This post was originally published last year on another blog. That web-publisher is now defunct, so I am publishing it again here.
There are lots of posts floating around the interwebs right now about the "perfect" gift for moms, kids, aunts, neighbors, pets, mailmen,etc. I have even sought out a few myself for gift ideas to give relatives. Then I click on these links and some of them crack me up!! Trust me, if you want to stay friends with me, you’d better not buy some of that stuff. Especially the lists for kids!!
Since I am in a generous mood right now, I thought I’d share with you my list of "Ten Things You’d Better Not Buy My Kids for the Holidays if You Want to Stay Friends" (Alternately titled: Things I’m buying my niece…KIDDING!)
1. Things that make noise. OK, fine you can buy something that makes noise, but make sure it has an off switch! We have a Joker Castle in our dining room that just about gives me a heart attack every night when out of nowhere it yells,"Ha ha ha! The joke’s on you Batman!"
2. Things that are out of the appropriate age range. Sure, your kid might be advanced for his age, but I’m not sure you’re going to find any 3-year old who is ready for a skateboard. A full sized skateboard like the one my brother bought my son a few years ago. Really! Are you going to pay the hospital bills?
3. Anything with small pieces (unless it comes with a storage container). I’d be okay with Legos if you also bought one of those big Lego head storage things I saw in Target last week. Or lots of shelves for my husband, ahem, to store his creations on. Because apparently once you put together the entire Lego Pirates of the Caribbean pirate ship you cannot ever take it apart!
4. Messy stuff. My daughter loves that "paint your own whatever-the-heck-that-is," but now there’s paint all over the place. And it’s bed time, so guess who gets to clean it up?? I’ll admit to poor timing on my part, but there are only so many times you can deny a gift after it’s been given!
5. Candy. Trust me. I’ve got that covered. A million times over. And if you give a special one to Henry, he will remember. It cannot be added to the general candy population because IT IS HIS!!!
6. Stuff that’s breakable. Seriously, people?! I can’t believe I have to write that down! They are kids for crying out loud!! Don’t give them something fragile and expect it to not break!
7. Clothes "to grow in to." I’ll allow one size up, but anything more than that and you are just leaving me with arguments about why they can’t wear that really cool shirt that looks like a dress because it’s too big.
8. Things for my kids to share. Nope. They don’t. Especially when it comes to gifts. Things that have been in the house for a while are usually okay, but the novelty of something new makes it very hard for them to take turns and they all want to claim ownership. This will almost guarantee your gift being placed in timeout (AKA the top shelf of my closet) until we all forget about it.
9. Gifts that are useless without a thousand accessories (not included, of course). We once had zhu zhu pets. They look fun, they run around. They don’t do much else unless you buy the houses and tracks and other toys. And don’t get me started on the crap they pick up off the carpet if you don’t buy those other things to put them in.
10. Stuffed animals. No! These things reproduce like Mogwai in a bubble bath, or hangers in the back of the closet, or... stuffed animals under the bed. We have enough already. Actually we had "enough" a few years back. Now we’ve got way too many!
What kinds of toys are off limits in your house?