7 Cold, Hard Truths About Children and Holiday GiftsMeredith Carroll
It doesn’t matter if you’re such a good gift giver that Santa writes you thank-you notes, there will still be plenty of tears of sadness shed by your kids on Christmas morning. Or tears of anger. Chances are, it’ll be an even mixture of both.
You might have the sweetest, most understanding, most easy-going, least entitled offspring on the planet. But when it comes time to open the presents — no matter what you’re celebrating and who’s there to share in the joy, all bets are off.
Beware children on holidays that involve presents, and heed these 7 cold, hard truths about kids and gifts:
1. They Really Don’t Want Books 1 of 7Oh sure, go ahead and humble brag about your kid's nose is buried in a book 24/7. Tell us all about how your precocious child shuns television and video games for the written word. Then tell us what happens when they tear open a holiday gift and see nothing but a hardcover tome or two.
It doesn't matter if your gifted and talented preschooler has wanted for nothing besides a first-edition Goodnight Moon since their first words were uttered, if that's all you've got to show for it on Dec. 25, be prepared for not a few tears and perhaps a few door slams to carry you into 2013.
P.S. Ditto for underwear.
2. The Grass is Always Greener 2 of 7Eight nights of Hanukkah? Yesssssss! But why can't Santa come to our house, too?
It doesn't matter if your kids get two gifts for each night of Hanukkah and so many Christmas presents that you need to rent a second home in December just to store them all. They will still ask if you can celebrate Kwanza. Because there must be presents associated with that celebration, too, right? And a celebration with gifts is a celebration meant for everyone, no?
3. You’re Only as Good as Your Last Gift 3 of 7Chances are you're a good listener and have noted every gift that your child must have under the tree this holiday season. And chances are, you've done your best to buy as many of those are you're able.
Still, no matter how many wishes you grant — or even if you grant them all — chances are your child will tear through those packages in fewer than three minutes, and when the chaos has subsided, you will be asked where the next gift is. It's about the act of tearing almost as much as it's about what's underneath all that paper.
4. Speaking of Wrapping Paper 4 of 7It's a truth universally acknowledged that a toddler given a gift will only care about the wrapping paper and not a whit about what it's concealing.
In fact, you might as well wrap the wrapping paper roll in the wrapping paper and be a hero for all of eternity while saving yourself a few bucks in the process. After all, eternity is a long time and you'll want some pocket money.
5. Children Opening Gifts = Wild, Rabid Animals 5 of 7Everyone knows that your children are the sweetest, most docile ones in all of the land. They say "please" and "thank you" without being prompted. They kiss their grandparents without making faces. They even put their napkins on their laps without being told.
When it comes time to unwrap the gifts, on the other hand, all bets are off, and all manners are yesterday's news. Make sure everyone's tetanus shots are up to date. Someone will need it.
6. Keep Your Receipts Handy 6 of 7You might have thought you were a good listener. You might have shopped for weeks to get just the right Furby or entire set of One Direction dolls (or whatever the kids plan on annoying you with this Christmas morning).
Just be prepared, however, that whatever the "it" toy was, was "it" in mid to late November only. Chances are, One Direction is so pre-Black-Friday, and they said the purple Furby, not the red one. Get those suckers back to the store before the 30-day return guarantee expires and exchange it for Caroline, the American Girl Doll (well, today's, anyway).
7. How Many Days Until My Birthday? 7 of 7Congratulations! You just planned the greatest holiday ever. It was so good that the elves asked you to take a meeting to give them some pointers for next year.
Except no matter how well you did by your kids, come Dec. 26, they will start the countdown to their birthday. After all, you kind of forgot there was a second page to their gift wish list.
Photo credits: iStock