As a child, what were you given for Christmas? What were your favorite and least favorite gifts? Did your aunt buy you tube socks? Did you mom buy you spoons? Did you dad buy you hammers or drill bits? As a parent, it’s hard to remember what’s fun and what presents will make you insane. For ridiculous gifts not to buy your own kids see my list of ideas below.
1. Pets: Hamsters are cheap, but they come with accessories. You’ll need cages and wheels and treats. Who will be cleaning the fish tank when your child is busy? Who will be walking the dog in the rain? A nocturnal rabbit can hinder your sleep. Who wants life to be even more hectic? Buying a pet for your child means more chores for you. Don’t buy gifts that make you work!
2. Summer things: Do you live in Australia? Are you vacationing south? If not, buy winter things. Here Mandy, I bought you a good set of golf clubs. Look Johnny, I bought you a kite. Parents like to buy clothing their kids will grow into, but Christmas just isn’t the time. Buy flip-flops and sun hats some other occasion. For Christmas, buy snowshoes and skis!
3. Loud Toys: Don’t buy toys for your kids that are loud and annoying. You’ll get enough from your family and friends. Does your kid want a drum set? A Sponge Bob that sings? Don’t buy toys you don’t want them to play with!
4. Large Toys: Mom, I got a new train set. Look Dad, a play kitchen. Where the heck will you keep all these things? Let your kids play with large toys at the daycare or school. Don’t make an obstacle course of your house!
5. Power Tools: Don’t buy your kids things you just want for yourself. Dad, why did you buy me a drill? Oh, sweetie, you’re five. I just thought you could use one. Why don’t you keep it in my toolbox?
6. Tickets: Unless your kid is a teen, you shouldn’t buy tickets. Children have no grasp of time. Waiting more than a minute can make them ballistic. Try taking your kid for a drive. Here Sally, two tickets to go see The Wiggles. They’re coming to town this March. The day after Christmas, the whining will start. Mom, how many more sleeps is it now?
7. Expensive Toys: Kids don’t care about cost, at least not when they’re young. Gifts don’t have to cost parents a fortune. The boxes and bags are better than presents. Kids can make their own spaceships and forts!
8. Make-up: If you buy a girl make-up, she’s certain to use it, just not in a way you’d expect. She’ll use purple eye shadow with two pounds of pink blush. Mom, why don’t you want to go shopping?
9. Messy Toys: You know your own kids and how messy they are. Would Play-Doh make a good gift? Would your kids paint the walls if you bought them an easel? Why not build them an indoor sandbox?
10. Complicated Toys: If you’re child is six, don’t pretend they are ten. Stick with age appropriate games. Don’t buy complicated puzzles or intricate Lego. Chess isn’t meant for toddlers. Buy kids toys that are fun and easy to use. By them toys they can play by themselves. When parents are happy, kids are too. Parents need time to play!
Christmas is magical, even without gifts. It’s about sharing and caring and giving. There aren’t many presents that children don’t like. They love gifts that are tangible and fun. What can you buy your kids that won’t drive you insane? What if your child really wants a drum set? No problem, buy one for your best friend’s kid. Would they really get you back?