Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Toys from HELL

This past weekend, I asked my children to write their letters to Santa. After reading them, I was struck by three things:

(1) Essentially, their lists were comprised entirely of whatever useless crap they had just seen advertised on television.
(2) My children are not sweet and charming Norman Rockwell-style angels who understand the true meaning of Christmas – despite multiple viewings of the Charlie Brown special where they appeared to have absorbed something. They are in fact mercenaries. They want everything and may be ruthless in their efforts to acquire their objectives. If there were a way for Hawk (age 5) to receive the entire Toys-R-Us Christmas catalogue – he would rub his hands in Mr. Burns-like satisfaction and cackle.
(3) Most of what they want sucks monkey balls, and I am not buying it for them.

 These are are some of the things they asked for and my thoughts on whether I will allow them those items into my house.

A Puppy: I need a puppy like I need a bigger ass. Our much beloved geriatric dog died last summer, and you know what that experience taught me? I am the only one in our house who picks up poop. And I am currently potty training a 2-year old half monkey and there is a limit to what my gag reflex and patience can handle. Yay or Nay: NAY. An all–caps NAY.

Pillow Pets: My children love Pillow Pets the way Ryan Seacrest likes dudes. They go ape-schmidt for the damn things. They yearn for them. My 2-year old freaked out every time she saw the ladybug one, screaming “MINE PILLOW PET! MINE! MINE!” like a tiny blond German dictator regarding Poland. My 5-year old son wants the dog. And my oldest daughter has to have the frog. The frog Pillow Pet is the Edward to her Bella. She does not think she can live without it. She is willing to give up every other toy on her Christmas list for this frog. I assured her that wasn’t necessary but let her know I was sorry she would be learning about diminished expectations and kissing frogs at such an early age. Yay or Nay? Yay (reluctantly).

Barbie Glitterizer: This genius of a toy basically blows glitter all over the place. Who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? I recently heard glitter described as the herpes of crafting supplies. I didn’t even think that was funny because I’m still dealing with the aftermath of “Glitter Parenting Fail '08”*. Someone even emailed me a description of this product several months ago, and I thought it was a joke. BUT IT’S REAL, and now she wants one. Yay or Nay? Hell nay.

*Glitter Parenting Fail '08 refers to a misguided project involving glitter glue and valentines. Two years later I am still finding glitter glue in places that it should never, ever be.

Barbie Totally Stylin’ Tattoo: Here’s the product description: “This trendy Barbie® doll comes with over 40 tattoos! Using the enclosed tattoo stamper and stickers, girls can wear the designs or use them to decorate Barbie® and her fab fashions. It’s hours of temporary tattooing fun!” Several of my best friends have tattoos and piercings. I understand that it’s fairly normal – even for moms – to decorate one’s body in this fashion. But 40 separate tattoos? Seriously? Because who wouldn’t want their daughter to grow up looking like the smelly pirate hooker who broke up Sandra Bullock’s marriage. Yay or Nay: NEVER EVER EVER EVER.

Creepy Crawler Bug Makers: This is a product where you form slimy bugs made of gelatinous goo that spurt more slimy goo when you squash them. Then you get to do it all over again. With increasingly dirty goo. Or you can spend more money and buy replacement spooge. So let’s see… It’s completely disgusting, it creates a huge mess that I will be required to clean, the bugs can be used as biological weapons against sisters which will invariably lead to ear-piercing shrieks and it costs almost $50… Yay or Nay? Never-in-a-million-years-are-you-out-of-your-damn-mind

Moon Sand Ice Cream Shop: If glitter is the herpes of crafting supplies – Moon Sand is the chlamydia of Play Doh substitutes. And the best part about this particular toy? IT LOOKS LIKE FOOD. And yet, it is not food. So if I were to buy this product, I would spend hours of my time trying to keep my toddler from eating it, nagging my older children to clean it up, and approximately 90% of it would end up inside my vaccum cleaner by the first of January. Also, I understand from Stark Raving Mad Mommy's awesome list of crap she won't buy for her kids, that her family actually got this at one point and it sucked. Yay or Nay: Nope.


Ripstick: This product is sort of like a skateboard, except that if you have excellent balance and technique, it becomes self-propelling. It should come with knee and elbow pads and a slot to store your insurance information because this device has a fairly good chance of causing a trip to the ER. However, it is an outside toy that encourages physical activity, and it is gender neutral, meaning it will get a lot of use by multiple kids. I may have to wrap my children in bubble wrap, but at least they won’t be watching TV. Yay or Nay: Yay, I guess.

