13 presents NOT to give your kids

I am trying to find happy, fun links to brighten your afternoons until we get to the Christmas holidays. Today’s find: 13 presents you should not give to your kids!

A sample of a few:

Kid-size vuvuzelas – The most annoying instrument ever! Ruined my summer listening to them while watching the World Cup. You will never be invited to my house again if you give one to my children.

TSA check point action figures! Just what every child wants to re-enact being felt up by TSA agents. They’ll be using them at psychologist offices for years to come.

A dog that lets you practice scooping his poop. If any child wants to practice this for real I have a side yard that can use some attention.

Along the cleaning lines – a sweep and dust bin. I don’t think this is a bad present. I’m giving water bottles. Is that bad?

A roadkill stuffed animal with eyes popped out and gut spilling from its stomach. Truly a sick gift. Who would buy this?

What do you think of their suggestions for what not to buy kids? What are some of the worst presents you ever received as a kid? What are some of the worst you have given your kids?

40 comments Add your comment

TSA must go

December 14th, 2010
1:08 pm

The TSA check point action figures sound like a great item. Its never too soon to help your child understand just how much freedom and due process has been destroyed in this country by the actions of the Federal Government and the complicity of the american sheeple.

Glad to see you list the road kill too. Its also never too soon to teach your child about respect for animals, especially in this economy where so many are being calously dumped in neighborhoods or left to die in abandoned homes as selfish renter and owners leave town and their responsibilities behind.


December 14th, 2010
1:26 pm

I’d like to add:

1) Anything that allows a child to be INACTIVE and veg out in front of a screen, such as video games, gaming systems, etc. ;

2) Nothing trendy that every other child will have. Be original. 5 years from now they won’t remember the latest fad…..


December 14th, 2010
1:28 pm

We just received our family gift from my Dad….ONE BOOK for the four of us to share. A paperback.

I am shaking my head here. I cannot think of ANY one book that the four of us would even all be interested in…maybe a dictionary? Last year we got a basket of pears, which IMHO is better than one book for four adults. No, I am not sharing the title.

Life goes on and we have some great gifts for our college kids. My sister bought her son a vacuum, for his apartment and my daughter warned me not to even think of that for her or her brother :).

I bought my son a Darkwing Duck video, we saw it at Costco this summer and he loved it when he was little…hope it will bring back memories!

I put underwear in my daughter’s stocking when she was eight or so. She opened it in front of company and was so embarrassed. Won’t do that again….LOL.

I do not remember the crazy Christmas gifts, mostly I remember my Mom ( when she was alive) showing up with things in a bag and a receipt, “I picked this up for you…the receipt is in the bag and you can pay me back..” WHAT…I did not even ask for it ( nor do I want it).


December 14th, 2010
1:35 pm

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

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December 14th, 2010
1:50 pm

MJG, I REALLY do not mean for this to be a nasty comment, because I don’t know you or your family, but your parents sound a little wacko!! (And Lord knows there are some strange birds in my family too!)
Merry Christmas!


December 14th, 2010
2:14 pm

@ kris…YOU ARE BRILLIANT AND CORRECT! Thanks for the laugh…I am not offended.

Those of you who have wonderful parents…do not take them for granted. You are blessed.
I refuse to succumb to my ridiculous childhood and try my absolute best to be a better parent to my children. As some here know, my in laws are and were alcoholics…we have issues on both sides.

I am 51 and my sister is 48. We talked this morning. I told her, “it is ridiculous that we are this old and we still carry scars from our parents.” You would not believe the stories we have.

Now, I just called my husband ( read this to him) and we both got a laugh out of it. He asked me to share that while many here perhaps think I may be overly proud of my kids, it is because both of us had such a ridiculous upbringing that we are doing all we can to be decent parents who try to do what is best for our kids.

Love needs legs and just saying you love someone is NOT the same as showing it.


December 14th, 2010
2:15 pm

comment gone…a reply to Kris…I am not offended…hope it shows up!


December 14th, 2010
2:32 pm

@motherjanegoose…we need to know the name of the book! Someone told me recently that they buy a book for each of their children each Christmas with a promise to read it together during the year. I like that idea and am looking for a good title for my 1st grader. Underwear is definitely out!


December 14th, 2010
2:45 pm

No…it is NOT a book anyone here on the blog would enjoy…we will not either. It is self published text by someone who sells his works on line…that is all I will say.

Kinda like those AS SEEN ON TV wonderful offers that EVERYONE WILL LOVE….not.

