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3 Children's Birthdays in January . . . My System for Gift Shopping

In case you could not gather from my site name, we have three children who all have birthdays in the month of January.  Right after the Christmas rush, we have a second wave of gifts come through the house at the beginning of each year.  Shopping for gifts to the children from my husband and I is pretty easy because I do that simultaneously with my Christmas shopping.

Just as with Christmas, we want to teach our children the joy of giving.  Since they were old enough, we have had them pick out small gifts to give to each other.  The hard part is taking each child gift shopping without the other two siblings.  This year, I think I finally developed a system that works.

In order to help each child choose a gift for the other two and still keep the gift confidential, I do the following . . . 

1.  Three weeks or more in advance, I look around online for gift ideas for each child and add them to my Universal Wishlist on to keep them all in one place.  This way, I am able to suggest gifts that are not too costly, are not duplicates, and are things that I approve of.

2.  Then I call each child over to my computer, while the other two wait upstairs, to take a look at my ideas for gifts for the two siblings.  I also ask if the child has ideas of his or her own.

3.  After a decision has been made on a gift for his or her two siblings, I repeat Step 2 with each of our other two children.

4.  When all six gifts have been settled upon, I then do a quick online search for the best prices for each item.  This includes checking for coupon codes for the various sites I am considering purchasing from.

5.  Then I place my online orders and have the gifts delivered right to my door.

All this actually takes about two hours to do total, which is much less time than  it would require to make three separate shopping trips.  I know it will get easier as our children grow older, but for now, this works well for us.  I also want to say that I am extremely impressed by how much thought and care each child puts into choosing gifts.  They are so excited when they choose something they know will delight their brother or sister.  The best part is that they are often more excited to give their gifts than they are about receiving their own birthday gifts.