Nintendo DSi with seventeen trillion games: My 5-year old wants a DS. I’m not even sure he knows what one is. But he wants one BAD. And this child is totally obsessed with Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and Lego Indiana Jones as it is. Hence, we had to make the Wii contract. Plus, it costs a damn fortune, and he wants every single game known to man along with it. Son, you’re five, and I am neither a famous rapper, Tori Spelling, nor insane – so you are not getting expensive electronics for your birthday that you will break within days. Yay or Nay: Maybe next year.

iPod: My 7-year old daughter wants an iPod or better yet, an iPhone. And she’s not kidding. Because one of her friends has one. First of all, you're seven.  You're not getting a cell phone.  And while I might be inclined to get a you an MP3 player that is cheap or a hand-me-down, I don't think I will because you have a tendency to lose things like your shoes. And your jacket. In between the house and the car. Yay or Nay: See above. No way.

Baby Alive or any toy that poops: Last year for Christmas, my daughter Thumbelina received a talking, moving, deeply frightening “Baby Alive” doll, which was immediately christened by my husband as 'Creepy Robot Baby'. The worst part? The doll urinates and defecates. I had to change that doll one time, and a new rule was instituted that my children can now recite: NO TOYS THAT POOP OR PEE EVER AGAIN. And this year, there is a robotic dog that eats and then poops out its food. And my children see it advertised and they say “Oh! Mommy can we have… Oh that’s right…” and they hang their little heads because of my rule. Yay or Nay: N-to-the-AY.


Gorilla that sings Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” when you squeeze its paw: Target has a big shelf filled with stuffed animals dressed in holiday garb that play Christmas carols when you poke their bellies in a special spot. They are pretty annoying and absolutely cacophonous when my children reach the shelf and then gleefully turn them all on at the same time like crazed chimps and then jump around hooting. But there is a special one on that shelf. A female gorilla that plays the Ke$ha song "Tik Tok" when you squeeze its paw. Because nothing says “the season of perpetual hope” like a primate singing “…before I leave I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack." Yay or Nay: Don’t even ask.

This is a truncated list. There’s a lot more. Perhaps you have some additional items you'd like to share.  Feel free.  And while I’ll get my children stuff that they want for Christmas and hope that those gifts will not turn them into little crack-heads, there’s always the fear... The fear that a relative will give in to their bad judgement and send a Bratz doll and then my head will explode. Happy Holidays.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

71 comments:

  1. At the beginning of November, I asked my daughter to write out her Christmas list. I put it away and never mention it again. Right after the turkey leftovers, I ask her to write a Christmas list because I "lost" the first one. I then compare the two lists. The items that appear on both lists are the things she truly would like to have and not just what she saw in an ad that day. I've done it a few years in a row and it works like a charm! And, Moon Sand, it is crap!

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  2. We got my middle daughter a pillow pet off the t.v, and it is TINY. Way, way smaller than it says. I think they sell them at Target now, right? But it there. On my list: Moon Sand for sure, we already have some of that and I made sure I lost it after one use. Anything Bratz or Moxie, and only e-bay'ed American Girl stuff. Have you seen how much that stuff is new? Plus, is a 7 year old not going to lose a miniature laptop?

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  3. My kids are like that, too. Damn you, Qubo, and your horrible commercials! We are also a reluctant yay on the pillow pets, but a definite NAY on sending things away to Cash For Gold. (Seriously, Qubo? I so do not need my children telling me we can get some money if we would send away some gold.) Oh, and whatever that stupid ball you roll around your arms is, we are NOT getting it.

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  4. Bratz, Barbie Glitterizer, Moon Dough, Moon Sand, anything that requires ME to purchase refills, peeing Barbie puppies....all banned at my house. Oh, and that walking dog whose hair will be forever knotted as soon as the box is opened! And all things tiny like Squinkies that my 11 month old will eat!

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  5. Kate & Lydia,

    Try this one for size!
    http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home

    My kids love it!
    xo

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  6. "Moon Sand is the chlamydia of Play Doh substitutes." Just when I think there's no way I can adore you two more, you open my Monday with a gem like that. Preach it. And thank you.

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  7. Our bane this year has been a "Monster High Vampirela or whatever Doll" for my daughter, cant find it anywhere! Thank goodness for MIL to the rescue!

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  8. Good luck with that frog pillow pet. My mother ordered one for my son two months ago (anticipating a rush on pillow pets...) and if she had not changed her order, she would still be waiting for the back order to be filled.

    Ugh. Pillow pets...