Did you read that this paper back book is the ONLY gift the four of us will receive? Can you think of any book that everyone in your family would enjoy and cherish as their ONLY present?

Me…not so much.


December 14th, 2010
2:45 pm

One of my aunt’s gave my, at that time, 10 year old daughter a brass duck key ring that you would hang by the door that she probably picked up at a garage sale. We had a good laugh then at such as inappropriate gift, but we have passed that thing around for years in the immediate family and have had laughs for many years. Definitely the gift that keeps on giving!


December 14th, 2010
2:49 pm

MJG–my mother (still alive) is notorious for buying herself something, deciding she doesn’t want it and then opting to make it a gift to someone else (usually me). For several years Christmas and Birthdays went along the lines of “Thank you Mom and Dad the colors in that sweater are very nice” (after all I was taught to be gracious)…and my Mother saying “See I told you she wouldn’t like it.” After a certain point of her saying this over the years I finally said “If you knew I did not like it why did you get it?” Her reply: “I had to get you something, I am your mother. Besides I got it for me and couldn’t find the receipt to return it.” So I admit I said “Wait! You didn’t even really buy this for me? Now your mad that I do not like it? Mom that is nuts!!!” At present time my mother gives me a card…nothing else. (Fine by me).


December 14th, 2010
3:01 pm

Wow -MJG -maybe all the Florida heat has gone to your dad’s brain! I know the pears were lacking, but one paperback for the lot of you -classic!

Hmmm -I was always lucky with my mother and gift giving. She did a nice job. My Dad prefers to write a check, and while I would like for him to get a little more in the spirit and actually buy something, I’m not going to lie -it’s nice to get some money! I’m usually quite thankful for it after the holidays pass and the sales start in earnest. He tickled me the other night when he asked if he should make sure he split his monetary gift equally between my husband and me. I told him, yes, that was generally the best bet! My grandmother and FIL also give us money at Christmas, and they always split it equally. I think my husband would feel strange if I got twice as much as he did (although if Dad wants to slip me extra, well, I certainly wouldn’t tell ;-)

I guess I received some weird stuff growing up from cousins and family friends-things like Chia Pets. One of my favorite aunts got me my first training bra when I was 11. We used to have HUGE Christmas Eve family celebrations at my grandmother’s house, so everyone (all cousins, aunts and uncles in a 6 child family) was there to see me open it. I remember being pretty embarrassed over that one -and my aunt planned it that way, of course.

I won’t be buying or giving my kids any more Moon Sand! They can play with it at the children’s museum! That stuff gets into EVERYTHING! I learned that lesson last year. My oldest is pining away for the Moon Dough Farm they have out this year, but it gets horrific reviews and looks like something that would be enjoyable for about 10 minutes.


December 14th, 2010
3:05 pm

Actually I don’t like gift cards so that would be at the top of my list. Although kids love them, you can never spend exactly what the card is worth so you could end of spending more money or losing money. The really small, cheap plastic tea cup sets from Dollar General. My daughter got those once and hated them. Too small to enjoy. The race cars that have the controller attached! My son hated them and so did I. Clothing if it’s for someone elses kid unless you really know them. I would say video games too because some of them are horrible. My son got one about deer hunting when he was 9! Huh?! Just last night he was saying how he should try and trade it because it’s soooo boring.


December 14th, 2010
3:06 pm

I know this is probably a little off the subject here, but one of the best gifts I recieved last year from my oldest daughter. She is 25. My mom, their grandmother, made all their halloween costumes growing up, and she made some really fancy costumes, and I have kept them all. My daughter, took all the pictures from each halloween, and made a book out of them, by scanning them into a program she has, then adding her own art around the pictures. It is the neatest thing, and I love looking at it and remembering all those times and the times I spent with mom, sewing the costumes. She couldn’t have given me a better gift.


December 14th, 2010
3:09 pm

My sister and I tell our parents what to get for our children. My parents are just fine with this, they are not the most creative types. For their children and children-in-law, they write checks. And that is JUST FINE for all of us! :)

I want to add to that list: ANYTHING that makes a constant, loud, infernal, and annoying noise/music. I have had my fill of that kind of crap over the years. If it makes noise, it’s not coming into my house. PERIOD. My sons are 7 and 10 now, so this isn’t as much of an issue as it once was.


December 14th, 2010
3:09 pm

@ FCM…this is not a recycled gift…my sisters and their families each got the same gift. My kids get nothing else from their Grandpa.

