If you're a budget conscious Christmas shopper, but you want to ensure your children wake up Christmas morning with a smile on their face, consider accepting this unique  challenge.  

Certainly we love our kids, but let's face it, we can't all afford to go nuts when it comes to buying them gifts. That's why the folks over at Moneysavingsters.com recommend purchasing just 4 presents this year. You read that right; 4!

Will your children jump for joy when you let them know your thrifty shopping plans? Probably not, but they'll be pleased to know that they will still be receiving at least one gift that they asked for. This leads us to #1 on the list:

#1. Something They Want

Perhaps your little girl has been begging you for a cuddly Bamboo Plush Panda from the Village Toy Shop in New Hartford; or maybe your son has asked you time and time again for a shiny locomotive from JR Junction Train and Hobby in Syracuse. Consider granting their request and put a smile on their face. It's OK to give them want they want in moderation right?

#2. Something They Need

There are lots of things your child probably needs and it will set your mind at ease if you go ahead and make "Need" purchase.  Maybe they need a new desk, toothbrush, or dresser; or maybe they need a bed. Has your little one outgrown their tiny one? I remember when it was time for me to upgrade It made me kind of sad and a little afraid because I no longer had rails protecting me from falling off the mattress. Needless to say, I eventually graduated to a big boys bed. Unfortunately, it took me 32 years before that ever happened.

 #3. Something to Wear

Let's face it, socks and underwear aren't the most exciting gifts in the world, and most likely your child won't get all giddy when he or she opens a 6 pack of under shirts, but there's a chance a new hand knitted sweater from the Princess Shop or a cool pair of boots from Herb Phillipsons will appeal to one of your kids. This Christmas don't forget to purchase something from the "Wear" category. Your child will thank you after they realize they aren't freezing this winter.

#4 Something to Read

"But mom, reading is boring!" Well, it can be if you don't happen to find a book on a subject they're interested in, but if you know their likes and dislikes; or better yet, something they're passionate about, you may be guiding them down a road that leads to a brighter future. I was impressed to see the enormous book selection at Ollies Bargain Outlet. Something tells me there's at least one in there for your son or daughter and you want a well educated child right?

Have you ever received a gift you didn't want or need? How did you handle it?