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  9. Regarding the pillow pets: I have two in my house. One for my daughter (which I bought from the official online site) and one for my son (which I bought at Walmart). I can definitely tell the quality difference between the two. My daughter's bee has softer "fur", transitions easily into a "pet" and stays that way until she decides to make it a pillow. My son's dog has soft fur but not like the bee, it has to be forced into becoming a "pet" and often springs back into a pillow because the velcro isn't quite aligned properly.
    Do my kids know the difference? NO! But I do and I have some weird guilt thing going on about it.

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  10. Moon Sand is pure evil.

    My son asked for an air hockey table, but he forgets that he got a game table with air hockey from my MIL for his brithday last year and my husband never bothered to put it together. Would it be "wrong" to re-gift his own gift?

    Does anyone have those live frogs in a cube? Yay or nay?

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  11. "...like a tiny blond German dictator regarding Poland."

    Hahaha! My son used to say "mine blankie, mine mommy, etc" when he was that age, too. Thanks for the sweet memory. :-)

    I agree with all your yays and/or nays.

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  12. General rules for gifts at my house are as follows:
    No guns
    Nothing my boy can bash his sister over the head with
    Nothing that talks, screams, squeaks or has a siren
    Nothing that requires more than 2 AA batteries
    Nothing that will squish into the carpet

    Other than that, almost anything goes! And no, my house is not the house that all the other kids want to come to. And I'm ok with that!

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  13. One of the reasons I am glad we don't have "real" cable and only get PBS...no commercials! My almost 5 year old and almost 3 year old have asked for a candy cane filled with m&m's...I can handle that! Moon Sand sucks. Honestly, I can't believe they are still in business....I would venture to guess they don't have many repeat customers...only new parents that think it looks "fun"....guess we all have to learn the hard way!

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  14. The one gift I WILL NOT purchase for my boys...is Cuponk. This is a re-marketed game geared towards boys that basically teaches them the art of beer-pong...fail! The person that came up with this game either a) never went to college, and hence has no experience with this game, or b) has no children and can't see what could possibly be wrong with this idea.

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  15. The list you posted is awesomesauce. I agree with it all. And we have the tattoo barbie. My 8 year old asked if she could have a temporary sleeve for halloween... (don't get me wrong, I got a tattoo at age 32 on a girls weekend, but I had spent over 20 YEARS! considering what I would get, I don't make decisions quickly to say the least) Barbie's in general are awful, very few (and I mean like 2) women look like barbies. Not something I want my girls to aspire to in terms of "I need to look like that"! Pillow pets, they all want them too. They.Are.Stupid.

    Rip Sticks are fantastic! Razor also makes one that has the handle/bar thing that comes up. My 8 yr old is amazing on it. I hurt myself. I will never try it again. She laughed. The PE teacher loves them. And of course he's also the one teaching my kids to rock climb...

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  16. My 8 year old asked me for a "Hover Round" because he said it looks like fun. I told him it looks like more fun two walk on the two legs he's blessed to have.

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  17. walgreens has pillow pets btw. i am with you on editing that list and reasking because you "lost" the first one.
    thank God my oldest is my budgeter. he tells his siblings "oh no! you cant ask for that. that is too expensive. try to keep it under $50, m'kay?" he is 8.

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  18. As for the DS, some advice. After Christmas some lucky kids *none of whom live at my address* will get the new versions of DS's and will subsequently put their old ones on Craigslist. Shop for a second hand one then and give it to him on his b'day. Been there many times.

    Mine want those damned zhu zhu pets that just run around randomly *with batteries I have to replace* and I foolishly told them for the money I'd spend on those hamsters that I could actually buy REAL hamsters and save money.
    PS: do not make the same mistake. But neither will make it into my house this year.

    Any kit, like the creepy crawler or anything else for that matter is J-U-N-K because there's too many maude-for-saken parts to keep up with. And the biggest turn off to most of those is they are too mommy intensive. If I have to be around so they can play with something, I don't see the point.

    Moon sand is just like glitter and works like the play doh on the Island of Misfit Toys.

    Good luck!

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  19. my 3 and 6 year olds were singing the Bratz song (from commercials???) and I almost fainted. HELL NO. And then when 6 yr old asked for an Ipod, I said, "Maybe a $10 mp3 player" and hubby said, "No, it HAS to be an Ipod." WHUCK?!?! **shaking head and sighing**

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  20. Lego makes a lovely little pink mp3 player. My 7 yr old daughter thinks it's the grandest thing ever. (And so far, her brother hasn't tried to incorporate into his creations. It is literally made of legos and could be used as such.)

