How I Keep Santa in Check



How I Keep Santa in Check | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

Santa is very practical at my house. And he’s on a budget.

I remember when I first heard the idea of “need, read, want, and wear”. It oh, so resonated with me. The functionality! The minimalism! The fairness! This year will be our 3rd year of “need, read, want, and wear” and I’m giving you an inside view of how this works for me and why I love it.

The premise is simple: in my home, Santa brings four gifts. My kiddos get something that they need, something they can read, something they just want, and something they can wear. Nothing more, nothing less. Some families stop there, but my husband and I do give a few additional gifts from Mom and Dad. Here’s why:

It’s “across the board” for multiple children. This is our first Christmas with two kiddos, and while our youngest is only a baby, we’re already establishing a pattern of fairness. I’m not stuck trying to find equal-but-not equal gifts or calculating how much I’ve spent to try to keep gifts even. Each kid gets their 4 gifts, and each gift serves a purpose. I will mimick this idea with gifts from my husband and I, but not quite as strictly.

I don’t want to be the reason that a child feels treated unfairly. Why does Santa bring some kids iPads and hundreds of dollars in toys while others only get socks? Understandably, Santa has a different budget in each home. But the Santa in my home will be practical while remaining magical. 

My kids will appreciate what they’re given. I love Santa as much as the next gal, but I do not want my children to believe that every single gift they receive falls out of the sky. My husband works hard, we budget, and I spend far too much energy on planning gifts. When they’re old enough, I hope that they will understand and appreciate that sentiment.

My kids aren’t getting one million toys that they don’t need. I get it, everyone wants to make Christmas memorable for their kids. But I, for one, would much rather NOT have a house stuffed full of toys that are never played with. Instead, they get useful gifts (that can still be fun!)

Kiddo in Jammies under the Christmas Tree | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

Here are some ideas to kickstart your Christmas planning:


Do they need new sports equipment, accessories for hobbies or instruments? A lunchbox or overnight bag? My daughter has gotten a nap pad and a lunchbox for this gift.


Books! This is the easiest one. Find an age-appropriate book and voila. My daughter got a book with multiple Peppa Pig stories last year. She still loves it and I am still asked to snort while reading it. 


What’s on their Christmas list? This year is the first year that my daughter has “made” a Christmas list. She has made it very clear that she would like Santa to bring her a Wonder Woman toy. 


My kiddos also get clothes from Mom and Dad, but this is usually a nicer outfit. I have a cute set of smocked outfits on preorder for my kids that I plan on gifting.


What kind of presents will Santa be bringing to your house this year?


Previous articleThanksgiving on the Beach: A Coastal Bend Tradition
Next articleImprints Leave an Impression – Holiday DIY
Coastal Bend Mom Collective
Coastal Bend Mom Collective is a locally focused parenting website written BY Coastal Bend area moms FOR Coastal Bendi area moms. Founded in November 2015 by a Corpus Christi mom, Coastal Bend Mom Collective is quickly becoming the area’s largest parenting resource. Our team of moms and social media influencers are extremely passionate about connecting Coastal Bend moms to products and resources that will make life easier. We also firmly believe that there is no one “right” way to be a mom in the Corpus Christi area and love hearing our readers’ differing perspectives on everything from diapering to discipline. We publish new content 6 days a week, which you can have delivered to your email weekly. On CBMC, you’ll find relevant, timely, and fun information within a positive parenting community. Soon, we’ll be planning regular events and playdates in the greater Corpus Christi area to connect moms and families, so we hope to meet you in person very, very soon!