Gifts for Any Occasion: Want, Need, Wear, Read

We use this simple gift formula of want, need, wear, and read for Christmas with our kids. It helps us simplify the amounts of things they’re getting while also helping my husband and I be more intentional and thoughtful about what they’re receiving and why.

Then I saw a video of someone sharing how she uses this same concept for Valentine’s gifts for her kids and it got me thinking. Could we use this gift formula for any occasion or holiday?!

Two bunny easter baskets filled with goodies for children like swimsuits, pajamas, new books and candy.

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The “Want, Need, Wear, Read” Concept

While I’m not certain of the exact origin of this concept, the gist is quite simple. It is most traditionally tied to Christmas gifts, but the idea is that you choose one item in each of these four categories.

Want, need, wear, and read.

Something a child is asking for or really wanting, something you feel they need, something to wear (get creative on this one!), and something to read. You can even buy reusable want, need, wear, read tags to mark each of the gifts.

Some families will tweak these categories and make them a little more unique or even add another category or two. This is completely customizable, which is why I think it can easily work for any holiday or occasion.

Make It Work for Any Occasion

Start with your holiday or occasion. Next think through the recipient. Finally, consider the four gifting categories and start brainstorming items that could fit under each.

Aside from Christmas, my first attempt at using this concept for another holiday was Easter baskets for my kids. They both already have baskets but truthfully, I usually just fill them with some cute and springy, albeit, random items. This year, I was a bit more thoughtful.

Here are a couple of sample ideas. I always love packaging things in baskets or other fun, reusable containers but you could absolutely wrap gifts separately as well. The options are endless!


Mother’s Day

Last Day of School/Start to Summer

More Gifting Opportunities

  • Anniversaries
  • Birthdays
  • Baby shower
  • Bridal shower
  • Christmas
  • Engagement
  • Father’s Day
  • First/Last day of school
  • Halloween
  • Housewarming
  • Graduation
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day

More Gifting Ideas

Birthday in a Box

Create a Greeting Card and Stationery Box

Stoney Clover Dupe DIY

Boy & Girl First Birthday Gift Guides

Simple Coffee Teacher Valentine Gift

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