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7 Gifts You Better Not Buy My Kids

Dear Grandparents, 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.

RELATED: 4 More Gifts You Better Not Buy My Kid

However, I take back everything I just said if what is beneath that wrapping paper is any of the following items:

1. Sticker Books

It’s 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.

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2. Anything With Glitter

As 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.

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3. Anything “Frozen”

Look, 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.

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4. Toys With Lots of Pieces

Yes, 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.

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5. Stuffed Animals

When 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.

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6. Real Animals

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I 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.

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7. Anything That Requires My Participation

Look, 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.

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