this season? Use these languages as your base when trying to figure out what the perfect gift should be for those on your list. And if you’re still stumped, use The Rule of Four.

The Rule of Four for Gift Giving

This rule is something I learned years ago and it is so smart and so mindful. Basically it gives you four options for gifts: A want, a need, something to wear and something to read. This rule came to me at the perfect time. I was starting to realize what is actually important in my life and physical items didn’t float to the top of the list. Instead, it was memories and experiences that were going to make me happy.

This rule not only helped me become more of a minimalist, and cut out the excess, but it also helped me save money on the holiday shopping. Here’s how it works. Instead of buying anything and everything you see in the Target add, only purchase gifts that fall into these categories.

  • A Want – This could be an item a person has had on their wish list for a long time and just hasn’t purchased for themselves. It could be something they see as a luxury, like a weighted blanket or extra soft slippers.
  • A Need – It’s exactly what it sounds like – something that is needed. Think about items that are used regularly like socks, a commuter bag or even a planner to keep life organized.
  • Something to Wear – Clothing is an extension of a person’s personality. Graphic tees are my go-to because they show off that personality, allow for a little fun and can be worn in just about any environment nowadays.
  • Something to Read – Not everyone is a book reader, but an eBook, a magazine or an interesting coffee table book works too! Reading is one of those activities that allows you to escape and learn something at the same time.

These four gift ideas make shopping easy and eliminate some of the stress. But I’ve got one more for you.

BONUS: Make Memories

Giving a memory or making an experience is something the gift recipient will remember for years to come. I went this route one year, when the nieces and nephews were young, and it was so much fun. We took one to a movie of her choice and let her pick anything from the snack bar. Another we had over for a sleepover with all the Nintendo Wii games and pizza they could have asked for. This type of gift allowed us to still have fun, give something that would be loved and not go into debt.

What will you be gift giving this holiday season? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

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