Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Good Family Friends and Acquaintances Who Inappropriately
Insist on Popping in Uninvited at the Moment We’ve Just Sat Down to
Supper/Gotten Undressed for the Night/Opened a Bottle of Wine to Celebrate Not
Having to See Anyone Else Today:
Thank you in advance
for thinking of my children during this holiday season. It was so kind of you
to make an effort to include them in your seasonal generosity. It warms the
cockles of my heart to know that there are people in our life who think of us
warmly enough to merit someone as considerate as you spending time and money to
make my children’s day that much brighter with a token of your affection in the
form of a carefully chosen gift.
However, I take back
everything I just said if what is beneath that wrapping paper is any of the
1. Sticker Books
darling that you remember that my daughters enjoy “Frozen,” however, saying it
with over 1,000 stickers guarantees the charm of your thoughtfulness will wear
off approximately the 19th time I go out in public with an Olaf
sticker embedded on the underside of my thigh or the 94th time I am
scraping Hans off the bamboo floor in the den. Stickers are a fabulous gift
idea, unless your kids’ idea of fun is to stick them exactly everywhere that cannot be unstuck.
is the case with stickers, glitter is such a bright and cheerful idea. In
theory. The reality, however, is that once the glitter is unleashed, it will be
embedded in the fibers of your soul—and not in a sparkly way. It’ll be
stuck there in a “Oh, I didn’t know you had a fairy with a permanent stomach
flu hiding somewhere in your house for the sole purpose of puking on every
available surface” kind of way. Maybe if you live in a pot of gold at the end
of the rainbow, it’ll help your home’s resale value. Short of that, however,
not so much.
I’m not a Scrooge or a Grinch. I saw “Frozen” in the theaters three weekends in
a row last December. My kids have Anna and Elsa dresses, not to mention dolls,
wands and some kind of plastic castle with points shaped like icicles that
don’t feel so good (read: hurt like hell) when stepped on every time (read: all
the time) it comes apart. However, I draw the line at “Let It Go.” This means
anything (read: all the things) that plays the Oscar-winning song is not
welcome in our home. Furthermore, should you choose to ignore my wishes and you,
indeed, bring some musical toy that plays “Let It Go” into my home and it is
the Demi Lovato version, be prepared to explain to my children why you have
been estranged from our family for eternity because you’ve been sentenced to
purgatory—and why the Demi Lovato version of “Let It Go” will be the
only song you’ll be allowed to listen to while you are stranded there.
of course I get how building things is good for developing brains. Toys that
make kids think creatively and strategically are beneficial in countless ways.
But when there are too many pieces to count, it means some will get lost, and
it’s inevitable that the lost pieces will be the integral ones to the tower/airplane/bomb/weapon
that my little Einstein/Picasso/rocket scientist must have in order to move on to the next game/toy/way to annoy me
with yet another thing they refuse to clean up. And when the key piece
disappears, we are left with 61 other pieces that, while useless, are further
contributing to our home that resembles a junkyard.
my kids aren’t looking, I tend to execute the stuffed animals I know they won’t
miss. Yet somehow, for every three furry creatures that exit the house, 11 more
seem to enter. They’re breeding like rabbits and taking over our home, one
piece of plush at a time. Please, no more—unless you’d also like to give
each of my kids a king-size bed for their rooms in order to ensure they can all
fit in there at night.
have my hands quite full keeping everyone in my home alive already—this
includes my husband and our children. I just stopped wiping everyone’s butt on
a regular basis. Please don’t make me have to worry about feeding, watering,
cleaning up after and housebreaking another living creature, because I’m so
tired I can tell you with much certainty that the next living thing to necessitate
my attention probably won’t make it out alive.
I spend time with my kids—and not only because we live under the same
roof or Child Protective Services says I have to. I don’t need any games or
activities to help me further bond with my children. Please, please, please
don’t give them something that mandates I supervise or participate in the
activity. A gift for them should not mean a punishment for me in the form of me
having to do something for them or play with. I’ll decide for myself how we will bond. An
endeavor that entails a hot glue gun or instructions in 19 languages except
English is not my idea of quality family time.