photo (1)Anyone with young children know that the question of ‘what do your kids want for Christmas’ is one of the hardest questions to answer. When they’re older they want specific items, when they are younger they either don’t know or they want everything. Or, they are like my 4 year old nephew who only wants swords, even though he has 5 swords already (not to mention all the swords he makes out of every day household objects). And, I don’t know about you, but I have 2 kids and my house is full of crap! I have no storage space and every inch is covered in plastic toys. My kids have so many toys, we don’t even know what to play with any more. So, if you’re anything like me, this guide is for you! This is what to ask for this year, especially from the grandparents.

1. Experiences, not stuff! Maybe the grandparents or aunts/uncles want to take them to the zoo or the children’s museum or to a movie or to a special over-night outing (think Key-lime cove or some indoor water park, etc.). The kids will have so much fun, they get to enhance the relationship with the kids, and the parents might get a chance to get out and shop themselves (or nap).

2. Lessons, not stuff! My mom is getting both of my kids swim lessons this year instead of more traditional presents. My kids are going to be thrilled, they get to swim every weekend in the boring Jan/Feb months, my mom doesn’t have to run around town trying to figure out what to get, I don’t have to pay for the lessons myself, and we don’t have to bring another f’ing version of Elmo into our home. Everybody wins! (think also gymnastics, ballet, karate, etc.)

3. Family fun, not stuff! My dad is getting our family passes to Great America. Instead of them trying to figure out 4 separate presents for our family of four, they only need to buy 1 thing. And, instead of them buying stuff they we’ll be sick of by February, we will be able to enjoy this gift all summer long! (think also pool passes, museum memberships, vacations, etc.)

4. For the babies…. When our kids were really little and truly didn’t know any better, we asked for diapers and formula and wipes and pajamas and money for day care and….. You get the point. Babies really don’t need too terribly much for the first 2 years. They have fun unwrapping presents, playing with the paper and boxes. They don’t care that it is a box of diapers. Help them help you, ask for what you need.

5. For the parents…. Sure I love gift cards, sure I love crock pots, but what I really want is a baby sitter. I want a baby sitter that is easy and consistent. What if you asked for an over-night baby sitter once a month for six months? Or, every other month all year long? Did I just blow your mind? Something consistent too, like the 3rd Saturday of every month. Just think if before the year even started, you had scheduled/planned date nights simply built into your calendar. You’re welcome…

6. The chip-in…. Last year we did a combo birthday day party for both kids. Everyone was asking what to get and I had NO ideas. The only thing we actually wanted was a swing set for the back yard but those are too expensive. So, what did we do? We asked all of the family members to simply chip in whatever they would have spent on a present and we pooled the money together. We ended up getting a really nice swing set, and again, made it easy on everyone else.

What NOT to get:

1. Noisy bullshit! We don’t need anymore singing teddy bears or harmonicas or yo gabba gabba dancing monsters or any of that rage inducing non-sense. It will shortly ‘run out of batteries’ or ‘go to sleep’ or ‘I don’t know what happened sweetie, you went to sleep and it just disappeared…’

2. Plastic crappy cheapness! I don’t want ANYTHING that can possibly be gotten in a happy meal. You know the toys that cost $3 and will last about 3 minutes… I don’t want them, they don’t need them, stop the insanity!

3. Parental supervision needed toys! I love my children. I swear, I do! But, there are literally a million things I can do with them. If there is anything I need, it is toys they can play with without me. I need stuff that gives me 15 minutes to attempt putting dinner on the table. I need something the little one can play with when I am helping the big one with his homework. I need something the big one can play with while I am trying for the 13th time this hour to get the little one to ‘pee pee on the (m’er f’ing) potty’.

4. Lastly, I just don’t want a slutty barbie. My daughter is 2 and I really don’t want to go thru the whole barbie thing. Doctor barbie should NOT be in platforms and a mini skirt! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I would love her to play with a reasonable, normal looking female doll. The ONE barbie she has is in a mini-skirt, no underwear, and a pink stripe in her blonde hair. I will not start the unrealistic craziness that is barbie as long as I can help it. I also resent the fact that my son gets science and building toys and my daughter gets a pink shopping cart. Do better- entire world.

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