I feel like my husband and I do this every year. We buy the one "big" gift and our kids are all gung-ho and then, within a week or two, it's forgotten. They have their old stand-bys that they always go back to- favorite books, puzzles, dolls and action figures. Once the novelty of the "big" gift has worn off, they swiftly move on. In fact, the biggest lesson we ever learned about how useless over-the-top gifts can be was the year we stayed up until 4 am building a train table for them both but on Christmas morning, at ages four and two, they just wanted to know where their pancakes were. They gaveth not a shit. They are older now and we have some ideas for this year but we learned the hard way that big gifts don't always have the reaction you think they will. Here are 10 classic over-the-top gifts your kid will surely ignore shortly after Christmas:
1. Life-Size Stuffed Animal
Once your kid is done being in awe of their enormous new giraffe, they will quickly grow bored of it. I mean, how much can you really do with a toy like that? Besides scare the living shit out of people by setting it up in their room while they sleep. Which I would obviously do.
2. Motorized Kid-Size Car
This one seems like every kid's dream. So how come every kid I know who gets one is over it in a week while it rusts in the backyard?
3. Giant Doll House
Sometimes, an elaborate toy can overwhelm a little kid. I know my daughter is more likely to make something for her Barbies to live in out of a shoe-box while her big doll house sits, untouched for months.
4. Ball Pit
While not expensive, this is a purchase that every parent seems to regret and that every kid rapidly loses interest in after the initial novelty of diving in. The kids play with it in earnest for a few days and then it just becomes one more thing to tidy up. Ballz. Everywhere.
5. Musical Instruments
Kids lose interest in these things all the time plus, there is the noise factor. I know exactly zero parents who are like "THANK GOD we bought Junior that drum set last year!" Either it's collecting dust or driving you insane. