Gift Giving with Meaning

Gift Giving with Meaning | The Open Home

When it comes to Christmas we like to keep things simple, especially when it comes to gift giving.

We love the ‘WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ’ philosophy and use this as a guide for giving to our little ones at Christmas time, however we have adapted it slightly to allow for a more symbolic way of giving gifts.

On Christmas morning our little one wakes up to find three presents under the tree as well as a traditional hang-over-the-fire-place sized stocking.

The three gifts under the tree are all wrapped in different colours – one in gold, one in purple and one in red. These three gifts are symbols of the three gifts that Jesus received from the wise men and provides a particularly meaningful way of gift giving at Christmas that keeps Christ at the centre.

Gift Giving with Meaning | The Open Home


The gift wrapped in gold obviously represents the valuable gift of gold that Jesus received. This gift is often the ‘main’ present, something the child really wants or will find particularly special.

This translates nicely into the WANT part of the gift giving philosophy we like to follow and will most likely be a toy whilst we have little ones, perhaps an accessory or gadget when we have teens. This year Blossom is getting a wooden ride on toy which I’m sure will be a big hit now that she is full of energy and constantly on the move!


The gift wrapped in purple represents frankincense, which in Jesus’ time was an incense used in the temple, a place of teaching and worship. The ‘frankincense’ gift is therefore often something to encourage the child spiritually or educationally.

In our home this translates into the READ part of our gift giving philosophy and we generally buy classic books that have stood the test of time, books that often contain deeper meaning and lessons for life.


Lastly, the gift wrapped in red represents the gift of myrrh. It is thought that this was a gift for Jesus’ body at burial and likewise this gift is also a gift for the body, translating nicely into the WEAR part of our gift giving philosophy.  This year our little one is getting a pack of big girl pyjamas!

Gift Giving with Meaning | The Open Home


That only leaves us with the NEED part of the gift giving philosophy which is then found in a small Christmas stocking along with a few treats.  The majority of the stocking is stuffed with items our little one actually needs, practical things like slippers, a winter hat, a new bib and personal care items such as hair clips and a toothbrush. She will also discover a few edible treats in her stocking too, like chocolate buttons and of course, the traditional satsuma!

So this is how we approach gift giving for our kiddos at Christmas time. We find it really puts some meaning into the gift opening process on Christmas morning, allowing us to better appreciate our gifts and providing room to savour the real meaning of Christmas amongst all the fun.

How do you approach gift giving at Christmas time?

8 thoughts on “Gift Giving with Meaning

  1. Cherie November 12, 2014 / 17:38

    Lovely post Jessica. So important to be thoughtful and considered in our gift giving, as easy to get caught up in the consumer mayhem at this time of year.


    • theopenhome November 14, 2014 / 13:25

      Thanks Cherie. This way of giving really does work well for us or I should say me, my methodical brain likes something simple and structured to work with.


  2. Annie November 14, 2014 / 13:40

    I’m enjoying your Christmas posts as my husband and I prepare for our son’s second Christmas. Thanks for the helpful and thoughtful ideas!


    • theopenhome November 14, 2014 / 13:49

      Thank you, Annie. Pleased to hear you’re enjoying these posts and hope that you have an enjoyable and stress free time preparing for your son’s second Christmas!


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