Four Gift Christmas

Take a second and tell me…what comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas?”

Of course everyone will say the politically correct answer “spending time with friends & family,” which is true.

But in reality when you think of the word Christmas, your brain immediately attributes the gifts, cookies, shopping, wrapping paper and the endless pile of money being spent on electronics, clothes, etc. for the holiday season.

Christmas is a celebration for the kids and “kids at heart” so it will probably shock you that the last two Christmas holidays my daughter has only received FOUR gifts from Santa.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I would deprive my child of the typical “Christmas morning?”

Here’s why, after my daughter’s second Christmas, I was so overwhelmed with the amount of presents she had collected from both us and our relatives that I vowed to change our habits.

I would just buy and buy for my toddler. I would spend money from my savings account (Suze Orman would not endorse that concept), just so that my 1 year old knew that we loved her based on the 25 presents under the Christmas tree.

Luckily, one day right after the holidays, I came across this blog post on the “four gift Christmas” and it was the light at the end of the holiday tunnel for me.

It’s a really simple concept, four presents that belong to groupings titled “something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.”


Fast forward to our new holiday concept, now every time I pick up a gift, I consciously have to consider if a) the present fits into one of the categories listed above. And b) is the item truly worth being picked as “the one gift” for that particular category?

You can become really creative with the presents you chose; especially if your child (like my daughter) was willed down her entire wardrobe before she even set foot on earth. Or if you’re lucky enough to snatch the “hot toys” at a discount rate on Facebook garage sale groups.

I am sure most Americans have great intentions when they shop for the holidays, but the gift spending is OUT OF CONTROL.

The true meaning of Christmas doesn’t involves iPads & expensive cellphones, it’s about celebrating with friends & family, giving back to the less fortunate and rejoicing at the birth of baby Jesus.

There’s still 14 days left till Christmas Eve….if you haven’t started spending, then consider adopting this concept with your family. If you’re already done shopping for the season, then keep this post in your back pocket for next year’s holiday.

If you’re ready to take the “four gift Christmas” vow or you’re dying to know what my daughter gets from Santa this year, then follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram @maskingthesuburbanmom!

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    Ashley Gross

    Ashley Gross is a 20's something, suburban, working mom by choice sharing her life adventure with her good looking husband and charismatic, almost 3 year old daughter. She currently lives in a top ten suburb of Chicago but is in the process of building a brand new, squeaky clean home in a far western suburb. She considers herself Chicago's #1 Bears fan! Find me on Instagram: @maskingthesuburbanmom or

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