The 3-Gift Christmas Rule Is a Thing, but Would You Follow It?

It’s true: There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as watching your kids react with glee to a Christmas tree cluttered with more gifts than you can count. But since that reaction lasts all of five minutes—until the packaging has been ripped apart—you can’t help but worry that the true meaning of Christmas is getting lost. Enter the “three-gift Christmas” rule.

What is the three-gift Christmas rule? It’s originally based on the nativity story—and the idea that Jesus received three gifts from the Wise Men on December 25—but modern moms are using it as a way to save money, reduce holiday stress and encourage their kids to be more thoughtful with their Christmas gift asks.

How do you pull it off? One popular tactic is to have your kids narrow their gift lists to just three categories: something they want (say, a new video game), something they need (like a puffer coat) and something to read (the Ramona series has been calling their name). It’s all about making Christmas a bit more purposeful and taking the pressure to buy endless gifts—that often sit unused—off.

So…would you do it? To each their own holiday traditions. But if your kid’s gift list is a mile long and you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of yet another trip to the mall, it *might* be something to consider.

Rachel Bowie Headshot
Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
read full bio