FYI..we sisters do not get a birthday gift from our Dad, so this is it for the year.
KUKOO but true.


December 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

Here is one thing I HAVE learned about gifts…YEARS ago, folks were thrilled with fresh fruit, nuts and little candies for holidays. Today, we are kind of spoiled as these are things we take for granted.


December 14th, 2010
3:25 pm

Gift cards and money are NOT allowed at Christmas. I’m sorry, but that just screams “you are not important enough for me to actually THINK about you, so here, go buy yourself something”….Tacky. Just MY opinion. Others are fine with gift cards, but they are not allowed at our Christmas…..

That’s what makes it so fun, is trying to find something for everyone. Then the stories behind the presents get told, and that makes for memories.


December 14th, 2010
3:31 pm


Trendy gifts are absolutely awesome! I remember SO MANY of my “trendy” gifts from when I was a kid. I also remember being so astounded that my AMAZING ‘rockstar’ mother was able to find gifts that were in such high demand! From Teddy Ruxpin, Cabbage Patch Dolls, the elusive Jerry Garcia Beanie Baby, Furby’s and Tickle-Me Elmo; I had them all! A few years ago when the first Nintendo Wii hit the shelves, my Mom made it her GOAL to get out there and snag one for her then 27 year old daughter. I’m not saying that “trendy” gifts are absolutely necessary but come on, let’s admit it, a big red bow around a cute cuddly Teddy Ruxpin at age 6 when no one else in the neighborhood was able to find one- that’s cool and that’s something to remember. My parents made sure that Christmas was centered around Christ and that their kids understood the REAL meaning of the holiday, but they also were able to have fun with the commercial aspect of what Christmas has become. I will say though that when I got wind that those darn Zhu Zhu Pets were the newest trend about 2 years ago, I made sure that my niece had one under the tree-with a big red shiny bow!


December 14th, 2010
3:55 pm

Power Rangers!!!


December 14th, 2010
3:56 pm

Mary, I actually am not a big fan of gift cards but my in-laws are awful to buy for so that’s what they get. We have agreed with the siblings in the family not to exchange gifts because we’re all old enough to just buy what we want and it feels too much like exchanging money otherwise but my MIL loves to shop and gets horribly offended if you don’t buy her something (all the while she’s chanting about how people have forgotten the real reason for Christmas- gag!) I love finding the perfect gift for my husband, son or parents or watching my son open something he was totally not expecting and loving it but my in laws are something else and I’ve learned they are not worth the hassle especially since the gifts we get are usually things we don’t want or need.

One thing we started a few years ago is using the Amazon wishlist. As we find stuff we want, we put it on the list. This way if my parents are out of ideas for us, they can go on the list and find what we want (or in the case of my husband who has an odd hobby, it allows them to buy him something he wants without having to buy him a gift card).


December 14th, 2010
3:56 pm

My stepdaughters house had a rule about toys. It didn’t matter what the present was if it had more than 12 pieces it was not allowed in the house. I guess her grandmother and mother got tired of picking up all the little barbie shoes and clothes, but it wall for all gifts. So you could not give her puzzles, not even the alphabet.

The wife of on of the guys I work for gave out a list of gifts for her daughter last year, they were getting her a kitchen, but all the gifts had to be melissa & doug food type gifts. Took the fun out of picking gifts.


December 14th, 2010
3:59 pm

Oh and a Vuvuzela is on my son’s Christmas list- haha (he’s 15).


December 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Our two are getting DSI-XL’s for Christmas and a couple of games to go with it..They take them when we go on long trips when it’s dark..These are also great for when it’s raining out and they are cooped up in the house..Trust me, they get plenty of outdoor time and lots of activity..
They are also getting a flat screen TV for the spare bedroom..

I can’t really think of a gift that they have received that they didn’t like..We do buy them “trendy” things within reason..She showed her Poppy the new Barbie digital nail thingy that cost $199.00..I about passed out when I saw it..When I ask her if she really wanted it, she said not really, but I saw it..Then the next day, he tells me that he’s going to buy it..I was like NO, NO, NO..

@Kristen..The girl has about 10 of the Zhu Zhu pets already, so those aren’t an issue for us..Thank goodness..They were told the pets only, no houses or cars or anything else for them..The “crap” that goes with these type of things is always a no no in our house..

@MJG..I also remember people being happy to get fruits..I would still be happy based on prices for them now..lol..

