Give Me the Simple Life: Victorian Gift Guide

As my family has expanded through marriage and grandchildren, we knew we had to simplify gift giving. I came across this Victorian guideline and have used it, very successfully, for the last couple of years. Oh . . . how I wish I had come across it when my children were little. Such a great Christmas stress-reducer tool!

  • Something you WANT
  • Something you NEED
  • Something to WEAR
  • Something to READ

What tools and tips do YOU use to simplify Christmas? Share in the comment section for a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family! Winner will be announced next Tuesday.

Speaking of winners … the winner of last week’s giveaway is TYLER MYERS. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.



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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. MaryC says:

    We have a large group and recently started to draw names for a gift exchange. Children and seniors still get individual gifts but all the rest do a secret exchange, it’s a fun event opening surprise gifts.

  2. A lot of our friends have decided not to do gift exchange anymore. What do I need that we don’t already have at our age. For the family, if they don’t give me ideas than its either a gift card or something I think they could use. Gift cards do make shopping easier.
    I started earlier this year. Cards were finished before Thanksgiving. We got lucky in the Columbia outlet store. Most of the family got something from there. We had most the gifts by late October. Makes it easier when you get things done up earlier.
    I no longer fix candies or buckeyes for the neighbors. So that’s less now. In the past I’ve put 3 trees up. I haven’t got my tree up yet, but if not this year than very soon we will start to simplify in our decorating also. We aren’t getting any younger for sure.
    The meaning of Christmas is the only thing that lasts. Long after the gifts have been put away and the decorations taken down we still have the real meaning of Christmas in our hearts. That never goes out of season.

  3. Kelly Youngblood says:

    With four children, gift giving could get crazy if we let it, so we decided to give three gifts. Actually, the kids decided this on their own (they were quite young when they decided this)… something they want, need, and something having to do with the Kingdom. We’ve just never been ones to buy gifts just be buying something.

  4. Lisa Cowell says:

    We have never been much for gift giving. Sometimes the family will get together and draw names, but only if we think we will be able to gather sometime during the holidays.

  5. Arlene Mews says:

    Our family takes turns having dinner at their home on Christmas Day. Everyone brings a dish to pass. We do not exchange presents but the greatest gift is celebrating the birthday of Our Savior and enjoying the company of our loved ones.

  6. Jan Cason says:

    SHIRLEY CHAPEL…”The meaning of Christmas is the only thing that lasts.” I love that simple yet profound fact. May I repost? I felt a swoosh of peace when I read it 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thanks Jan. Someone told me that every year they buy a special cake for Christmas day. They have printed on it ” Happy Birthday Jesus. ” I have a sign I put out in my yard by the road where it can be seen. CHRISTmas Celebrate His Birth. Yes you may repost.
      Merry CHRISTmas.

  7. Teresa Wade Sheroke says:

    Since my family has also grown; it has gotten a little crazy with gift giving. We’re gonna start drawing names and the only one who gets a lot of gifts is the grand baby. She is the baby now so she gets spoiled!

  8. Pat Thompson says:

    From the child’s standpoint: My grandchildren help me choose their wrapping papers. When they look at the gifts under the tree, they know which presents belong to them. I buy one of the Santa gifts for each child to help my children, and then I buy clothing.

  9. Frances Cavallo says:

    I would be so truly blessed to win this giveaway! I try to shop all year round for little things that I think that my children and grandchildren would like and then, as it gets closer to Christmas, I try to figure out the bigger things, that they really want badly! I usually go to really good sales during the year and I am usually pretty right on with what I get them! I have not been in close contact with my family for about five years so i have not had to do this in s while! This year though, is going to be a very difficult year, as I have been very ill and have been spending a lot of time in the hospital for treatments! I am hoping that someone out there, or by benefit of a giveaway, I will be blessed with a Kindle, I love to read so much, and in the hospital during my treatments, it is pretty boring, so I usually try to spend my time reading! Unfortunately, I am waiting for disability, I may have to wait two years or so to get it, they say, so I am sometimes having hard times getting food, so buying books is out of reach right now! At least with a Kindle, you can get a lot of free books online. So I am hoping that I will be blessed with someone’s kindness and they might be willing to donate a Kindle to me, or I might win one! It would be the best Christmas gift ever! God Bless You and Your Family! Have a wonderful, blessed day and Christmas holiday too!!!

  10. Phyllis says:

    i used your “Something” suggestion this year for my grandchildren. I liked it. We give gifts to grandchildren until age 21; after that age, they go into a gift exchange with a dollar limit. It’s good to remember others, but even better to remember The Savior!

  11. Sharon says:

    I think this book would be very interesting.