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Grandparents, We’re Begging You: What NOT to Give Kids for Christmas

Grandparents, We’re Begging You: What NOT to Give Kids for Christmas

by Sarah Lyons

My children began their Christmas lists in October. Curious to see what made the list this year, I read over my daughter’s shoulder and was shocked to see that she had asked for a doll that spits up and wets itself, an expensive Lego set and a live donkey. These items were NOT on my Christmas list for my children. When you begin your Christmas shopping this year, consider asking the parents what types of gifts to avoid.

A Million Pieces

It alway ends the same way: the pieces get spread across the entire house, and it is nearly impossible to get them back together. Prior to giving, consider the ages of the children in the home. A nine-year-old may ask for Polly Pocket dolls or Lego, but they can easily turn into a choking hazard for a baby sibling and a huge stress for the parents.

Some Assembly Required

Every parent cringes when their child opens a fun and exciting toy and the box has the words “some assembly required.” If you are giving a toy that requires assembly, please consider putting it together prior to giving—or at least giving the parents a heads up.

A Not-So-Joyful Noise

Loud toys have been irritating parents since toys were invented. Musical instruments, toys with hammers and battery operated toys with no volume control all contribute to the already high level of noise pollution in the average household. When purchasing a loud toy for a favorite niece or nephew, please stop and imagine it being passed back to your own house when you have children. If that makes you shudder, keep shopping.

Batteries Not Included

Does the toy require batteries? If yes, are the batteries regularly available at a reasonable price? If they’re needed, make sure to have batteries on hand when the child opens the gift so they can begin playing immediately.

Toys That Encourage Violence

Toys such as Nerf guns, swords, punching bags and boxing gloves are not ideal for families that may not want weapons in the house. Amy Cameron, mom of three has a different perspective: “A water gun, lightsaber, or Nerf gun for only one sibling is not desired,” she said. “They need to be equally armed.” It’s best to ask for guidance before purchasing these items.

See Also

All That Glitters Isn’t Always Gold

Many families love to receive craft items as gifts and even ask for them specifically. Others may find them messy, stressful and frustrating. Play dough, paint, markers, stamps, beads and glitter all fall into this category. Double check with the parents to see what their policy on craft supplies is before you make your purchase.

Purchasing a gift for someone is always challenging because you want it to be enjoyed. Ask the parents what they suggest and if anything is not permitted in the house. If you have a great idea, run it by them first. Consider buying classic toys that are always a hit, or an experience like a membership to a local attraction. Even if you have purchased one of these toys or do in the future, don’t fret. Parents know that it truly is the thought that counts, and we are grateful that our children have generous people in their lives.

About the Author: Sarah Lyons is a stay at home mom to six kids, including eight year old triplets. She writes from her home in Kansas City.

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