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  21. AWESOME Post. I am SO there with you. Except for tattoo Barbie - Santa is actually bringing that to my 5yo this year. I'm hoping that she'll get bored with the tattoos and be "over" this phase before she's legally able to purchase real tattoos of her own. :) See, when I was 5, I wanted a GI Joe doll and my sweet hippy pacifist mom refused outright to get me such a horrible militant baby murderer doll. OH! How I longed for that GI Joe doll! So as soon as I turned 18 I joined the Marine Corps. [6 years in with an honorable discharge. And I bought my first born daughter a GI Joe doll when she asked for one. LOL!]

    I know first hand how hard headed kids can be. :D

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  22. My 5 year old wanted a ds for his birthday. We went with a Leapster2 instead. Great choice. And thanks for making me laugh out loud this Monday morning. I needed that. I can't believe moon sand is still on the market. who keeps buying that crap?

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  23. My kids really want pillow pets too!! $20!!!! Nope. I don't think there is anything wrong with them, except the price! I am a single parent. And they want a ton of other things. So that one went in the no pile.
    Thank goodness they have not seen the glitter barbie. My youngest does want one where you do her nails. How do you paint tiny Barbie nails????

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  24. My girls are getting 2 of the things off their xmas lists... no flipping way am I buying that glitter barbie thing or the Fur Real Mini go (?) dog...they would play with it for oh, 5 minutes and then they would be forgotten under the bed...and yes, they want everything they see on tv.

    I did instead substitute a Barbie Camper and a Barbie house...I hope they forgive Santa, but honestly I think they will get more play out of those things...

    Someone gave my older daughter Moon Dough for her birthday party yesterday. I didn't see the card, so I don't know which mom hates me that much...probably the one who gave me the balloon shape maker.

    We have the pillow pets...the ones from online. I like 'em. I sleep on my younger daughter's almost every night when I fall asleep lying down with her, waiting for her to fall asleep...

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  25. No Bratz, Barbie or miniature doll/pet. Nothing with little pieces. Nothing with a thousand accessories. Nothing that poops, pees or gets "fed". No plastic dress up high heel shoes that never fit or stay on, and always make her fall over. No make-up or nail polish. No guns, water pistols, suction bullets, swords, or anything that encourages fighting. No computer games, or computers! No "grown-up" electronics- cameras, phones, ipods.
    OMG, Just writing this list makes me sound like I'm so strict! The problem is they get all this crap from their extended family and I have to subtly take it out of circulation until they're old enough or behaving well enough to use it. In saying that, my kids are only (nearly) 2 and (nearly) 4 so they are easy enough to distract to do that!

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  26. I too thought the pillow pet was an eehn gift. But my MIL wanted to get my daughter the Unicorn. Jumped through all sorts of hoops and probably spent way too much on it. But you know what? She named it "Maureen" and has slept with it EVERY NIGHT since she got it last year. So I guess it was worth every cent of my MIL's $$! Thankfully it washes and dries easily!

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  27. OMG, my DD (4 1/2) wants one of those Baby Alive dolls. I don't know what to do. =( I've already caved to the stupid Zhu-Zhus (damn my friends who get every.flippin.toy for their kids). My DS is only 2, so I still get to pick his gifts (except the aforementioned Zhu-zhu, as my DD asked for one for her and one for him, which is nice, I guess).

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  28. My oldest (7) wanted that barbie with the hidden camera in the neckalace. The comercial says you can download your video on to the internet! OH HELL NO!! She also wants an mp3 player so we got her one of the cheep ones. The baby (2) only wants cars sippy cups and underwear! Oh how I love that age!!

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  29. Oh Dustin we are having the same issue with the monster high! My parents bought the 2 pk dolls for it but she wants that stupid pink vampire that she will play with for about 5 mins and get bored.
    I have banned playdough, silly putty and pretty much any substance that requires me to get on all fours and pray it comes out of my rug. I still have gold glitter silly putty stuck on my sock and rug from when i didn't see my biggest monster drop it.
    This year I seem to be lucking out without crap toys. Maybe they are getting used to my rules on toys I'm not sure.

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  30. Fabulous list. My two dictators have December birthdays-the 9th and tenth 6 years apart. My boy (soon to be 11) learned around age three that he should wait to see Santa until after his birthday thus ensuring that he won't ask for something he might get for his birthday (thanks Uncle Matt) So pretty much right after he opens his presents he's all "who wants to go to the mall? Mom, you know you love the mall. What? Me have a hidden agenday, Nah." And he has taught it to his little sister. So I have to wait until December 11th to find those crucial presents. I've tried prety much every trick to find out what they want sooner and come through with the goods but am usually tripped up by a well meaning grandparent buying it even when told not to "because they really do want it, honey" (duh, cuz I couldn't figure that out after they told me they were going to ask santa for it and I told you buy any toy you want EXCEPT for that one you thunder stealing snitch). Or they do the bait and switch and tell me one thing and then whisper something else in Santa's ear. Last year Santa just brought whatever the hell she, I mean he, wanted and the kids were happy, darn it. My explanation was that Santa is so magic he knows what you want even if you don't know that you want it!

