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In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often forget to stop and ask ourselves, “what do I want for Christmas”?
We are usually so busy focusing on everyone else to ask that question, but we deserve a magical Christmas full of delight, too, even if we have to make it happen ourselves.
Take a moment to consider your own Christmas wishlist to have a wonderful holiday and get everything you want for Christmas!
What Do I Want for Christmas?
When we’re focused on getting everyone else that perfect holiday gift, it can be hard to take a step back and figure out what we want for ourselves.
If you’re struggling to imagine ideas for yourself, consider the five-gift rule for Christmas gift ideas.
What is the Five Gift Rule for Christmas?
The five-gift rule is a rule of thumb for buying Christmas presents, but it can also work for making your own Christmas wish list. The guideline is to get someone something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
These four things cover the basics, and there’s a wide variety of ideas on what the fifth gift should be. Sometimes it’s something handmade, and other times it’s something to share.
These final options have limitations. Sharing gifts can be a little impersonal, especially if it’s one of the only gifts you get. Everyone should get at least one thing of their own. Handmade gifts are great, but can fall into the other categories like a hand-knit scarf to wear.
An ideal option for the fifth gift is something to do.
Why the Five Gift Rule?
The five-gift rule narrows down the types of gifts and makes it easier for you to think about what you want for Christmas.
It’s easier to think about something you want to read or something you need than to consider all the possible gift ideas out there. Using the five-gift rule for your Christmas wish list helps you focus on a few critical categories of gift ideas.
What Should I Put on My Christmas Wish List?
You should consider the five-gift rule when deciding what to put on your Christmas Wish list. The answers will be different for everyone because everyone has different wants and needs.
However, we’ve compiled a list of ideas and questions to get you started.
Something I Want
What do you want?
What have you been eyeing that you haven’t bought yourself? The possibilities for things you want are endless. It could be a fragrance you’ve been dying to try or a game just released for your favorite console.
Maybe you just want a cozy blanket and a self-care basket, or you’re a traveler looking for a perfect gift to help you on your next adventure.
Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to get started if you are considering a new hobby. Ask for paints, a sketchbook, sewing needles, or even one of those all-in-one gift set kits that can help get you started.
Think about the things you’ve wanted for the past few months. These items are probably the best answers to the question, “what do I want for Christmas.” Put these items at the top of your Christmas Wishlist.
Something I Need
There are a variety of things you may need. You might need new accessories like purses, wallets, shoes, or new houseware items like pots, pans, or bathroom towels.
Be careful not to go overboard with needs. When I was little, my father always gave my mother a new vacuum for special occasions. My mom wasn’t obsessed with cleanliness. She didn’t love vacuuming. While it’s true that the family needed a vacuum, it probably wasn’t the best choice for a personalized gift.
I always felt so bad for her when everyone else was getting cool toys and gadgets for the holiday, and she got something related to her chores.
Make sure that the thing you need is something you will enjoy using. Foodies might both enjoy and need a new cookbook, while students or journaling fanatics might want and need a new notebook.
You don’t have to take one for the team and ask for something that will help you do chores for Christmas. Consider things you both want and need when asking, “what do I want for Christmas.”
Something to Wear
Next, consider asking for something to wear. A new clothing item can fulfill a specific desire, like that fantastic leather jacket you’ve been eyeing or something general like socks, slippers, or winter accessories.
Be sure the gift giver knows your style and size when asking for something to wear. Be specific about what you want so that you get the right thing that fits you. Don’t ask for a new hat; you may end up with a baseball cap when you really wanted a knit winter hat.
Ensure that you are specific enough to get the desired item and avoid confusion.
Something to Read
Books make excellent Christmas gifts. There are so many books on various subjects, and we can order them with the tip of our fingers! Use the holiday as an excuse to dive into a new series or grab a novel you’ve wanted to read.
Non-fiction is a winning choice as well. Think back to the subjects that interested you most when you were a child, and browse the related books. You may reignite a long-forgotten interest.
Books are also great gift ideas because they tend to be low-cost. Most can be found for under twenty bucks, making them a perfect item to ask for in a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange.
Something to Do
Activities and events can be far superior to things. One of the best gifts someone can give is a scavenger hunt or tickets to see my favorite band live. Even tickets to a museum or theme park would be an incredible gift!
The special thing about a “doing” gift is sharing the experience with the gift giver. It will help build bonds and strengthen your relationship more than a material gift. It works for all types of relationships, including parent-child, friendship, or romantic relationships.
Other Fun Gift Ideas
There’s a reason why so many people have a different number five in their five things gift guides. There are so many kinds of gifts!
No wonder it’s so difficult to determine what we want for Christmas. Here are two more great ideas for things to add to your wish list that didn’t make it to the big five.
