It’s the most wonderful timeeeee of the year… if you’re a kid, that is. If you’re a parent, it’s beginning to look a lot like pine needle debris, bills stacked on the counter, a shameful amount of Amazon deliveries, stress-eating and hypothetical escape plans. By December 20th it’s all a blur of green and red but the clock is ticking and you’re almost out of time.
The twelve days of Christmas is just parents, procrastinating as usual, and trying to cram months worth of shopping/wrapping/ho-ho-holding down the fort into the final week before Santa shows up and scoops all the credit for the shit we killed ourselves to get.
Baby it’s cold outside, but once you’re inside the store you can’t tell if you’ve actually descended into the depths of hell or if that’s just your winter coat causing you to overheat to a point of visual hallucinations. Maybe both? Global warming is alive and well, folks. And currently living directly in the Matell toy aisle of Target.
We might be out shopping every fuggin day in December, but don’t worry we’ll be home for Christmas, because if we weren’t the whole damn house would burn down and literally NO ONE would know what the hell to do. As much as I would like to see this holiday up in literal flames right about now, there really is no place like home for the holidays … although packing a bag with my passport and sneaking off in the middle of the night to Bali doesn’t sound like the WORST idea…
But enough about me… let’s DO THIS!
In an effort to make your holiday just a liiiiitle brighter I bring to you this year’s hottest toys — straight from the toy manufacturers and multi-billion dollar companies selling them — because if anyone knows what your kid’s deepest desires are this year, it’s probably the people directly profiting off of them:
(if you think I didn’t load this sucker with affiliate links, you’d be wrong. Mama needs a new pair of noise cancelling headphones.)
Skyrocket Blume Doll
With the Skyrocket Blume Doll, all you need is a few drops of water and you won’t believe your eyes. No, really, you will be BLOWN. AWAY. by how your kid managed to turn 10 droplets of H2O into a goddamn tsunami right in the two seconds you turned your head to grab a towel.
I mean, for under $10, it’s worth the proof for when I tell my kids immabout to grow horns during one of their irrational outbursts, I have this beaut to prove that it IS possible, so don’t even try me, okkayyyyy?
WowWee PinkFong Baby Shark Puppets
If you thought someone gifting your kid a drum set this Christmas was your worst nightmare, think again, folks. Just when I thought we were FINALLY over this it’s baaaaaack … do-do-do-do-do-DAMMIT! And apparently now better than ever because your kid doesn’t need to soak up screen time to get their fix, they can carry this little sucker around with them EVERYWHERE THEY GO! Mommmmmyyyy shark … do-do-do-does not want this mother-fucking-toy in her house do-do-do-don’t even think about it.
Moose Toys Treasure X Aliens
Speaking of my worst nightmare, our kids will now have the tools they need for a future killing spree. We no longer have to question if our parenting style is conducive to raising future serial killers. Give them 5 minutes with this toy and you’ll know. Nothing says “joy to the world” quite like letting your kid disembowel an alien life form in the comfort of your living room, eh? It won’t send chills up your spine at all to hear their delightfully creepy squeals while they carefully dissect body parts (it’s just plastic, it’s cool) out of goo from a hole in this toy’s abdomen. Could be fostering future NASA researchers, could be raising surgeons… miiiight be nurturing psychopaths. But, hey, that last one will save you a TON on college.
Monster Jam Official Mega Grave Digger All-Terrain Remote Control Monster Truck
GREAT NEWS! In part two of Breaking Bad Christmas for kids, after you have gifted your little angel the necessary tools to gut extra terrestrials, make sure to follow it up with this completely unrelated yet eerily sequential truck to clean up the evidence and dispose of the body properly. (Plastic tarps, shovel, bleach and empathy sold separately).
WowWee Pixie Belles
This thing looks cute and cuddly, right? WRONG. Imagine those menacing eyes gawking at you from the corner of the room in the middle of the night when your kid summons you for a sip of water because their legs stopped working sometime around 2 am. Yeah, nowwww you see it. If this thing’s face wasn’t frightening enough, it’s also interactive. It dances, spins, coos, and you know what that means? You basically got your child a fucking pet that they won’t take care of and you’ll be hearing it going off at random hours of the night. I see your future, and it’s you covered in sweat, frantically searching into the depths of your toy box to swipe the batteries out so you can GO THE FUCK BACK TO SLEEP. Someone find me the Martian massacre toy, murder never looked so good.
Owleez Flying Baby Owl
Welp, if interactive toys of the year had a hierarchy, this one would be their queen. Not only does it do everything our horned, bug-eyed, single-footed pixie friend up there does, but this one FLIES. It has 100 different sounds and movements which is, ironically, the same number as the shards glass you’ll be picking out of your carpet when this things sends that family portrait you finally hung up flying off the wall. When your kid’s eyes light up in excitement to watch it take flight you better hope they are bright enough to illuminate the whole fuggin room because any lamps, light fixtures or screens in what will soon look like a scene from Independence Day are likely going to be useless soon. What’s really great about this toy is it’s just LEARNING to fly. I don’t know how you teach an electronic baby bird to fly, but SUPER excited to baby proof my house all over again and find out (insert huge, sarcastic eye-roll).
