Why I Trash Some of My Kid's Christmas Presents

opening Christmas presentsI got a text message this week from my daughter's godmother asking if I could give her some ideas for Christmas presents for the kid. I gladly supplied the name of a much-asked for book and her favorite clothing store. If only more people were like her, I'd be more than happy to do the same. It would prevent what I know is to come after Christmas: the annual trashing of the gifts.

Not every gift, mind. I only trash the just plain awful stuff given to my kid by the clueless. Take the fake nails for the 7-year-old.


I'd ask who the heck thinks of giving a 7-year-old fake nails, but I think first we must ask: who MAKES fake nails for a 7-year-old? Because there are Angry Birds on these nails, I am thinking they really were designed for kids. But, hello, fake nails! She's SEVEN! It's gifts like these that make me feel like a Scrooge as I spirit them out from under the Christmas tree while she reads her new books and plays with her new toys.

Don't get me wrong: I love that other people love my kid enough to buy her something. But that doesn't mean I have to let her keep them. The fake nails have already been taken away (actually, she handed them over, knowing they were inappropriate), along with some shower gel chock full of ingredients that give me the heebie jeebies.

Go ahead and call me a Grinch, but let's be realistic here. Have you kept every gift you've ever gotten? The concept of re-gifting was born precisely because this problem exists ... and not just in gifting to kids.

Sometimes presents suck. Maybe it's because the gift giver meant well but simply didn't know much about the recipient. Maybe it's because the gift giver is a loon. Maybe it's just because you are realllllllllly picky.

Point is: we can be gracious about gifts given to our kids. And then we, the parents, have the power to do with them what we want. We can let the kids keep them, or we can make a trash pile and a donate pile, and get them out of the house.

I'm not ashamed to admit I do it. So, who's with me?

Do you let your kids keep all of the Christmas presents or do you take some of them away?


Image by Jeanne Sager

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