What is the 5 gift rule for Christmas

What is the 5 Gift Rule for Christmas?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Christmas has always been a season close to my heart, filled with the warmth of giving and the joy of seeing loved ones unwrap presents. But let’s be real, it’s not always a winter wonderland. There were years when the jingle in my pocket grew fainter as I desperately tried to find the perfect gift for everyone. The pressure to make each Christmas memorable often led to overspending, and by the end, the festive spirit was overshadowed by bills and buyer’s remorse.

That’s when I stumbled upon the 5 Gift Rule. It seemed so simple and promised to not only ease the financial strain but also ring back the genuine joy of gifting and the spirit of the season. Instead of an endless list, the rule was simple: gift based on five thoughtful categories – something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read, and a special surprise.

This wasn’t just a budgeting technique; it was a way to ensure that every gift had meaning. It reminded me that Christmas was not about the quantity of presents under the tree, but the quality of moments shared with loved ones.

​​Often referred to as the ‘5 Christmas gift rule’, this tradition is all about mindful and intentional gift-giving.

Join me as we delve into the 5 Gift Rule, a game-changer that promises a holiday season filled with thoughtful presents and cherished memories.

What are Christmas Gift Rules?

Shopping for Christmas gifts can be one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season. What do you get for your loved ones? What if they don’t like what you get them? What if you can’t afford to get them something nice? And of course there’s always someone who doesn’t want anything!

One way to ease the stress of Christmas gift shopping is to set some “gift rules”. This is usually an agreement between your family and friends but can also be just a helpful personal guideline to help avoid overspending.

Gift rules are guidelines that help you narrow down your options and make sure you’re sticking to a budget. One popular gift rule is the “five gift rule.”

What is the 5 Gift Rule for Christmas?

The five gift rule says that you should give five gifts to your loved ones: one for each of the following categories: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read, and a special gift. This way, you’re not spending too much money on any one person, and you’re giving them a variety of different types of gifts.

The first year I tried the 5 Gift Rule, the difference was palpable. Each gift opened was met with genuine excitement, and there was a deeper appreciation in the air. There was more time to enjoy the festivities in the lead up to the big day and Christmas felt like Christmas for the first time in years. I wasn’t just excited to receive presents, I was bursting to give out my thoughtfully chosen gifts that I KNEW would be a hit! 

That year, Christmas regained its magical charm, and the focus shifted from sheer quantity to the quality and thoughtfulness of each present. 

The Origins of the 5 Gift Rule

Although popularised in recent years the 5 gift rule has roots that hark back to a simpler time. The idea revolves around the principle of mindful and intentional gift-giving. Instead of inundating loved ones with countless presents, the rule suggests focusing on five meaningful categories. 

While the exact origins remain debatable, many believe it started with families wanting to create a more memorable and less commercialized holiday experience. By limiting gifts, families found they could prioritize quality over quantity, ensuring each present was thoughtful and cherished.

Benefits of Following the 5 Gift Rule

I’ve been following the 5 Gift Rule for a few years now, and the benefits have been manifold. Not only have my Christmases been less stressful, but the joy of gifting has been magnified.

Mindful Spending: By focusing on a limited number of gifts, you can allocate a budget more effectively, ensuring that you spend on items that truly matter.

Reduced Stress: No more last-minute shopping frenzies! With only five gifts to consider, the shopping experience becomes more relaxed and enjoyable.

Meaningful Gifting: Each gift, aligned with a specific category, becomes a thoughtful gesture, strengthening bonds with loved ones.

Environmentally Friendly: Fewer gifts mean less packaging waste and a reduced carbon footprint from manufacturing and shipping.

Fosters Gratitude: With fewer presents, recipients tend to appreciate each gift more, cultivating a sense of gratitude and contentment.

How to stick to the five gift rule

Also known as the ‘5 present rule’, this Christmas tradition focuses on strictly sticking to only 5 gifts. It can be difficult to stick to the five gift rule, especially if you have a large family or if you’re used to giving more than five gifts. Here are a few tips to help you stick to the five gift rule:

Make a list: Write down the names of the people you need to buy gifts for, and brainstorm one or two ideas for each person. This will help you stay focused when you’re out shopping.

Set a budget: Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts, and stick to it. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!

Get creative: If you’re on a tight budget, get creative with your gifts. Homemade presents are always appreciated, and your loved ones will appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Shop early: Avoid the last-minute rush by shopping for gifts early. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid impulse purchases.

Ask for help: If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, ask your family and friends for help. They’ll be more than happy to give you some suggestions!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to stick to the five gift rule and make sure your loved ones have a happy holiday season.

What are the 5 Gifts?

The ‘5 present rule’, as some like to call it, focuses on these five categories, ensuring a balanced and thoughtful approach to gift-giving.

1. Something They Want

What is something that your loved one has been hinting at? What is something they’ve been wanting for a while now? If you’re not sure, ask their friends or family members for some ideas.

2. Something They Need

This could be something practical, like a new winter coat or a new set of dishes. Or it could be something that will make their life easier, like a new vacuum cleaner or a set of storage bins.

3. Something to Wear

This could be a piece of jewelry, a scarf, or a new pair of shoes. Or it could be something more unique, like a vintage shirt or a custom-made tie.

4. Something to Read

This could be a new novel, a cookbook, or a coffee table book. Or it could be something more unique, like a graphic novel or an illustrated history book. If they’re not one to sit and read a novel perhaps a jumper with a funny quote or an inspirational calendar.

5. A Special Gift

This could be a gift that gets them into the holiday spirit! Maybe a festive decoration for their home, a holiday-themed mug or ornament, or a festive piece of clothing. It could be something that you know they’ll love, even if they don’t realise it yet. Or something unique made just for them, like a custom-made piece of jewellery or a framed photo of you together.

What is the 3 gift rule for Christmas?

The 3 gift rule is a simplified version of the five gift rule. Under this rule, you should give three gifts to your loved ones: one for something they want, one for something they need, and one for a special gift. This rule is perfect if you’re on a tight budget or you don’t have a lot of time to shop.

What is the 7 gift rule?

The 7 gift rule is similar to the five gift rule, but with a few additional gifts. In addition to the five gifts in the original rule, you should also give your loved ones two “bonus” gifts: one for fun and one for service.

What is the 10 Gift Rule?

The ten gift rule is similar to the five gift rule, but with a few additional gifts. In addition to the five gifts in the original rule, you should also give your loved ones two “bonus” gifts: one for fun and one for service. You should also add three more practical gifts, for a total of ten. This is a great rule if you have a smaller family or you want to make sure everyone has lots of gifts.

Things to Consider

  • Make sure your family are on the same page. Talk to them about your budget and what they’re expecting. This will help avoid any hurt feelings or misunderstandings.
  • Christmas gift rules are meant to take the stress out of Christmas by simplifying the gift-giving process. But if you find yourself getting stressed out about following a rule too closely, it’s probably time to take a step back and reassess. Remember, the most important thing is that you enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

Final Thoughts

The five gift rule is a great way to simplify the gift-giving process and make sure everyone gets at least one present they really want. By following these tips, you’ll be able to stick to the rule and make sure your loved ones have a happy holiday season.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the 5 Gift Rule! Have you tried it? How was your experience? Please share your stories in the comments below. And if you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family!

Christmas Planners

Check out our Christmas planners designed to make Christmas planning easy. We’ve made sure everything  you need is included, from budgeting to gift lists, and more!

If you’re looking for Christmas planning tips check out our post about Christmas planning through the year. We’ve broken down all of the most important tasks into easy month-by-month tasks so you’ll be organised and ready for Christmas.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top