Sentimental gifts show how much you care. There’s nothing better than getting a framed photograph of a favorite memory or a relationship scrapbook that shows you how important you are to the other person.
Sentimental gifts can also include things that have special meaning to you. Perhaps you are a super fan of a specific television show or sports team. Getting a keepsake representing the thing you love showcases that the person truly understands you, and there’s nothing more sentimental than that.
Something Hand Made
It feels incredible to know that someone cares so much about you that they would put time and energy into handcrafting something specifically for you, and this is why homemade crafts make the most thoughtful gifts.
My best friend’s mother crocheted me a hat and scarf set for Christmas last year, and it was one of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received. Wearing this set gives me a warm feeling that store-bought items just can’t compete with.
If you have a friend with exceptional talent, see if they will be willing to craft something for you for the holidays. Be sure you aren’t asking too much, though – don’t ask a random acquaintance to make you ten scarves.
Giving homemade gifts should be an intimate exchange between close friends, and you should return the favor in an appropriate way.
What Should I Ask for When I Don’t Know What I Want for Christmas?
Hopefully, the rule of five gift guide gave you some ideas of what you might want for Christmas. But you still have options if you already have everything you could want or still can’t come up with anything.
You can ask for traditional gifts that make it easy for everyone or something that helps someone else.
We get our teachers, hairstylists, friend’s mom, and office acquaintances traditional gifts for Christmas. Consider a scented candle, cute coffee mug, or random pack of coasters for your wishlist. Traditional gifts are little items that it never hurts to have more of.
These traditional gifts also include gift cards, candy boxes, and those fun gift sets you find everywhere around Christmas time. These things are easy to find and usually low cost, so if your goal for your Christmas wish list is to make Christmas shopping easier for those around you, these are great options. You will probably get good use out of them too!
Something That Helps Someone Else
A more altruistic Christmas gift benefits someone else. Rather than asking for a gift for yourself, you can request that the gift giver donate money to a charity in your name. Charitable giving is an excellent option if you have everything you want, and it shows the giver that materialistic things aren’t always necessary.
Another way you can make your gift help others is by asking for something the entire family can enjoy. The joint gift can be tickets to an event or something to eat, like a lovely cake. If the giver is planning on spending a lot of money on you, you can ask for something like a new television or computer that everyone can use.
Gifts of Time
A final thing you can ask for is help at a charity. If you want for nothing, ask folks to volunteer their time as a gift to you. You can bond with the people you care about while working for a worthy cause. Be sure to check with the charity and ensure they need help before arranging to go – sometimes, occasional volunteers can disrupt the activity and make things harder for everyone.
If there isn’t a charity that needs help, you can organize your food drive or collect box tops for the local schools. You can volunteer to pull weeds at a local park or community garden. You can even go and pick up litter at the local park. You can do many things to help make your community a better place.
Unique Gift Ideas
When deciding what you want for Christmas, a final thought is to consider unique gifts you can find online. Find something that inspires you on Etsy, look for unique shirts on T-Public, or learn something from offerings on Gum Road.
An advantage to asking for these things for Christmas is that all purchases support individual creators rather than large corporations. When you buy something on Etsy or Gumroad, you’re supporting a small creator, which adds a bonus to the gift-giving experience.
You can find anything from digital products to handmade jewelry to specially designed mugs and shirts on these platforms, and the creators will appreciate the purchases far more than the Walmarts of the world will.
Remember the stocking stuffers when thinking about the perfect Christmas gifts! Even if you are the stocking stuffer in your home, that doesn’t mean you should miss out. It just means you can fill your stocking with whatever you want!
Skincare products make lovely stocking stuffers for yourself. Get yourself some luxurious lotions, bubble baths, and bath bombs that you can use for self-care. When getting it for yourself, you can pick the perfect combination of fragrances and indulge in the perfect bath.
Other great stocking stuffers include sunglasses, candies, small gadgets, batteries, and even little sentimental toys. A journal and a fancy pen set might also fit into your stocking!
More Holiday Gift Guides
Although we focused on your personal Christmas wish list, we know that one of your main goals is to create wonderful Christmas memories for your loved ones and enjoy a festive holiday season.
To that end, we’ve created various gift-giving guides to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We have specific gift guides for gamers and artists and a general gift guide based on personality types.
You will surely find the perfect Christmas gift in these guides for everyone on your list!
Have a Merry Christmas!
Christmas is the season of giving. Have a wonderful holiday season, and embrace the spirit by giving gifts and making others happy. But don’t forget to ask yourself, “What do I want for Christmas?” so you can also get your Christmas wishlist fulfilled.
You deserve it.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.