4 Gift Rule: A Minimalist Present System (& Toddler Girl Gift Guide)

4 gift rule, gifting system, present system, 4 gift technique, minimalist christmas
Trying to stay focused on a minimalism journey is the hardest during the Holidays.  Every thought and conversation seems to be on gift giving, the busy nature of the season, and just stuff in general! I’m not at all against giving experiences, but I doubt our 20 month old toddler would be impressed with a gift card or certificate to go anywhere even if it was a super fun activity for her.  I go back and forth with trying to give less materialism and more experiential gifts, but on the other hand I don’t want to short my daughter the joy of opening gifts, and I want her to in turn learn to love giving gifts as well. So we’ve adopted the 4 Gift Rule- we still get to gift but it’s more thought out and limited then just tons of junkie random items that won’t ever be worn or used.  The Rule is as follows: gift something wanted, something to wear, something needed, and something to read. I have also seen some people replace a category with “something to do”- I really like that idea, just maybe not for toddlers! This is our second year of attempting to follow it and I really enjoy it.  I first heard about the idea from my old boss who has five kids- buying multiple gifts for that many can get a little crazy!  This is the perfect fix for large families, or for anyone trying to simplify the gift giving process.

What I love is I can wrap up things my daughter is actually needing and will use.  Things that benefit her learning, like a new book, are perfect gifts and she can still have the joy of opening presents but we don’t have the mass amounts of clutter afterwards. Giving only 4 gifts also means we are purchasing within our means- no piles of presents (which sometimes (usually) means debt) for us this year!

Obviously, it’s hard to judge what a toddler “wants”- so I am really just getting what I want Lucy to have, which is a little crazy, I know.  And the things she “needs” are definitely not totally necessary but as her parent, I do think she needs one new toy that will engage her learning and imagination (so I’m loving the magna tiles!)  As you will see, I have way more than 4 gifts on my guide- they are all just fun ideas that have been inspiring me.  And I’m not going to lie, Lucy is getting more than just one thing to wear- she has outgrown many items so instead of me just replenishing her newly purged closet, I’m wrapping what I have bought! Hey, it’s more presents for her to open and they are items she’d be getting anyways! And technically she “needs” the bigger clothes, right? See, my minimalism really is struggling during this time of year!  But really, I will end with this thought- remember the “1 in 1 out” rule during gift receiving as well.  For whatever comes in, remove something else.  Even with only 4 presents, clutter can add up!

1. mine to love doll
2. magnetic camper toy
3. ice cream cone set
4. Pom-pom yoke sweater dress
5. Cable-knit sweater tights
6. Floral bell ruffle top
7. Magna Tiles
8. I Spy Little Numbers
9. cleaning set
10. Come With Me City Series book
11. madeline book
12. If you Give a Mouse a Cookie

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Getting Festive in Boise

Happy December! Last week, the week of Thanksgiving, is my favorite week of the whole year. I love the Thanksgiving meal prep, eating said meal, and time spent with friends and family. That week is a favorite also because it kicks off the Holiday festivities. And now that it is just 25 days til Christmas, we are REALLY in the festive mood!

Some of my favorite activities we enjoyed last week were seeing the Festival of Trees, getting holiday greenery at Edwards Greenhouse, walking through the Winter Garden aGlow, and watching the Downtown Boise Association Tree Lighting on The Grove Plaza. Thankfully, only a few of those events are limited runs- the rest we can partake in over and over again throughout the season!

Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is only during the week of Thanksgiving starting with the annual Gala and ending with a Fashion Show the following Monday. It’s a great way to start the season, all while supporting a good cause, one of the local hospitals.Holidays in Boise, boise travel, things to do in Boise, festival of Trees

Edwards Greenhouse

Edwards is my favorite greenhouses in town, and they do Christmas up real big! Their poinsettias are beautiful, and we went the day before their annual Open House, so we missed the crowds but saw all the great greenery. That also meant we missed seeing Santa, but he will be there for photos on December 9th from 11am-1pm, so maybe we will catch him then. Lucy didn’t mind missing Santa, though- the koi pond was plenty of a highlight! Holidays in Boise, boise travel, things to do in Boise, Edwards Greenhouse

Idaho Botanical Garden Winter Garden aGlow

The Botanical Gardens are so fun this time of year because they have thousands of twinkling lights covering the grounds. Thanksgiving day was their opening and it happened to be in the 60s here so we took advantage of the nice weather and went! Lucy did enjoy the evening until we decided to take a family photo, of course! The event runs through January 1, 2018 and it’s a must see!Holidays in Boise, boise travel, things to do in Boise, Idaho Botanical Garden, Winter Garden aGlow

The Grove Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting

The Downtown Boise Christmas tree stands in the center of The Grove Plaza. The Lighting always takes place the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a packed house this year! The tree lighting seems to turn the Christmas switch for downtown- it just feels so festive! While the lighting is a one time event, I highly suggest just going for an evening walk downtown to see the tree (and maybe get a carriage ride!) Holidays in Boise, boise travel, things to do in Boise

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Fall Favorites at The Farmstead

Fall is my favorite season and it feels like it flies by in just a blink of an eye.  There are so many fun colors, activities, sights and smells to enjoy during the season.  Just a cool brisk walk boasts a heightened sensory experience with the perfect crisp scent and crunch under your feet.  

One of my absolute favorite Fall activities is the corn maze. We are fortunate to have access to a quite a few options close by!  One is The Farmstead.  There’s a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, lots of games and kid friendly activities, and of course, the corn maze.  Lucy enjoyed playing in the corn kernel “sand box”.  It was so funny to watch her!  She also got a pony ride which was pretty darn cute. 

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