This article is not meant to be a ’glum’ pronouncement. Although there’s no denying it. The last few years that we got floored in the midst of a health crisis compelled us to take a long, hard look at things. And then we began to re-assess our priorities.
Traditionally, our culture is used to wanting, and getting – because “more is more.” However, recent realizations as to what is really profoundly more valuable have softened many people’s desire and cravings for acquiring, accumulating, you know, ‘stuff’.
And what came out as a surprising insight is that yes, we can actually be happier with having ‘less’. And this is why we are certain families everywhere will be loving the ”7 Gift Rule”.
What is the 7 Gift Rule?
It is a way to simplify Christmas gift-giving for family, kids, your significant other, siblings, relatives, friends, and yes, also to yourself. It’s flexible and the gift-giver can personalize it to fit their loved one’s specific needs, like having a reliable, affordable electric scooter for errands.
This shift towards a simpler yet more meaningful gift-giving vs. a materialistic and commercialized Christmas is certainly getting good raves.
How Does The 7 Gifts Rule work?
The mechanics are simple. It involves giving each person on your list — 7 gifts — no more and no less. Stick to a budget as you determine which gift to give from these different categories on a pre-determined list. You can choose to stick to a budget for each person’s 7 gifts, while others allow for more expensive items as long as the total number of gifts stays the same. Again, the most common way to follow the 7 gifts rule is by giving each person 7 gifts from the specific categories on your list.
7 Gifts Christmas Rule Categories:
In the 7 Gift Rule, the first six gifts are similar – 1. Something they and (you) want, 2. Something they need, 3. Something to wear, 4. Something to read, 5. Something to make/do, 6. Something to play as a family, and the 7th? The 7th is another category and a real winner. It’s something to do (for others) or something to give to others — what they need or want, but don’t really know it, or cannot afford it.
1. Something they want
This gift typically comes straight from the family member’s own Christmas wish list. It can be something small or large, but it should definitely be a surprise, but something a loved one has been wanting. This is one of the most important gifts since it will help to ensure that his or her (and your) Christmas is merry and bright. For instance, when kids are given just enough they still feel special and important – not spoiled. What’s more, they are more likely to appreciate and cherish the well-thought-of gifts they receive.
And then, something you want:
This is the gift that you would like to get for yourself. It can be something small, like a ring, a new necklace, watch or bracelet, a new dress, personal care kit, perfume, lingerie, a mini oven, a DVD of your favorite hard-to-find movie, a vintage phonograph, a selection of oldies, well-loved hit songs, a stay-cation escape in a tropical isle, or something larger like a premium quality electric scooter from Mearth. This is the perfect opportunity for you to consider your personal happiness, that you also deserve to feel special, and that this little treat is a well-deserved reward.
2. Something they need.
From a set of multi-colored pens to school supplies, or sports equipment, to a new desk, smart reusable notebook, mini projector, golf bag, camera, laptop upgrade, or entry-level Mearth S e-scooter. There are also small ticket items like a wireless earbud, charging cord bracelet, 3D character nightlight, digital alarm clock, self-stirring mug, and waterproof rain hat. This gift category is all about practicality. Giving the parents, better half, siblings, or children something they need as a gift teaches them a good thing – to be grateful for the things they have.
3. Something to wear.
Now, what can this versatile category include? Anything from clothes to shoes, jacket, bathrobe, sweatshirt/leggings set, cardigan, backpack, bike helmet, monogrammed wallet, and sunglasses. This category is also perfect for seasonal gifts, like a pair of winter boots, easy-wear loafers, sneakers or stylish elevated sandals, furry scuff slippers, colorful socks or work gloves, kiddie mittens, scarf, hot hands/feet warmer, a monogrammed leather wallet, as they are practical and useful choices.
4. Something to read.
As always, books are a classic Christmas gift and they are a big hit with kids of all ages. What about a personalized cookbook recipe for mommom and a year magazine subscription on camping, trails, and RVs for dad? To a mom, whether her child is into picture books or chapter books, there are so many options available. Get creative and provide magazines, graphic novels, or even an e-reader of their own. Good reads are Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, Grimms Fairy Tales, Percy Jackson, and the Olympians, The Magic Treehouse, Peter Rabbit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Charlotte’s Web, Neverending Story, etc.
Then there are inspirational or self-help books that make great capsule readings for seekers to discover their purpose, like a close friend perhaps? A travel guide to Copenhagen, Paris, Maldives, Macao, Santorini, Tokyo, Boracay, or Seoul would be a delectable treat for a passionate traveler.
5. Something to do.
These gifts are all about stimulating the recipients’ creativity, especially during the holidays. Perhaps you can include gifts that encourage one’s artistic talent or nifty inclinations, like building blocks and car-and-parking assembly toys for the kids, art supplies, paint by a numbers kit, a 100-pcs puzzle box, a stone craft painting set, an amazing science project kit, easy recipe cooking kit for kids. There are also board games like Boggle, Uno stack, Code Name Duet, 30 sec jr., Charade, Worst Case Scenario, Trivial Pursuits, scrabble, and Cluedo, that challenge the players to put on their thinking caps and will surely make for a great Christmas morning activities for the whole family while sipping cocoa. Keep ’em’ happily busy.
6. Something for the family.
This is one category that brings everyone together and draws active connections. It could be anything — from a Twister floor game, to trampoline jumping, a telescope kit for constellation and stargazing, a swing set, an inflatable waterslide, a fishing rod, a portable bonfire kit, a paintball set, a basketball hoop, volleyball, badminton set, picnic basket, camping tent, to set up in the backyard or outdoors. The whole idea is that it’s a gift that everyone gets to enjoy together for some family bonding.
7. And lastly, something to give to others
what they need or want, but don’t really know it, or don’t have access to it. Have you thought about some people quite a bit? What have you discovered? Do you have the desire to help – even through some small act? How can you help them feel valued this time of the year? What is it that you have observed they lack and feel deprived of? Perhaps you can connect it with a gift.
Ask yourself, “What can I give that would deal with what they care about, like supplying a basic need or something they need but sorely lack?” There are practical and inexpensive but caring gestures, some random acts of kindness you can do to make the poor and destitute’ lives bearable during the holidays.
You can choose:
1. Safety/survival gifts:
- In a post-Covid-19 world, everyone has been thinking a little more deeply about the importance of survival. Our core values haven’t shifted or tapered down and we’re all now much more aware of what might be involved in taking care or not, of ourselves and our families. By having some sort of survival, emergency-preparedness, do-it-yourself, hands-on gift to give to elderly family relations settled in a hospice (or home for the aged) setting, you show a deep appreciation for the fragility of life, and truly cherishing those we love. This is not to inspire fear, but rather, show a very thoughtful and caring gesture towards our frail loved ones.
2. Charitable gifts:
The gift rule is you can search from Child Inc. or any of the Compassionate International gift listing sites, Which includes much of the much-needed support for every other thing in marginalized communities like an infant or toddler’s health and medical care, emergency food, water, clothes, and basic necessities. There are other non-government organizations that help grow fruit trees, raise goats/chickens/cows, provide free music lessons, and specific scholarships, including livelihood mosquito netting, and much more…
3. Homeless Care Kits that actually help:
Here’s a gift rule for what to prepare and include in the homeless care kits, also called ‘blessing bags,’ that would be of great help to the less fortunate. If you want to bless the homeless or those less fortunate or underprivileged, but you don’t want your efforts to be counterproductive or impractical, the following are the best items to give or donate to help the homeless –
|i. Clean underwear and socks, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent, clothing for cold weather, baby supplies, reusable containers, socks, gloves, water bottle, large bandages (for blisters), first aid kit, wet wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, sunscreen, nail clippers, comb and/or brush, hand lotion, lip balm, face towels, disposable tissues, a quarter for laundry.|
ii. Chewable multivitamins, crackers, single-serve trail mix/nuts, raisins/dried fruit mix, beef jerky, tuna in easy-to-open can, cracker packs with peanut butter/chocolate filling, protein bars (nothing melty), mini can opener, mints.
iii. Headlamp flashlight, small flashlight with batteries, hand warmers or mittens, tarp, sewing kit, puzzle, reusable utensils, zip lock bags, blanket, hand-written Christmas card (to encourage and show you care), print out of nearest local barber shop, free meal/shower/sleepover, restrooms, addiction recovery centers, transient shelter/local jobs/help agencies.
Christmas is an entire season that displays various acts of kindness that go beyond giving gifts to precious loved ones. It goes beyond everything that’s merry and bright, beyond the laughter, diy/crafts, baking, singing, dancing, movie watching, serving turkey, and candle-lit dinners. Indeed, Christmas is beyond nostalgia and remembering the good times. The season has two stark realities – living in one’s comfort zone or outside of it.
Now that you are very much aware of the 7 Gift Rule, perhaps this is something you can consider doing this year if you want to start a new Christmas tradition that keeps things simple and stress-free during the holidays. Not only does it make gift-giving easier, but it also helps families and close relatives learn to really appreciate what they are given. The stranger that becomes a recipient of unexpected kind deeds will also gratefully realize there is a light that gleams for them. Hope springs eternal, and one’s present situation is not forever.
Overall, this is what the 7 Gifts Rule imparts. Simple gifts may indeed be given, and the sincere efforts, embossed by the personal touch of the giver add special meaning to them. The giver of presents will be happily surprised to discover that loved ones will still get excited unwrapping their gifts on Christmas morning, without feeling stressed or pressured.
So now you know why there are more and more families from all over switching to the 7 Gifts Rule – for the simple reason that it is a way to give gifts — with no obligation to overspend, be excessive, and wasteful.
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