Our New Way to Intentionally Buy Christmas Gifts

November 21, 2023

It is officially holiday season. Thanksgiving is later this week and stores have been bustling with annual sales and wreaths and big red bows have been the main decor wherever we go. I love this time of year, it captures everything cozy, warm and nostalgic within the last two months of the year!

With all the hustle of this season, it’s sometimes hard to look away, step away, do things your own way and simply enjoy the beauty of the truth and grace this season holds. When we became parents, Alexander and I switched our focused from how we want to experience this season to how we we want our kids to experience the magic and beauty of this holiday season. And one of the ways we’ve focused on in the last 4 years has been gifts.

If you know me and Alexander, we are not gift people. I have only been Black Friday Shopping once, we don’t often get gifts for each other, even for holidays and anniversaries. Gifts are not our love language. So when it comes to birthdays and Christmas we always feel a tension, so over the years we have made some changes in how we want our family to experience gifts around Christmas time.

In the past, we’ve bought just 1-2 gifts for our kids but there wasn’t much intention with it. Looking back, I honestly don’t even remember what we bought our kids in the last few years. We didn’t get just any gift for them, I’m sure they were somewhat thoughtful, but if you know Alexander and I, you’ll also know that we are very intentional people — our conversations, relationships, activities, dates, and gift giving is part of that.

I came across this way of giving years ago, but I never quite understood it until recently. Probably because of the age of my kids, but I’m excited to give it a try! I’ve seen it labeled as “the pragmatist” way to buying gifts. And with the definition in mind: a person who is guided more by practical considerations than by ideals, it makes sense that this way of giving gifts feels right to our nature and even beliefs about the things we own and spend our money on, the things we have in our home and buy for our kids.

So here’s what we’re doing, ready? We are buying 4 gifts total for our kids, something they want, need, can wear and read. It’s easy to remember because it’s a cute little rhyme!

It’s still in the works of the specific gifts for both our littles, but here’s an idea of what we’re planning to get for them:


  • want: something for her baby dolls
  • need: underwear?
  • wear: new dress or dress-up outfit
  • read: a series of Laura Ingalls books


  • want: cool toy car (Alexander will pick this)
  • need: socks?
  • wear: dress-up clothes (like superheros)
  • read: Brown Bear: Hear Bear Roar book

That’s it. It feels so intention, so purposeful. As you can see, we honestly don’t do a lot of gifts from online stores or amazon (minus the book for Finn), we love hand-picking gifts from local boutiques or from other countries when we get a chance to visit.

I wanted this to be a short and informative blog post, so I hope you feel inspired to minimize and be more intentional this season! I’ll write up another post to share a few other Christmas traditions soon! Tell me your thoughts, how do you intentionally buy Christmas gifts for your kids?