Something You Want/Need/Wear/Read – 20+ Great Gift Ideas

A Simple Guide For Christmas Shopping

Every year I resist the overwhelming urge to go overboard on presents. I think it’s fairly normal to want to give your children everything, but I also want to give them the gift of teaching them to appreciate what they get. Overloading them with heaps of toys won’t teach them to cherish and value what they have. But I still want to give them a magical experience.

So I try to limit myself to four gifts for each of my children and use this cute poem as a guide.

“Something you want
Something you need
Something you wear
Something you read.”

I’ve also seen a few adorable alternatives to this poem/gift guide. There’s:

“Something old
Something new
Something handmade
And something to do.”

And this one is super sweet as well:

“Something Cool,
Something for School,
Something you wear
Something to share”

Or if you don’t really want to limit yourself much at all there’s even:

“A toy they want,
An outfit they need,
A game to play,
And a book to read.
Something to make,
Something for watching,
+ enough small treats to fill a stocking.”

It doesn’t really matter how you choose approach presents, as long as it works for you and your family!

I’m going to stick with the want/need/wear/read, because I think it’s a really balanced approach to gift buying for children. So basically this is what I buy for my children, and maybe it’ll spark some ideas to help you buying for yours this Christmas.

Something You Want

something you want

Something you want is what the christmas wish list is for. And the something you want gift is usually the biggest, most exciting present. It’s something that they really really want. Otherwise if they’re wanting a certain toy or game. Or whatever.

Though it doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical gift. It could also be an experience; like tickets to an activity or concert. Or for older children if they’re impossible to buy for maybe a voucher or gift card.

  • Bike (and helmet)
  • Computer or console game
  • A new console
  • Music player
  • Trampoline
  • Swimming pool
  • A toy or game

Something You Need

something you need

I tend to struggle with the Something you need, because generally anything my kids NEED they already have. So sometimes I need to stretch the meaning of the word need… because do kids really need anything much? And while this present is something practical, it’s still needs to be something that will be fun and exciting to unwrap on Christmas day.

  • Nice stationery
  • School bag especially if they’re starting kinder or prep
  • Their own suitcase if you’re travelling over the holidays
  • Beach towel it alludes to the fact that you’re going to take them to the beach
  • New bedding or a new bed if they’re outgrowing their toddler bed or single bed
  • Computer/Tablet for school and studying

Something You Wear

something you wear

In our house Santa brings Summer pyjamas and the Easter Bunny brings Winter pyjamas. The big man in red also brings them socks and undies. Boorrrriiinnnnggggg… but it’s tradition!

Something you wear gift from me is a little more interesting. It’s still got to be a gift that they are actually excited about.

My daughter is easy to buy more. For example if I buy her pretty new dress with a matching headband and some fake jewelry and she’s thrilled. Done!

For my son one year I bought him an official Hawthorn Hawks 2008 Premiership scarf… 2008 the last time the Hawks won a grand final, and also the year of my son’s birth. So he was pretty happy with that. I might just have to attempt to repeat that success and buy him a new Hawks jersey or something.

  • A fancy outfit
  • Costumes or dress ups – these could be from the op-shop.
  • Sports uniforms
  • School uniform if they’re starting school
  • Swimmers and a promise to take them to the beach or pool
  • Accessories
  • Make up
  • Brand name sunglasses

Something you Read

something you read

Something You Read is the easiest one for me. Because I love books. Actually this is where I usually break my own rule of only buying four gifts each and end up giving them both a stack of books. But you can’t have too many books! And fostering a love of reading is something I’m more than happy to go overboard on.

Given that I do tend to buy them books throughout the year as well, if possible for Christmas I’m looking for box sets or something a little extra, just to make it special for Christmas. When they were little I’d buy them the little gift sets, like a picture book with a plush character included.

  • Books
  • More books
  • Even more books

Okay, if you want an actually useful guide for books for your kids:

So I help that helps makes your Christmas shopping a tiny bit easier! If you have any ideas about how to make gift buying simple, but still amazing, comment below! Or let me know what you’re getting your kids for Christmas!

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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