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Friday, November 14, 2014

How to make holiday shopping painless (when you don't have a bottle of tequila).

Our house is overrun with toys. I feel like at any minute the toys will start overflowing and Barbies and Legos will start pouring out of our windows like popcorn in the movie Real Genius. Every year around this time I make an effort to go through what the kids have outgrown or have duplicates of and donate the like-new toys to Toys for Tots. But that only brings the situation from threat level red to orange.

But, alas, the time of year has come where even more plastic crap will soon be making its way into our house thanks to the wonderful and loving people who are our well-meaning family and friends. I am incredibly grateful that anyone is generous and thoughtful enough to buy my kids gifts. But sometimes common sense just doesn't enter the gift-giving process.

Here is a list of a few things to not buy my kids for Christmas this year (or ever):

Things that are way over my kid's pay grade 
A lot of gifts we receive are for kids that are more than twice their age. This is lovely and all, but the toys basically sit and collect dust until my kids can understand them and by the time they can, I have either buried them under three tons of other crap, or they are so completely uncool that my kids wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle erector sets, grandma? These are so 2014.

Things that are choking hazards
On the same age-appropriate note, though one of my kids is old enough to play with toys with small pieces, the other is not. So buying my 4-year-old Polly Pockets is AWESOME until she plays them with her 2-year-old brother and says, "Here, play with this tiny shoe. I hope you choke on it."

Things that take up an entire room People like to be generous when giving gifts to kids. Which is freaking awesome. Except when their generosity comes in the form of toys that take up an entire room. Though the 16-foot blow-up ball pit was a super awesome score for the kids, I now have to watch TV while sitting in the middle of it.

Toys that my kid obviously already has
Wow, a set of blocks? I TOTALLY never thought to get my 4-year-old blocks. You are a genius. Let me put these right next to the 16 other sets of blocks she has because she is FOUR and not a homeless child who lives on the street.

Things that require D batteries
Seriously. Just stop. Those things are like $5k a piece and each toy that uses them needs at least four of them to work. And then 15 minutes later…it needs four more. Mama is broke and that toy is ANNOYING!

Things that require ninja-like skills to assemble
If it takes more than five minutes to assemble, please, please, please either assemble it before you give it to them or don't buy it. Christmas sucks major ass when we are in the middle of 3,000 tons of empty boxes and wrapping paper and my kids just HAS TO play with Barbie's ski chalet RIGHT NOW. I am still in my pajamas and haven't had any wine yet, so I am not prepared to work an allen wrench, hammer and power saw to put Barbie's winter timeshare together right now. OK, stop crying. I will just get some duct tape and super glue and this shit is on.

He got another set of blocks...

But in our family, we don’t just have to navigate the gift-giving hell that is Christmas, we also have to figure out what to do for the kids birthdays. Because for some reason I am only fertile during times that will end with my children being born during the shitstorms that are Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, yeah, I have THREE gift-giving holidays coming up. JOY!

The mere thought of organizing all of the gifts needed for birthdays and Christmas, then relaying said requests to the interested parties, makes my eye twitch. But I have found a way to get it all done in a way that doesn't end with me wanting to punch a kitten: Giftster.

Giftster let me make a list for everyone in my family and then add crap to the lists from all over the internets. Then I just email the link to my list to my friends and family who ask what everyone wants. Here are my lists for Me, ADD Daddy, The Cool Cucumber and The Quiet Contemplator.

So far I have added stuff from Target, Blik, Amazon and even a site for a race series that I want to enter. And to thwart more plastic from sneaking its way into my house, I have added links for concerts my kids would like, Zoo memberships and dance classes. Because how freaking cool would it be for Grandpa to take them to see Frozen on Ice so Mommy doesn’t have to? Right?

So, basically, I am winning at the whole birthday/Christmas thing this year thanks to Giftster. And you can suck it, Santa.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

This post was sponsored by Giftster but you Boozehounds know I would NEVAH EVAH subject you to anything I didn't think was amazeballs on my own. For realzies. 

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