The Four Gifts of Christmas Takes Gluttony and Greed out of the Holiday season

Some people think holidays are the time to prove their love through a plethora of gifts. Regardless of their financial situation, they will purchase nothing but the best. Is a pile of gifts necessary? Can they get their point across with 4 presents?

The origin of the 4 gift rule is unclear, but BBC featured a story about it in 2016 and it’s gained popularity as a new Christmas tradition for families in the U.K. and U.S. The concept is wear, want, need, and read. It’s received mixed reviews.


Recipients may feel let down by the amount of presents. They don’t want the magic of Christmas to end abruptly.


Families with children fear their relatives (i.e. Grand Parents) won’t respect the 4 gift rule. They will purchase more and turn it into a competition.

In truth, the four gift rule presents a reasonable balance for families with more than one child. Unfortunately, children initially see quantity over quality. Without an understanding of money, it seems like one child is favored over others. Suddenly, sorrow replaces joy.

Only child homes can benefit from the concept, because it teaches quality over quantity at any age. Think about it this way.

Scenario 1

Anyone can buy 20 to 100 presents per person at the Dollar Tree and all the wrapping fixings they need. Their family members have a lot of gifts but the quality of their presents vary. The life expectancy of the gifts are short. 3 to 6-months into the year, they are throwing away or recycling gifts. In this scenario, the holiday season creates year long waste. Here’s another thought.

Scenario 2

It is the 2nd week of December and nothing is purchased. There are only 2 shopping weekends left till Christmas. Financially, the shopper is recovering from Thanksgiving weekend. In the spirit of giving, they decide to max out there credit cards. This person kept the commercial spirit of Christmas alive, but is going into New Year with the stress of new debt.

Oddly enough, this scenario reminded me of the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future. So far, I have not watched any version of a Christmas Carol this year. The Ghost of Christmas Present is usually surrounded by a bountiful feast. He just looks like a good time, but is scarier than Future at times. For one, he is showing Ebenezers the direct results of his actions. The Ghost criticism and aggravation with the greedy man increases with each holiday scene. At the peak of his anger, he leaves Ebenezer unexpectedly. He sets the stage for the scariest non-verbal ghost of all.

The mind wanders off in strange directions.

Although the person in scenario two is trying to do the right thing, their present actions leads to an uncertian financial future. The Four Gifts concept can offset that impending doom of wreckless spending. Money is not an issue for everyone, but thought can count with 4 presents.

The Sky is the Limit

The amount and type of presents are restricted, not the the price. In my opinion, it’s about quality over quantity.

Do you think 4 gifts are not enough per person?

Are you already giving your family something to wear, something they need, something they want, and something to read?

(Did that question sound like a page from a Dr. Sues book? No, just me?)

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