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  31. MusicClassMomma - we used to re-gift unopened toys all the time for our son (now he's 13 and remembers)! He NEVER realized! It made him happy, made us happy, and saved money. It's win-win all the way.
    As for the live frogs in cubes, a friend bought on for her son 6 months ago and they still love it - they also have a big fish tank in the living room and he calls that his fish (frog) tank and will just watch it and otherwise leaves it alone - he's 3, almost 4. Hope that helps.

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  32. I am so with you on all of these things. Nothing that pees or poops is allowed in our house...we had the experience with the baby alive doll as well. I also discourage things that talk or make any kind of noise, or that require frequent battery changes. We haven't even tried Moon Sand yet and don't ever intend to...I have a hard enough time keeping little play doh bits out of the rug. My older daughter is obsessed with this Rapunzel doll from Tangled that comes with this hair-braiding device. Well it got awful reviews basically saying it is a piece of crap, is hard to assemble and doesn't work. Plus it is expensive. So she goes to a friend's house who has this toy and of course it works fine. She says "see Mom, it does work." The kid's parents both shake their heads with looks of horror. The dad says he had to basically take it apart and reconstruct it from scratch. Yeah, that's not happening.

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  33. I have the exact same Bratz fear. MIL has been told and, if she chooses to ignore, she will be standing in line to return any Bratz merchandise. ;)

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  34. slot to store your insurance info on the ripstick... classic! BTW half my right frontal lobe has gone numb from hearing my son parrot the "its a pillow -- its a pet--- its a PILLOW PET!"

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  35. I want the Kinect. I know the gamer at this house is me, darling MOM :) and all it was because videogames where forbidden at my parents house until I didn't have other responsability during the day and I always had homework or team practice etc. So the moment I move and started working I buy my nintendo, my ps3 my xbox, etc.

    I do a lot of exercise but OMG How I love video games. Of course right now are all getting a lot of dust as I do not have time between my kids necessities, the house chores, the choffer job - driving kids from one class to other- and exercise.. so I guess Kinect will come dusty soon to :( but I WANT IT!

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  36. my step daughter thinks she can't live without the dippin dots ice cream maker and, since her mom already said no to that, her backup gift is the dairy queen blizzard maker. UH-UH, no can do

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  37. My 5year old has been dying for a penguin pillow pet which has been hard to find. Her dad found a knock off version and it's great.

    As for the frogs in a cube - they are great. We've had ours for almost 2 years and had no problems with them. Feed them once - I MEAN TWICE - a week. clean the tank once - I MEAN TWICE a year. Somehow they've survived. No poop to scoop no fur on the furniture.

    And apparently I don't hang out on your blog enough because we have moon sand (yuck yuck yuckity yuck), i got the girl moon dough and she's getting a DS for Christmas. Just call me SUCKER

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  38. My 5 y/o daughter is salivating for a frog pillow pet too? What's the deal with those things? I don't get it. But I did get lucky and found someone selling official pillow pets at a craft show (of all places!!) a few weeks ago and secured the coveted frog.

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  39. Thanks for a great laugh that made coffee come out of my nose! Love all the blogs, but this is terrific. My sis-in-law is notorious for giving the loudest, most obnoxious-sounding gifts for our two, despite knowing that DH and I despise these things. I think she goes out of her way to do it. Perhaps having four of her own and formerly owning a day care, she is de-sensitized...but I doubt it.

    In this house, MOM gets the final say. Cost, durability, multiple-usefulness, creativity and imagination are key. Not some "fluff" ad that will be ignored after the holiday.

    Oh, and nothing "glittery," sticky, etc. The boys have gotten VERY good at cleaning up their own messes after all this time...but they are 8 and 12. (grin)

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  40. I am sooooo glad my kids only know about PBS for their cartoon revelry. . . The commercials there are for Sun Maid raisins. Go Public TV!

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  41. someone got my daughter a Barbie glitterizer (the hair dryer one) for her 5th birthday....thanks...I officially have glitter everywhere.....EVERYWHERE!!!

    ps....the blow dryer that shoots glitter everywhere has magically disappeared.... seriously? WTF?? Obviously the makers of this toy DON'T HAVE KIDS!!!

