Gift-giving season is upon us, and the shelves are overloaded with the latest and greatest the toy companies have to offer. Between the television ads and the store displays our kids are excited about every new toy and gadget, but how do you feel? Some gifts are better left on the store shelves, at least according to these savvy allParenting staffers.
What gift are you afraid to buy your kid?
Kristin Bustamante, Executive Editor for allParenting, says, "Anything related to Thomas the Tank Engine! My nearly 2-year-old son loves trains, to the point of running toward any train whistle he hears. But I just know that if and when I purchase him his first Thomas the Tank Engine gear, it will be a landslide of hundreds and hundreds of dollars I'll never get back! Because those little wooden trains cost at least $10 a piece, on a good day, and other wooden trains aren't nearly as much. And you can't just have the train! You have to have the tracks, but not just any tracks, oh no! You will need the deluxe train house with turntable thing-a-ma-jig. And you can't just have a few engines — you need cars and cargo and freight, oh my! So far, I have successfully shielded him from Thomas the Tank Engine... and hope I can continue to do so at least a little longer!"
Maria Mora "We're already a house overrun by LEGO, so I'm wary of any new obsessions. Clutter aside, I'm scared to get any kind of handheld gaming system for my boys. It's already hard enough keeping them off the computer and the Xbox on weekdays. They both want to play handheld games but it seems like it'll be a huge hassle to regulate and get them to share."
Jennifer Chidester "Anything Angry Birds. My husband introduced my 4-year-old son to the game a while ago and it became a full-blown obsession. We walked by an Angry Birds bedroom set in Target and I found myself saying 'please don't see it, please don't see it, please don't...' until we were in the clear."
Monica Beyer "I could write this about so many things. It seems like girl toys tend to be so super collectible — either that or I just remember my daughters because they are younger. My older daughter (she is 9) really got into Littlest Pet Shop when she was smaller and while it was easy to shop for her for birthdays and Christmas, I had to ask for a giant tote to keep them all in. Not only did the animals escape and hide, but all of their teeny, tiny accessories did as well. Even though it's been a few years since she seriously played with them, I still find random dogs, cats and turtles in strange places in my house. I have them all stashed for when my younger daughter is old enough (and stops putting small objects in her mouth). But I'm a little hesitant to bring them back out again!"
Sarah W. Caron "I have been totally against getting my son NERF toys. Although my brother has bought him a few, I am constantly worried that the soft projectiles will do crazy damage. Ok, they probably won't, but that's my fear. And then there is the 'don't shoot your sister' thing. So, even though he has two, I refuse to put batteries in them to let them work. Unfortunately, batteries for the ones he has and more NERF guns are tops on his Christmas wish list."
Dara Michalski "What gift am I scared to buy my kids? LEGO toys, hands down. About 95 percent of my brain is so excited to see my boys creating space ships, other-worldly creatures and entire cities out of LEGO. The other 5 percent (the same 5 percent that wakes me up in the middle of the night and forces me to write down recipe ideas... you know, the neurotic part) is quietly freaking out about the explosion of multi-colored plastic pieces that seems to take over the house. Please tell me I'm not alone in this."
Tell us!^ What gifts are you afraid to buy your kids? Share with us in the comments.