Just Saying

December 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

PWS- That gift was amazing & took much thought to put together! Also, I would like to say that your comment on the Miscarriage post 12/9 @ 8:04am was BEAUTIFUL! You have given me the extra ump I need in my journey!
Keep being a Blessing!


December 14th, 2010
4:18 pm

@ Becky…let’s go out for a BIG fruit salad next time we meet…LOL. I could go for a fresh peach, how about you?


December 14th, 2010
4:21 pm

A few years ago my MIL asked me what she should give my 3 YO son for Christmas. Since my house is small and I had an infant crawling around I requested that she not get him anything that took up a lot of space or had small pieces. What did she get him? A 1500 piece Micro Hot Wheels Deluxe Race Track set!!!


December 14th, 2010
5:08 pm

Everyone in my family gets socks and underware in their stocking from SANTA. It is a long family tradition that took my husband by surprise the first year he was family.


December 14th, 2010
5:13 pm

My parents always asked us what to get our boys – I remember about 12 years ago when they were 13 and 10, one wanted a CD by the group ‘Bare Naked Ladies’, while the other wanted a CD titled ‘Californication’ – needless to say my gracious mother did get them those CD’s, and I can just imagine her chagrine as she, a God fearing, Bible believing, really Christian, Southern
Baptist LADY, went into whatever music department at whatever store and had to ask for those CDs!


December 14th, 2010
6:18 pm

@ lakerat…give your Mom a hug…she sounds wonderful. She might enjoy the book we got, based on your description of her.


December 14th, 2010
6:41 pm

Let’s see; knives, guns, headphones (they have an excuse to say they can’t hear you), liqour, hookers, thong, tatoo. OK, I’m done.


December 14th, 2010
6:45 pm

@MJG…sounds like your book would be perfect for my in-laws!!

My kids know socks and underwear are a given for Xmas each year, as are pj’s. I cannot stand bath soaps, bubble bath, body wash, etc type gifts. They end up as regifts to the staff at the resort we stay at each year. Gift cards are a cop out to me too @ Mary.

My girls say clothes, and make up are disappointing…(yeah like I let my kids wear makeup at their ages LOL).


December 14th, 2010
7:47 pm

This is off topic but ……..

The most important gift that my parents give our kids when we visit is their time and attention.

On the other hand, my M-I-L usually gives all of her grandchildren decent Christmas presents but we would have like her to give more of her time. As she and my F-I-L are the only grandparents our kids usually see (we are currently in the UK and my family are there in GA), It would have been the best gift she could have ever given our kids. Our kids and my brother-in-law’s kids barely got a look in as my sister-in-law’s got all of the attention. When our eldest daughter was around a year and a half she developed a life threatening illness and when we tried to tell my M-I-L (several times) and S-I-L they would just start talking about S-I-L’s kids and illnesses and wouldn’t pay any attention to what we were saying.

So I think that time and attention is the best gift anyone can give a kid. I think I may paint that and hang it on the wall to remind me to make sure all of our kids get our time.

Back on topic, I think the worst gift to give my kids would be anything long and thin that they could pretend is a sword.

Geeta Menon

December 14th, 2010
9:47 pm

TSA action figures? Retailers certainly find creative new ways to exploit every potential revenue-generation opportunity.
On the positive side, owning this toy just might help a kid deal with airport security pat-downs without being scarred for life.


December 15th, 2010
6:25 am

When I was about 8 and my brother was about 5, we got a gift to share from an older aunt. It ws a glass candy dish. Perfect for two small children! LOL! I am pretty sure it came from her attic. We still giggle about that gift.


December 15th, 2010
6:26 am

On topic, anything weapon related is inapproriate in my opinion. We do not give those and our family knows we don’t want them. Anything else is ok!


December 15th, 2010
8:43 am

Gift cards aren’t allowed at our Christmas either. Except iTunes gift cards, since we all have iPods.


December 15th, 2010
9:38 am

@motherjane..I’m ready, so let’s go..

@Paige..My two get Christmas pj’s every year..This year they got some that they can iron their names on..The girl picked them out..

I also give gift cards..To my teenage neices, I would rather give them a $10 or so gift card than a sweater or shirt that they are gonna take back..We go out to eat every Sunday after church and my two will both be getting a $5 or $10 gift card, so that they can “buy” their lunch..My two also love getting soaps and bath stuff for Christmas..


December 15th, 2010
11:35 am

I love the roadkill stuffed animal. It’s hilarious, but not appropriate for children.