The Frantic Forest Game
WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WITH ALL OF THE FLYING TOYS? The Frantic Forest Game is going to just be me, furiously dashing around the house trying to catch all of the aeronautical plastic characters soaring past my goddamn head.
Foam Alive Make N’ Melt Ice Cream Kit
Food-like anything that claims to be “alive” is definitely not on my wish list. But apparently it might be on your kid’s this year. The best part of this concoction is that it is “mess-free.” You know, like the kinetic sand that promised to keep your kid’s play session “clean” right before it snuggled into the smallest crevices of your heirloom wood table and dried into a cement-like substance that will NEVER come out. Mess-free basically means, they can’t paint it on the walls, but they WILL find a way. The only thing escaping a mess in my house is the air – and even that somehow manages to get invaded by their stank 99% of the time.
#SNAPSTAR Pop Royalty: Echo’s Debut on the Pink Carpet
I don’t know what Christmas is all about in YOUR house, but in MY house it’s about vanity. If you’re not grooming your kids for a life of fame and entitlement can you even call yourself a PARENT? My kids can pretend to be celebrities all they want, but it’s going to be a harsh reality check when they realize the only red carpet they’ll be walking on in life is the wine stained rug in our living room.
American Girl Bowling Alley
For $150 this thing better come with the machine apparatus behind the lanes that picks up the pins and places them back upright after they knock them down (believe it or not, it does). It also has a snack menu, fake snacks, game cards, glow in the dark tees for neon bowling and for fuck sake, this just moved up to the top of MY Christmas list. I can’t even make fun of this toy … except I’m not sure they can truly claim it’s “realistic” if you don’t get a whiff of stale beer and fried food when you open the box. Those shoes better smell like a Febreze covering up a bad case of athlete’s foot or this is false advertising. I bet you have to rent the shoes straight from AG for a nominal fee. Just kidding, it comes with glittery bowling shoes and I’m serious… SOMEONE BUY THIS FOR ME.
Poopsie’s Rainbow Slime Kit w/ 35+ Makeup and Slime Surprises
This year’s addition to everyone’s favorite unicorn that shits rainbow and confetti slime is a whole MOOD. On the left, you have the face your kids will make when they open it up to reveal they have 35+ “surprise” ways to completely wreck your sanity. On the right, you have the parents reaction literal SECONDS into opening this sucker up to realize that it is full of gloss, powders, slime, glitter, and as if glitter isn’t magically fucking adhesive enough all on it’s own, GLUE. This is just fan-fuggin-tastic. My tip? Empty the damn case before you give it to them. It’s cool without all the added bullshit.
Now you can draw the same way you scream after a long day with kids, right into a complete void. Who needs paper and pen when you can have wires and technological difficulties on game night? I can’t wait to get all my friends and family together so they can have a front row seat to my mental breakdown when I go to hook this up after a few spiked eggnog drinks to realize it’s not connecting to the GODDAMN WIFI?!? I give it a week before my kids lose that damn pen… but I won’t notice it’s gone until everyone is packed on my couch with smiles plastered on their faces, ready to play. It wouldn’t be a true game night if it didn’t start, and end, in tears.
If we are trying to make Halloween a year long event I just have one thing to say, I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT!!! I’m not even sure what the hell is going on here, but if I had to guess you can put this right up with the alien autopsy doll because it looks to me like you’re opening up dolls who stopped breathing LONG ago.
Go-Glam Nail Stamper
This one offers stamps, the scent of nail polish and broken dreams. Just like when I sign up for the bake sale to make something “homemade,” we all know this toy won’t deliver what it promises.
And there you have it, folks. This year’s TOP TOYS and a million reasons why come January we are all going to be drinking, heavily. Trying to get my shopping done on a steady diet of drive-thru meals and the permanent layer of perspiration I’ve been sporting running from store to store has me starting to look a lot like Santa’s twin. 2020 me is going to be really pissed when she sees what I’ve done to her.
But, hey, it’s always worth the look on their little faces for exactly 3.42 seconds on Christmas morning before they started bitching about someone touching them and someone else getting “more” than they did. Do they know it’s Christmas … AT ALL?
Thank God this day only comes once a year, amirite?
Why I Don’t Let Santa Take Credit For The Good Gifts
Like many, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It got especially magical after I had kids. I can’t wait to see their little faces light up on Christmas morning with delight as they burst out of their bedrooms with anticipation to see if Santa actually came.
You know, the man in red with the jolly disposition and the mystical elves that make toys from scratch and report back to the North Pole every night fueled on “cheer”. The man who somehow manages to make it across the entire world in one night living solely off of milk and cookies and Christmas spirit.
I love Santa. I love the idea of Santa. And I love that my kids think that Santa is magic. It adds an extra element to Christmas that fills them (and me) with intoxicating excitement every year. What I refuse to play into is that Santa shows up with the expensive, hard to find gifts and mom and dad bring things like socks and pjs.
The concept surrounding Santa and his reindeer ALONE is one that I think brings hope and enchantment to kids lives during Christmastime.
If we can get them to believe that there is a human being in this world who flies with wingless, hooved animals (one of which has a light bulb on his face), who lives in a hidden land that you can’t find on a map and has an entire staff of tiny, pointy earred people who have not yet managed to go on strike for being forced into overtime and being overworked, and have to do it all in dangerous conditions of freezing cold and hyper active machines throwing paint and nails…. well, I think we’ve done our jobs getting them to believe.
Isn’t that enough?
I work my ass of every year to make sure my kids have a good Christmas. To make sure that they are delivered just as many presents as their friends and they aren’t lacking in all of the “hot items” that they desperately asked for. For a month straight I live off of coffee and evergreen fumes trying to scrape together pennies to bring my little ones the MOST joy I can on the mindblowing morning called Christmas. I become a ninja of gift hiding, wrapping, and assembling. On Christmas Eve, I morph into a woman who doesn’t need sleep, hydration, or daylight to survive and I spend HOURS setting up an entire display for my kids to enjoy when they wake up at the ass crack of dawn because… SANTA!
Did I mention I love Christmas? I really do.
It’s all worth it. It is. BUT, I will be damned if I am going to go through the hell of November and December’s lead up to the big day and let the fat guy in the red suit take all of the credit for the gifts that I had to fist fight someone over in Target because it was the last one on the shelf. NO. WAY.
I want my kids to have the magic of Christmas in their very own homes every year. But I also want them to appreciate the season for what MATTERS. Gifts are great. Getting gifts as a kid is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas, but plenty of kids DO NOT get gifts and if they do they aren’t nearly as cool, high tech, or expensive as some of the gifts my kids have gotten over the years.
How do I explain to my kids that some kids (the ones who really need the miracle) don’t get what is on their list from a man who theoretically brings presents to ALL kids that are good? Do I tell them those kids are bad? What makes those kids less deserving? Nothing.
How do I explain that if we have had a year when money is tight that Santa suddenly doesn’t have the “disposable income” to supply the mountain of gifts he has in recent years? I can’t. Not without them losing some faith in the big guy.
Plus, I’m trying to raise responsible and grateful humans who understand the value of material things and what it takes to make and spend money. Christmas happens to throw all of that out the window for the weeks leading up, and at least a good month after.
The holiday comes and suddenly they become entitled brats (albeit adorable ones) who deserve the world just because they exist because for weeks family and friends have been showering them with gifts. And that is WITH me giving the best gifts from mom. If they thought Santa brought those? I imagine the priveleged attitude they carry would be slightly worse, and last a little longer.
It’s because of these reasons that my kids get the good presents from me. Call me selfish, but I want the credit. I want my kids to know that I worked hard to make sure that they got that one thing on their list they really wanted.
I want my kids to see that even though I might have missed a few important sports games or school events, it’s because I was working. Working to make sure we have a roof over our heads and our bills get paid and also so that I could do things like buy them the iPod they really wanted for Christmas. I want them to know that even when I was exhausted and stressed out I might not have seemed like it, but I was in fact listening to them when they mentioned a cool toy they had played with at a friend’s that they wish they had for themselves.
I want my kids to understand that Christmas IS magical, and there are TWO people that make it so. Santa, and ME. Maybe I’m a little self-serving, but I’ve noticed since I’ve started switching the tags around on Christmas and marking the extra special gifts from me, my kids have a new appreciation for their packages under the tree.
I have a better explanation for kids that may not get the same number or types of gifts as them or why our Christmas haul may vary year after year. And I don’t have to stress about remembering which gifts came from Santa and which didn’t when something doesn’t work correctly and I have to try to come up with some outlandish story about how I’m going to phone in to the North Pole to get a replacement.
If you ask me, the magic of Santa lies in my kids believing. Believing that there is someone watching them, rooting for them, willing to marvel them with his abilities every year because he loves little kids. He does it all in one night because he’s spectacular. And he brings things they will love and play with for the whole year (hopefully).
But the big ticket stuff, the gift that they requested for MONTHS, the one that cost a small fortune and will bring the biggest smile and the most thanks? That one comes from Mom. Move over Santa, I’m soaking up the cred over here. You already have a group of elves to do your bidding, I’m all on my own.