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  42. Dude, Moon Sand = NO FREAKING WAY.
    My older son (7) wants those "Bey Bladez" or whatever they are called. Fighting tops???? NO WAY. I asked one of the teachers at the child care, he shook his head no-no-no-no-no and whispered "they're awful."
    Both want those damn pillow pets. Come on, like we don't have enough stuffed animals in this house? Ugh.
    Also - for those wondering - Benderoos are just a huge exercise in frustration! They don't make the things they are supposed to, but they DO create a really frustrated kid. Sigh.

    Our house: No fighting toys. No building sets we don't already have some of (e.g Lego, we have, so yes ok. Knex, NO! I'm not adding yet another type of toy with a zillion teeny tiny pieces to this house!) Thomas wooden railway tracks, yes, as this will add to what we already have. Thomas PLASTIC MOTORIZED? no. Thomas lego tracks? NO!
    PLEASE no toys w/batteries that cause said toy to make noise just because. Cause guess what? My boys make enough noise on their own!

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  43. I am still trying to get information on pillow pets to see if they are covered in flame retardants or not, and I can't get an answer, so no pillow pets.

    My 6 year-old son just asked for those furby (?) hamsters. Should I be scared? Should I run screaming?

    I never want any Disney Princess crap, Barbie movies or Bratz dolls in my house. (My daughter just turned two so I'm not sure how long I have until she asks for them.)

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  44. If my kids keep insisting on a pillow pet, I'm going to murder one of their ignored plush pets, and sew the carcass onto their old pre-school nappy pillows. Now that's a *real* pillow pet.

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  45. Awesome post. My 4 boys wrote some very interesting and sometimes disturbing wish lists. My 13yo wants butterfly knives??? Uh,,,,NO! And my 6yo wanted a ladder and rope. LOL Are you thinking what I first thought? Actually he wants them for the tree house but no, sorry, honey....not happening. I did cave to the zhu zhu pets because they are cute and 6yo has been asking for MONTHS for one. Legos are a popular request that they actually get a lot of. We are pretty strict about them though. Only played with in living room, when it's clean. ;) No playdoh, moon sand or glitter going on in our house! This year we splurged for our eldest and set him up for some serious snow boarding. And smelly stuff. He's all about the Axe shower stuff and cologne. And he's only 13! No stinky teenager on our block! The other two --9yo & 11yo are a bit harder. But we kept it rather simple and think they will all be happy with what they get. I did feel a bit guilty getting them something they actually asked for....DS and xbox games. Because they only get to play them on weekends. So I'm wondering if it was the best way to spend our $$. But then again, if they are happy to get something that they can only use occasionally, who am I to argue???

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  46. Pillow pets are deceivingly charming to the kids. Who wouldn't want something to play with all day, and get dirty, then take a shower and sleep on the dirty pillow. Well I gave in to my kids hopes last year, but instead of a pillow pet (which is small and expensive) I got them pillow chums from the Home Shopping Network. They are double the size for the same price. At least I do not feel ripped off.

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  47. I had a Ripstick in my shopping cart and was at checkout until the Canadians behind me told me their 10 year old had it for 5 minutes before it was destroyed. Granted, Canadians feed their kids beer for breakfast, but that kind of concerned me, so it was left at the register.
    My nephews are SOOOO getting that Moon Sand. Paybacks are a bitch!

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  48. Tabitha - Best idea ever! I am totally going to try that.

    I won't buy my kids anything on this list either. Except for maybe the pillow pet, and that's only if I could get it for way less than $20. I won't spend $20 on a regular pillow for myself so why would I spend it on a pillow that's going to end up on the floor and under the dog?

    http://www.homejobsformom.com

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  49. Bed Bath and Beyond sells Pillow pets--use your 20% off coupon and it helps ease the pain. An FYI though: they are as big as a pillow (duh), so they actually take up quite a bit of space, esp if your home has more than one (we have four here).

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  50. I'm fairly easy going when it comes to what my girls want, just 2 simple rules

    1) No Glitter Toys (it IS the herpes of craft supplies and no matter what I do, the damn glitter is EVERYWHERE).

    2) Nothing that scares me. Of course this general category covers Baby Alive dolls (which they both want, but truly are scary looking and I know would give me nightmares that make Chuckie look like a pleasant doll) and Moon Dough (the thought of just vacuuming up the money I spent is pretty scary). Overall this is a great category because anything I think is junk and will break easily, automatically becomes scary. I actually told my oldest daughter that Moon Dough got terrible reviews and didn't work like the commercials and she adjusted her list to more Play Doh (to replace the brown Play Doh we now have).

