Every blog or news feature about gift-giving lists the must-haves or top holiday gifts. My list is the MUST-NOTs this holiday season.
MUST-NOT GIFTS FOR KIDS. It has a nice ring to it.
1) Pottery Barn Kids Skeeball Machine: I am a PB addict. I like their stuff; I heart preppy / clean lines. So why is this gift a must not? One simple reason. A price tag of $6,299. Yes, you are reading correctly: over SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. No, you are not paying for your child’s first year at ASU or small used car – you are buying your child a skeeball machine for their room. RIDICULOUS! I hoping the Jordan who has this in the PB catalog does not exist. If he does, I wish Jordan’s parents good luck with his future therapy bills.
2) Lego Star Wars Death Star: Ok, you are either gonna love me or hate me for saying this. We are a Lego family. We have an old train table that has Lego on top and bricks below. We have purchased our fair share of Lego Chima, Star Wars, Ninjago, Friends, and City. I like Legos. However, I don’t love Legos that cost $399. The price tag is one strike against it, but the main thing I don’t like about these MEGA Lego sets are that they occupy your entire holiday. Flashback to Christmas 2012: son receives Star Wars Millennium Falcon from Santa. Child proceeds to spend 12 hours building Falcon on Christmas Day at Grandmom’s house. Four days later, after painstakingly piecing together the 243 pieces, we attempt to pack Falcon for transport. Suffice it to say that the Eagle did not land safely in Texas.
3) Loopdedoo Friendship Bracelet Maker: What’s not to love? An arts & crafts kit, a price tag under $30, a sticker of a best toy award, and the word friendship. How about the pain and anguish you experience as you attempt to make a bracelet in under 2 hours with your child? This kit was so painful and SO NOT EASY that my daughter and I ended up using the thread to braid a friendship bracelet so we didn’t have a total waste of a gift. I even had three of my teen babysitters attempt to rectify the situation in case it was personal craft flunkie problem. Nope, it wasn’t me – this piece of plastic is junk and you are better off using your doorknob to tie thread to and make a bracelet.
4) General Games that are actually MATH/VOCAB enrichment: Another category I will probably get heat for. Mom/Dad/Santa, you are not fooling even a four year old when you purchase a board game and it really is a MATH station. Your kids are smart; they know what you are doing. Yes, some of these games are fun, but leave the holidays alone and stop giving fancy multiplication cards as a Christmas gift. Save it for Flag Day, folks. Bring on the glitter and race cars. You are only a kid once and I don’t think Santa is getting a lot of requests for flashcards. Plus you will go down as the WORST AUNT EVER if you give this type of gift.
5) Giftcards: I love gift cards. I am a pain in the neck to buy presents for. Kids, on the other hand, want a physical present to open. A gift card – although well meaning – is just like a TBD gift. It lacks imagination. It lacks passion. It’s safe, so you’re not going to win any Santa awards with a tiny slab of plastic. Go ahead and purchase the bike that Santa needs to put together with an Allen wrench on Christmas Eve. Purchase the Furby that will annoy you in ten minutes flat. It’s the season of miracles, so let the magic begin!