Why 2020 is the Best Year to Adopt the 4 Gift Rule

For the past four years, I kept telling myself that I would use the four gift rule when purchasing Christmas gifts. The four gift rule is about giving four gifts to each person: something they want, something they need, something to read, and something to wear. The four gift rule is about giving gifts with intentionality while focusing less on frivolous gifts. It is about giving gifts that have meaning for the recipient, instead of overflowing them with tons of useless gifts that they likely won’t use. And finally, it is about harnessing the true power of gifts — the very act of giving and paying it forward to someone else.

Why 2020 is the Best Year to Adopt the 4 Gift Rule:

Budgets are tighter than ever

As the Coronavirus pandemic ravaged the nation this year, many lost their jobs. As a result, unemployment rates were at an all time high. In the US, unemployment rates have dropped slightly according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Regardless, money and thus the Christmas budget will be a little bit tighter for many families this year. Many simply won’t have the money to pay for an extravagant Christmas.

Instead, use this as an opportunity to choose gifts that are full of meaning. Survey the online retailers and look for gifts that you know they will enjoy. Buy only four gifts instead of buying a cornucopia of items that will undoubtedly end up in the attic collecting dust. Look for gifts that they want and need, as well as something that they can read and wear. Look for gifts that will be useful to them in the coming year.

Choosing gifts with purpose and intention creates appreciation

We are often pressured to purchase as many gifts as possible to fill up the entire space underneath the tree. This year, however, take a different approach. Teach yourself, your family, and your kids that it’s not about the presents. Teach them to appreciate the stuff that they have and the stuff that they receive. Show them that it’s not how much you have that matters, but the quality of the love that manifests itself during this process. Tell them that it’s not about buying as many gifts just for the sake of buying them, but the slow, deliberate process of buying something for someone to show your love for them.

Rediscover the true meaning of the holidays

This year has been crazy for many. Christmas is a time of respite from the chaos. It is about reconnecting with loved ones in between the daily grind of work and school. It’s probably no coincidence that Christmas happens in the middle of a school year, or the middle of a fiscal year. It serves as a nice break.

Enjoy that break this Christmas by not stressing over what to get your family and friends. Instead, follow the four gift rule to make Christmas shopping easier. You will then have the time to enjoy what is truly important: rediscovering the true meaning of the holidays. You will have time to have joy for the world that we live in, the love for the community that we are a part of, and the capacity to believe in even the most impossible of moments.


So, this Christmas, take a break from the chaos of the year, the holidays, and the shopping by adhering to the four gift rule. Buy one thing that they need, one thing that they want, something to read, and something to wear. Buy just four gifts in an effort to create more joy, appreciation and simplicity. Do something different during the Christmas of a year that has already changed and shaped so many of us in more ways than possible. Take the additional step towards self improvement and self fulfillment.

What are your thoughts on the 4 gift rule?

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter to get the latest blog updates!

Please help me grow!

Posted by

Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

17 thoughts on “Why 2020 is the Best Year to Adopt the 4 Gift Rule

  1. Superb advice. The fact is Christmas has never been about the gifts we give each other, but about THE Gift of God’s Son, Jesus, called the Christ or Anointed One. Imagine a supreme being so amazing He can spangle the universe with galaxies, design the quarks inside the molecules of DNA, and number the hairs of our heads. Then imagine He cares for us!! It is not just fantasy. This is what Christmas is really all about: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son …” (John 3:16) and we are empowered to “pay it forward” loving our families, neighbors, and even loving our enemies. THANX for a great blog!! 🙂

  2. The four gift rule is really useful.

    Another one if this is still too much is play secret Santa in the house. So everyone is only get one person gifts which can be limited to one or the four gift rule mentioned. Doesn’t work too well when they’re tykes though. It’s more useful in a family of adults.

  3. I’d never heard about the four gift rule till now but I think I like it. I’m wondering how much cheaper it is to get four gifts instead of one though 😅

  4. I love the 4 gift dea! I had previously heard of the 3 gift idea-identical to the 4 gift idea but the 4th gift is something to read. I think this does a great job on cutting back frivolous spending and going into debt just for the illusion of the “perfect Christmas.”

    1. Absolutely, it helps people to focus on what’s really important! Unfortunately , Christmas is focused on material things because of consumerism and people end up falling into the wrong mindset.

  5. I’ve decided to make a lot of my presents this year. They’ve been really enjoyable to put together, and I know my family and friends will really appreciate that I’ve given them something thoughtful, something they will use, and something which hasn’t cost the earth 🙂 The 4 gift rule sounds great 🙂

Leave a Reply