    In general I have found that if I veto a toy on the basis of what I perceive, they just fixate on it. And I figure I must be doing something right because the other day my 6 year old said to me, "Why is Barbie's waist so small? That's not normal". And she LOVES Barbie.

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  51. My son sat on Santa's lap last week and asked him for a wind-up cricket. Whuck?! I thought I was being punk'd. Where on EARTH am I supposed to find that? Well...I did find one, thank you very much. At Borders of all places. Thankfully the little devil remembered where he saw this totally random item, like 8 months ago. It is seriously like an inch tall. The best part? It only cost 99 cents. Hmmmm...I guess this wasn't such a bad request after all. :)

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  52. We do not feed our kids beer for breakfast! We save that for lunch. :)

    My son 5-year old asked for an asteroid. What the crap am I supposed to do with that?! Burn a rock and present it as an asteroid? My 4-year old daughter wants a real live ballerina. Too hard to wrap! My 7-year old wants a puppy. Not on your life. Thankfully the baby is happy with a new sippy cup and a sleeper.

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  53. A close friend gave my daughter the moon sand food thingy for her birthday last week. There is moon sand EVERYWHERE. Cat fur, couch, and my purse are just locations I've found it in today.

    I'm giving this friend's daughter that damn glitterrizer barbie for Christmas. Muhahahahahhaahahhahahahahah!

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  54. See, I used to ask my mom for ridiculous crap, but I also scanned the sale ads for weeks to tell her when and where she could buy it the cheapest, cut out a coupon and gave her detailed instructions where to find it, "Wal-Mart, aisle 7, right hand side about 12 steps down, on the 3rd shelf." See? Hard to deny a kid who does all the work for you.

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  55. I make it easy for the grandparents: nothing that requires batteries and nothing with more than one shade of pink/purple on the packaging.
    I think they live in fear of gift-giving events.

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  56. Has anyone seen the Sing a ma jigs??? They are these weird little stuffed creatures that sing (and their mouth moves) when you press their tummy. I think they are kind of cute but then I remembered one of my hard and fast rules: No toys that make noise!!! Because eventually I will want to pitch them in the dump. I am getting my (almost 3 year old) a trampoline (a small one!). My 8 year old is getting an indoor archery set (although I may live to regret that) and don't know about my 5 year old daughter yet. I know what I am NOT getting her though! Of course, they all want pillow pets and I am going to get them. Using 2 bed bath and beyond coupons to save $$$$. Loved your post ladies - hell to the nay!

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  57. Pixos....Pixos are the devil. What jackhole (probably a man without kids) thought it would be a good idea to put teeny tiny little balls into a pen thingy that will then squirt them ALL OVER THE FLOOR???? I swear they're impossible to pick up and they multiply before your very eyes!

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  58. Reading the post and all the great comments makes me glad of two things:

    1. I have a son, not a daughter.

    2. He's only 19 months, so he doesn't really have "wants" yet. He's getting matchbox cars (the knockoff version) and building blocks. And maybe some new socks.

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  59. My 3 year old son really wants Stinky the garbage truck - a $50 cheap plastic toy that sings and talks (Over 90 phrases!). There are so many nice garbage truck toys I would rather buy him, but if this is the only thing or the main thing he asks Santa for, then he will probably get it. Damn Commercials!

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  60. I find the concept of a Tattoo Barbie as palatable as a Baywatch Barbie. Which my niece once received from a member of the OTHER SIDE OF THE FAMILY. I believe she was about 5 and that whore doll took all the thunder away from the dentist Barbie I got her.

    My son does have a Ripstick and it's been a pretty good toy. As long as your kids wear a helmet and some pads and are supervised, it should be fine. It does help improve their balance and core muscles, but don't tell them it's good for them.

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  61. I too see the trend of 'x-mas lists' becoming a list of whatever they recently saw on the TV. While some of the toys you mentioned aren't horrible in my opinion there are some others I agree with you 100%. Some of the older generation I pods can be found relatively cheap these days but how much use does a 7 year old really have for an IPod? on that note I agree 100% on your thoughts regarding a cell phone, especially an I-phone.

    If i may suggest, the link i put on this post (my name) points to MindWare. It's a site I buy my kids toys. Not only can they be fun but they are educational too. Double win in my book :)

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  62. I am so happy I have one child, an almost 2 year old boy. His birthday is ten days before Christmas so I have to tell several of my friends that don't have children, what not to get him. Also, I told them if I got something on the "No-No" list, paybacks are a b*tch!! He is getting a tent to go over his big boy bed, some matchbox cars, puzzles and some new cups plus a few odds and ends.

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  63. Moon Sand! AAAAAAGH! Did a post about it myself a few months back. Horrible, horrible stuff.

