Keeping Christmas Simple

I’m sure you’ve heard of the four gift Christmas tradition for kids: one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear and one thing to read. Before kids were even on my radar, I really loved the idea of this type of Christmas and planned to do it with my own children one day. So, for Chase’s first Christmas we decided to do just that. Here’s what will be under the tree for him on Christmas morning.

First, his something he “wants.” Of course, being 10 months old, he doesn’t really want anything except someone to wipe his butt and feed him chocolate nutritious food. So, we picked what we thought he’d want: a play tent for him to hang out in. Now that he’s on the move, we figured he’d particularly like the tunnel to crawl through.


We got a little overly excited about this one, so we decided to give it to him a few days early. So far, he seems to like it and I’m sure it will get even more use as he gets older.


As for his something he “needs,” we interpreted this one loosely. He doesn’t need much, and most of those needs are met by eager grandparents who love to spoil him. But, I have been wanting to get him his own squeezable pouch to drink our morning green smoothies from (right now I bulk them up with oatmeal and feed it to him) but this will allow him to hold and drink it himself. I’m pretty excited to see how he does using it.


Next up is his something to wear. We went the Christmas themed route and got him this onesie that he’ll wear on Christmas Day (for probably three minutes before some bodily fluid ends up on it.)


Lastly, his something to read. This was a two-part gift. The first part was his very own library card to our local public library. I am a huge book nerd and loved going to the library as a kid, so I wanted to instill a love of books in him from a young age. The second part is an Eric Carle board book that I love and I think he’ll enjoy too.


And, since we have beautiful hand-made stockings sewn lovingly by Adam’s grandmother, we had to do some stocking gifts too. For those, we got him some new arts and crafts stuff: fingerpaints, chunky paintbrushes for toddlers, and jumbo chalk sticks (for the chalk wall in his playroom.)


I maaaay have taken some of the fingerpaints out a couple weeks ago and let him do some playing on a particularly boring day at home. But, I’m pretty sure he’s none the wiser.

Overall, I feel really good about not going overboard, but still giving him a few little things that he’ll have fun with/get lots of use out of. Next year, when he’s almost two, the plan is to do one big “Santa gift” and the four gifts from mommy and daddy. I want him to keep the Santa thing in perspective and not be expecting twenty five gifts under the tree every year. We’ll see how it goes once he’s able to understand more about Christmas.

How do you celebrate Christmas in your house? Do you do Santa gifts as well as gifts from you? Do you wrap them or just leave them under the tree? Do you do stockings? I’m always so interested to hear how other families celebrate Christmas, since mine and my husband’s traditions were so vastly different.

However you celebrate, happy holidays to you and your family and I hope your Christmas is full of happiness and the true spirit of the season.

With love,


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Basically, if you happen to buy one of the products mentioned, I get a small royalty from Amazon, which will help keep OMTA in the diamonds and furs to which it has become accustomed. 

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Melissa Mowry

Melissa Mowry is a stay at home mom to 3 year old Chase and the slightly younger guy, Sam. She is the main voice behind One Mother to Another, which she started in July 2014 as a way to connect with other moms who felt just as lonely as she did some days. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Adam, and they live in their home state of Rhode Island. Melissa's work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Coffee + Crumbs and Mamapedia, among others. Her book, One Mother to Another: This Is Just Between Us is for sale on Amazon.
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