christmas 4 gift rule

What is the Christmas 4 Gift Rule?

The Christmas 4 Gift Rule is a simple way to make sure you keep your holiday shopping stress-free. It’s a rule that you can use to guide your gift buying decisions and it’s especially useful for families with young children who might not understand the concept of giving yet. The idea behind this rule is simple: instead of buying one or two items per person, buy four items. That way, each person gets something they want and something they need in addition to the traditional gift(s).

What is the Christmas 4 Gift Rule?

The 4 gift rule is a way to make shopping easier. It’s a way to ensure that you don’t forget anyone and it helps ensure you get presents your loved ones will like. The 4 gift rule also helps make sure you don’t spend too much money on each person – because even though it is Christmas, you still have bills to pay!

To simplify things and help keep track of everything, I recommend setting up a spreadsheet with all the people in your life who are getting gifts this year (including yourself). Then write down what type of gift they want or need (for example: “clothing”, “jewelry”, etc.). You can also divide up categories into different price ranges if necessary – for example: under $50, $50-$100 and over $100. This makes it easy to figure out what kind of budget each person has so that when browsing online stores such as Amazon or Nordstrom Rack (which offer steeply discounted prices), you won’t accidentally pick something out that’s outside their price range.”

Why should your family consider using this rule?

It’s a great way to make sure you don’t forget anyone in your family. You can use it in a variety of ways:

  • As an outline for the gifts you want to give this year, so that you’re not stuck with random items on Christmas morning.
  • To help figure out who gets what when you have more than four kids (or spouses). If each person is getting four gifts from their parents, then one gift from each parent will go toward completing their set of four. This way everyone gets something they like and nobody feels left out or shortchanged.

1. Something they want

The first rule of the Christmas 4 Gift Rule is that one gift must be something that the person truly wants. And it’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend money when giving someone what they want for Christmas—sometimes all it takes is some imagination and effort to listen to your loved ones comments! For example, if your sister has been talking about getting an Amazon Echo device for months now and she doesn’t have one yet, then this might be an excellent choice as far as gifts go because it’s something she will enjoy using on a regular basis (and also appreciate).

2. Something they need

The second type of gift is something that the person needs. This can be anything from a pair of jeans to a new watch, or even a new technology device. The only stipulation is that it has to be something they need and not just want.

Yes, this may be the gift that some would refer to as the ‘practical’ gift. But, if they truly need it, that will appreciate it in the days ahead. And it is a great way to show someone that you care about them and their needs.

3. Something to wear

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Everyone needs clothes. Classic choices for this gift category could be a new pair of shoes, a scarf, a hat or even a new pair of gloves! And if you’re really feeling extra generous this holiday season—consider getting them something like a new watch or bracelet as well!

4. Something to read

Books are a great gift because they can be tailored to the interests of the recipient.

Books are available in many different genres, including: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. You can even find books that are funny!

For children, there are educational books that will teach them something new while they’re having fun reading with you. Adults may enjoy something more serious, like an autobiography or how-to book.

Make it easier on yourself this holiday season and buy four gifts, one for each category.

Make it easier on yourself this holiday season and buy four gifts, one for each category:

  • Something they want. This could be a new phone case or a fancy bottle opener. It doesn’t matter what the item is as long as it’s something that your friend/family member has been wanting for a while now.
  • Something they need. Whether it’s an electric toothbrush or some new towels, make sure this gift is useful and helpful to them in their everyday life.
  • Something to wear. A scarf, shirt, hat—whatever accessory makes sense! You can also include clothes under this umbrella if you’re feeling ambitious enough to make your own clothes instead of buying them (just kidding).
  • Something to read/watch/listen to/play with – whatever type of entertainment you think suits your recipient best!


With the Christmas 4 Gift Rule, you can ensure that each person on your list is getting something they want, need and can enjoy. This makes gift giving a lot easier and less stressful for everyone involved. By following this handy guide of what gifts to buy in each category (and when), you’ll have no trouble finding something perfect for any occasion or budget level.

A Gift for You

We have created this Shopping List to help you follow the Christmas 4 Gift Rule. You can click on this image to get a print ready PDF version of this list.


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