    And, ours was a "gift" from a "friend". Awesome.

    http://serialswooper.com/2010/09/08/beach-my-basement/

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  64. When my friend's kids were little, I would buy them birthday gifts like the kind you listed. Something with lots of parts, or glitter, or play doh, or something messy like that. And then she'd turn around and buy my kids something even worse. It got ugly after a while. Shrinky Dinks, beads, anything with glitter or something that could or would get ground into the carpet. ha! My girls are older now, all they want is $$. The lists are shorter, but more expensive.

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  65. My dad got my son a Karaoke Elmo for his first birthday. 5 months later I would love to run dear Elmo over with my car repeatedly while laughing maniacally. First of all, there is NO volume control and the thing is set to a deafening volume. Second of all, it's Elmo, and his voice is the most wretched voice in the history of childrens characters. But, of course, my son LOVES this thing. Me? I have a newly-found hatred for Elmo and all things Elmo.

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  66. The pillow pet thing is that the commercials are played hourly on any channel children may watch that allows commercials (Disney, Nick, Nick Jr, Sprout, Hub, etc). My kids have been asking for them since Spring. I was resistant but I knew they would still like them... I just didn't like the price. My MIL decided to get them those for Christmas so that is what they are getting from her and I am okay that my money wasn't spent on them for three of my four kids lol.

    As for the DS, my 5 year old has a Leapster and plays it a lot. She has had it for over a year (and my older daughter had one from age 4 to 6 1/2). My oldest got her DS lite last Christmas (age 6 1/2) from Santa and it was a good purchase for her. She uses it on long car rides and when she needs some quiet time away from her siblings and a lot of her games require reading which challenges her to read even when she's not having a book in her hand. My 5 year old wants one and we've discussed getting her one for her birthday in May. She doesn't need the "XL" or the "i" version (no texting or photos happening in our house w/ kids that young) so we'll get one less expensively that way and games will be shared between the kids to get the most for our money that way. She already plays Diego on her sister's sometimes in the car so I know she can manipulate it. And we just enforce the rule if the video games are found left out on the floor or not in their case when not played, they get taken away.

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  67. quote=Pam "My son 5-year old asked for an asteroid. What the crap am I supposed to do with that?! Burn a rock and present it as an asteroid? My 4-year old daughter wants a real live ballerina. Too hard to wrap! My 7-year old wants a puppy. Not on your life. Thankfully the baby is happy with a new sippy cup and a sleeper."

    5 year old: Books about astronomy and some craft kit to make your own system of planets or something
    4 year old: DVD of ballet lessons for kids (or actual lessons), a tutu, CD of the nutcracker music
    7 year old: Stuffed dog and one of those fake leash things where they pretend to walk it lol.

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  68. I have to shop in the geek aisle and book store for my 10 year old... who has a birthday two days after Christmas... auh... no one around, no one wants cake etc etc. WE try to go do stuff.

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  69. OK I have to post again...we just had a zhu zhu pet incident that has gotten them "donated". In the Toy Story 3 way. I was cleaning out old toys in preparation for American Girl Invasion 2010. I pull out old zhu zhu pets that I had to scour the internet for last year (remember?) whose batteries died after 5 minutes and thus were thrown into the toybox for all eternity thereafter...of course the girls go "but that's my FAVORITE". So I give in...I replace the batteries and say that if they are not played with before the next Purple Heart truck comes then they are OUT the next time the truck comes. Agreement. So I am cooking (burning) dinner on the stove and I hear "Mom the baby is putting the zhu zhu pet in my hair..." Screaming...burning food and smoke alarm goes off...husband jumps off video game to help with problem...older child's hair gets caught in wheel of stupid robot rat...younger child pulls...clump of hair comes out...blood...Purple Heart? Is that you? Can you come like NOW?

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  70. I am like many of you and can't stand most of the things on this list. Also like most of you my oldest daughter's birthday is 5 days after Christmas. This year she got a bunch of american girl stuff to go with her new doll and both girls got 2 pillow pets each (not from us). The easiest way we do the oldest's birthday is buy what we want her to have and then split it between Christmas and birthday.

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  71. Have you ladies been introduced to the wonderful world of SQUINKIES?? that is all my kids asked for.. the houses, cruise ships and of course more squinkies... an inch big and mad of rubber, the little suckers bounce everywhere... yet.. they clammer for more... but my 3 year old is getting a dsi, got it on the cheap at walmart with an indestructible guarantee for 9 bucks.. worth it.. and the fight it will save.. plus, it was cheaper than any other leap-frog pad thingies out there for her age group...

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