Did you wait till the last minute to do your Christmas shopping? Are you racking your brain for what to get that hard-to-buy-for person who has everything? Not sure your tot needs yet another toy? Well, have I got the gift guide for you! Here’s my list of thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. Bonus: they’re all free! It’s my Christmas gift to you. You’re welcome.
_ For moms: _
Privacy. If a working lock for the bathroom door is not feasible, give her the gift of letting her do her business solo without talking to her through the door. Imagine, an entire shower without someone coming in to ask where the red sippy cup is or flushing the toilet and scalding you. Or getting to do your hair and makeup on the same day!
_ For dads: _
Space. Let him watch the whole game without interrupting to talk about the color of the baby’s poop or the state of your 401k. Allow him to drink his coffee before asking him if he remembered to put out the recycling and what you should get his mom for her birthday. Don’t hand him a crying baby and a whiny toddler before he’s even fully in the door from work. At least let him turn off the car engine first.
_ For grandparents: _
Satisfaction. As in, give them the satisfaction of thinking you are taking their advice – or at least considering it. When they say, “We used to put you kids in playpens” or “Give the baby a bottle of water when he cries at night” or “Don’t give in to those temper tantrums; show her who’s boss,” just smile and nod. Bonus points for throwing in a “Why didn’t I think of that?”
_ For babies: _
Access. Every parent knows babies don’t want to play with those boring old educational toys. So let them have your germy keys, the metal pots and pans, and the dog’s filthy chew-toy. They’ll be in heaven, and you’ll be on standby with the Purell and Advil (for you).
_ For toddlers & preschoolers: _
Independence. Imagine an entire day where your child gets to make all his own decisions. The striped shirt with the plaid shorts and Elmo rain boots? Why not! Waffles and M&Ms for breakfast? Sure! A four-hour Dora marathon? Go nuts! What’s the worst that could happen? Cavities? Public ridicule? A nuclear meltdown? You’ll live. Of course, my kids have been known to ask to drive the car, play in traffic, and drink Red Bull, so you’ll have to draw the line somewhere.
Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, stress-free holiday!