We decided before Hattie's first Christmas that we wanted to implement the four gift rule for her:

some thing she: wants, needs, wears, and reads.

We use this method for the gifts that come from us. This is the our third year doing it, and it works really well for our family. We definitely lean toward a more minimalist lifestyle, and we know it is nearly impossible to limit what others give her, BUT we can limit what we give her. AND, listen, girlfriend doesn't need a thing– especially since her birthday is in October! In fact, coming up with things to buy her was a bit of a stretch for us this year, but that's another post for another day.

Another determining factor for implementing the four gift rule revolved around conversations we had about our family values, especially as Hattie gets older and is around other kids at church and school. As a former teacher, I have an extremely soft spot in my heart for kids who come from less fortunate homes, are in the foster system, or any circumstances of the like. I've overheard so many heartbreaking conversations regarding how much someone got and how little (or nothing) another received. At the end of the day, I really just want Hattie to be a good and empathetic human that understands the number of gifts she gets has absolutely no correlation to how loved she is or how good she behaved.

Of course, at 2, Hattie can't list what she wants, but here is what we are gifting her, what she is getting from Santa, and what's in her stocking!

WANT- KC Lemon Squeezy Subscription

We are loyal lovers and subscribers of these sensory kits! I gift these to all of Hattie's friends for their birthdays because they are a GODSEND. I am telling you HOURS of independent play so you can get some stuff checked off of your to-do list! While Lemon Squeezy IS local to KC, she ships, so be sure to check her out!

NEED- Kiwi Co. Koala Crate Subscription

I looked for a local to KC subscription like this, but didn't have any luck! I used to gift my nephew Kiwi Co. boxes when he was little, and he loved them! I was introduced to the company through a science teacher colleague who gifted them to her nephews, and they all loved them! So, I'm really excited for Hattie to get hers!

WEAR- Kids Arrowhead Charlie Hustle t-shirt

Hattie has NO Chiefs gear, so this was an easy decision. We love all of our stuff from Charlie Hustle!

READ- The World Needs More Purple People

This book by Benjamin Hart and Kristen Bell is SO cute. I'll be rounding up all of Hattie's favorite reads soon!

We decided Santa only brings toys or fun things, and we try and shoot for ~5 gifts from him. But, this number varies depending on the cost of each item.

Hattie has mastered all of her knob puzzles, so we thought these cute Montessori Mama puzzles and this matching puzzle would help her learn the next step in putting "real" puzzles together.

We recently took our dogs to the vet, and Hattie had the best time. So, I know she's going to love this Melissa and Doug vet set so she can play "doctor" to her animals! Plus, you can never go wrong with Melissa and Doug– all of their toys and FatBrain are our favorites.

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets- Have you guys seen these? Your kid can color, wash, and repeat– three of Hattie's favorite things!

How cute are these bunny slippers!? Hattie is potty trained, which is exciting, but means she is wearing less of my favorite footie pajamas, so she needed some slippers. Plus, girlfriend LOVES a good accessory!

Mini kinetic sand– I've heard horror stories, so maybe say a little prayer for me! We have this table from Ikea that we can use as a sensory table, so hopefully, that will help contain the mess!

Her stocking is also from us, and just includes some small things we know she loves:

Her favorite chapstick

Crayola 16ct Pipsqueaks Washable Markers because she is over crayons. Lord help me.

These super soft jams from Target. We already have this set and she loves them!

a box of Goldfish crackers and some chocolate!

And if you were wondering, no– Jake and I do not use the four gift rule for one another because SOMEONE doesn't really read (and it isn't me!). So, that makes it hard. However, we do stick to a budgeted amount.


Meredith Maag Photography is a Kansas City newborn photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, and family photography in the Kansas City area, including Mission, Westwood, Brookside, Waldo, Country Club Plaza, Crossroads, Westport, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Prairie Village, Leawood, Independence, Lenexa, Olathe, and The Northland.

Meredith has a passion for connecting and helping moms through community, support, friendship, and kindness. In addition to using her blog to showcase glimpses and full sessions, she also enjoys writing and sharing products she loves. Some posts may contain affiliate links.


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