When it comes to gifts for children, especially during the holidays, it is easy to get lost in the materialism of mainstream consumerism. Buy more, save more, etc.

Over the years, I’ve come to witness firsthand how more gifts never actually equates to more satisfaction. I’m not exactly sure when, but at some point several years ago, I adopted a simple rule of thumb that has aided me enormously when it comes to presents for my kids. I cannot make claim to having invented this rule, nor can I properly credit whomever the genius it was who devised such a clever rubric. But it has come in handy over the years, and I figure that perhaps it might be worth sharing.

It goes like this:

Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.

Want. Need. Wear. Read.

So basic. So brilliant.

Helpful in the instance of the six-year-old who is requesting only things you’re completely opposed to purchasing (NO. MORE. LEGOS!), and also in the instance of teenagers who “just want money” and, while we all love having extra cash, it’s neither fun to give nor receive.

In local news, it’s Balboa Park’s December Nights! My sweet daughter’s dance studio is performing as part of the event, and by performing I mean dancing separately together via Zoom. Although it is nowhere near the same experience as dancing on a decorated outdoor stage in the beautiful Casa del Prada Courtyard, I am so proud of (and impressed by!) all the hard work and dedication the dancers, teachers, choreographers, and staff at SDCDA have put in to pull off a digital dance recital.

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