It’s not that I don’t agree with kids getting Hanukkah gifts or Christmas gifts, because let’s face it, for children, it’s all about the gifts. I am slightly mortified by all the cost that goes into buying these gifts, which in my opinion is way too many. But my biggest problem with gifts is that while it takes only 30 seconds to rip open the presents, it takes mommy and daddy FOUR hours to unwrap the packaging.
For example, I had two family Hanukkah parties, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The first was with my family, where my daughter, son and stepchildren each received eight presents. The next day, we went to my fiancé’s sister’s house, where again, each child received eight gifts from all the family members. That’s 64 gifts we had to load in our trunk and then unload into the house. And they were good gifts.
But even my daughter’s Monster High Dolls took me 15 minutes to open and unwind all the wiring that holds the pieces in place. I feel like saying to manufacturers, “Hey, it’s great that you care so much that a toddler can’t get into the gift, but you do know that even us ADULTS can’t open them either!” And don’t even get me started on my baby’s toys. He got a lot of trucks, some sort of aquarium thing that lights up, and other battery-operated gifts. So, first the knives and scissors come out so that we can open the box. And then it takes us at least 20 minutes to unwind all the wiring that attaches all the pieces to the box. After that, I need a nap.
But, anyway, the process is not over. Because after you’ve used your knives and scissors and get the darn gift out, you realize that – duh! – you need 18 batteries (which you don’t have) to make the toys make sounds and move and do what they are supposed to do. And, of course, they aren’t just double A’s. They are usually some sort of special battery, and all you’re thinking is, “I just spent hours at parties. I’m tired. I’ll get the batteries another time.” And then you realize that not only do you need batteries, you need a little screwdriver to open the part where you put the batteries in.
Honestly, the best gift anyone could give me this season is one of those little screwdrivers that opens the place where you have to put the batteries in, because I know we have one somewhere, but of course I have no idea where. Also, while I appreciate that manufacturers are trying to be as safe as possible, all those wirings end up on the floor and my dog could eat those (because he’s not the smartest dog) or my baby could (because he’s not the smartest baby, but that’s because he’s a baby.)
Nevermind the paper cuts I seem to get while ripping open these cardboard boxes. I suggest that when you buy toys that need batteries and screwdrivers and hours to take out of their boxes, one should also throw in a scissors, the batteries that are needed, the mini screwdriver that is needed, a few Band-Aids for parents who get paper cuts, and also a box of garbage bags for all the crap that surrounds these toys.
Getting presents are fun. Unwrapping them is fun. But, actually opening the damn things? Not so fun. That’s why, even though we received 64 gifts for our kids, only a handful have been actually opened to use.
These days, opening presents and getting them out of a box is a full-time job. I can’t do math very well, but let’s say 30 of the gifts required mommy and daddy to unwind all the wires, find batteries, the screw driver, and make the darn things work. Let’s say it would take an estimated 15 minutes for each, which is practically a full day’s worth of work.
Please, Santa. All I want for Christmas is an easy to open gift. Or a mini screwdriver. I’ve been (mostly) a good girl. Thanks.