10 Gift Giving Tips for Happy Kids and Sane Parents

Hanukkah menorahWe're almost a week into Hanukkah, and I'm counting down the minutes until the last sunset. Eight nights of new toys are simply too much for young children to comprehend and I'm over the disregard for new toys simply because there are newer toys waiting. Oy.

I have learned a thing or two over the last five nights, however. Maybe you Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrating folks can benefit from my hard learned lessons ...

1. Buy batteries. And more batteries. And more after that. Every size and kind you can think of. You will never have too many.


2. If you have multiple children, be sure to give them the exact same number of gifts. Cost and quality don't matter -- if it's not an even number, it will be perceived as favoring.

3. Don't spend hours beautifully wrapping every last gift and tying them with a dozen perfect bows. They'll be ripped open in three seconds and your preschooler will not appreciate your meticulous job. Buy some gift bags and re-use them for birthday parties.

4. Do not buy cheap radio control cars. They will break and your son will have a fit and it will be a disaster. Trust me.

5. Clothes are not considered gifts to toddlers. Even really cute ones.

6. Neither are slippers, hats, or gloves.

7. Remove the gifts from their packaging before you wrap them. The time it takes to remove a toy from its packaging is precisely the amount of time it takes for a total meltdown to take place.

8. As long as you are taking the toys out of their packaging, you may as well buy toys from a secondhand store; you children will never know the difference.

9. Come to think of it, you are even better off simply wrapping toys that your children have long abandoned. They'll seem like new and you can spend the money you saved on something for the person who really needs to be lavished with gifts: You.

10. Better yet, take that money and go buy a good bottle of wine and some Tylenol. You're going to need it.


Image from Flickr/skippy

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