I am addressing this post to my family and my friends, to all of those kind hearted loving people who desire to share a little Christmas Cheer this year by purchasing a wonderful gift for my children. I have a few suggestions to ensure that everyone will be delighted with your thoughtful gift. Taking these suggestions seriously can only serve to ensure long and joyous playing by my children.

1. If it makes noise: please check that there is an off button and volume control. If both do not exist then do the following test before purchasing: Place toy next to your ear. Press the “on” button. When the sounds stop, press it again. And again. Do this repeatedly for at least 15 minutes. If you do not have the urge to puncture your own eardrum then feel free to put it in the cart.

2. If it has small parts: please imagine the sounds your vacuum would make if it were to suck up said “small parts”. Also, inspect the small parts and allow yourself to imagine stepping on them in the middle of the night. If you do not imagine the sound of bolts in the dryer AND if you can honestly say that the small parts would be harmless to your sensitive soles, then feel free to put it in the cart.

3. Painting supplies: What? You don’t like the color of my walls? or my floor? Don’t put it in the cart!

4. Crafting Kits: Please follow the small parts suggestion (#2 above). Also, if you do not desire to receive this particular crafted item as a future gift then leave it at the store.

5. Stuffed Animals: Just don’t.

6. Bathtub toys: Check for areas where water can be stored, for example, the “squeaky hole” at the bottom of the rubber ducks. If there are no areas that will promote mildew growth, then feel free to put it in the cart.

7. Dolls/Barbies: If she is wearing something that you DON’T want to see your child wear (thong, super mini, halter) then only put it in the cart if you’re willing to buy it appropriate attire (and re-dress it before wrapping it).

8. Cars/Trucks: This falls under several categories, mainly “small parts” sometimes “noise makers”. If it involves a remote control, take a moment to imagine what it will feel like when it slams into the back of your ankle, repeatedly. If you feel the bumpers are adequate to prevent parental injury then put it in the cart. Don’t forget the batteries.

9. Board Games: These are great for family game night! However, my child will want to play it right away and for hours on end. If you are prepared to play this game with them until the “newness” wears off, then put it in the cart, otherwise please find a one player game.

10. Books: Find a friend, whack them upside the head with the book. Next, hold it as high as you can and drop it on their foot. If they are without head injury or a broken toes then feel free to put it in the cart. Otherwise, find a smaller, preferably paperback, book.

I know it’s cute. I know it’s on sale. I know it might stimulate their creativity, improve their hand-eye coordination, or foster growth in the right side of their brain. Despite all those wonderful qualities, failure to follow these suggestions will probably mean you’ll see your gift in our first springtime yard sale. I’m just looking out for your best interests here.

Love to all, Merry Christmas



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