It's the season of giving, and if your list includes gifts for other people's kids, you have a chance to not only spread a little cheer, but also get back at their parents for all the things they did to you when you both were kids. Don't even bother denying that this idea is appealing. I know it must fill at least some of you with a sinister joy; otherwise, my own kids wouldn't have each gotten their own Fisher Price corn poppers before they could walk and an assortment of ear-splitting electronic toys over the years.
If you are looking forward to exacting some revenge on an unsuspecting, and possibly undeserving friend or relative, and I am by no means suggesting that you do, here are some passive-aggressive gifts that are sure to do the trick. If not, be sure to avoid these presents, because while the kids may love them, the parents probably won't, and payback can be a very scary thing.
Anything too controversial
A few years ago, our preschool-aged daughter got a promiscuous-looking Bratz doll for Christmas, even though the dolls were on many parents' lists of unacceptable toys. Passive-aggressive giving or genuinely clueless? We never knew, but the toy was quickly exchanged for something more suitable for our little girl. This year, hot-button gifts include toys that are too sexy, too violent, or too connected with shamed celebrities, such as one furry red monster named Elmo.Musical instruments
Unless the child on your list is an accomplished musician, instruments are a surefire way to give their parents a splitting headache. Take it from me. I grew up playing the drums. In fact, the only thing worse than real musical instruments might be fake instruments. You know, the toy guitars with the default volume set to loud that play one song snippet over, and over, and over until your ears bleed? Those will do the trick.
Toys that require lots of batteries, especially those oddly sized batteries, are a double whammy. First, they are expensive to maintain. Second, they are almost invariably loud. Want to really sock it to a kid's parents? Get a present that requires lots of batteries, but doesn't include any in the package.
Messy, messy, messy
Giant tubes of bubbles, finger paints, buckets of slime, or any other gooey gifts make for lots of extra fun as you watch moms and dads have a heart attack trying to figure out how to gracefully get them home without spilling everywhere. Older kids can get messy with art supplies like charcoals, oil paints, and more.
They could put an eye out!
Remember "A Christmas Story"? Go ahead and get a BB gun for the little Ralphie on your list without checking with his parents first. Or how about a pocket knife or a real bow and arrows? Their parents will be so appreciative.
The ultimate no-no
I saved this one for last, because it is definitely the most passive-aggressive gift you can possibly get a child. If you really want to mess with the parents, cost them a ton of money, and cancel even the slightest possibility they can take the gift back, give a kid a new pet. Make sure the pet is sweet and cuddly, and give it to them right in front of a whole room full of people, so their parents will look heartless if they take it away. Yes, this one might get you banned from the holidays forever.
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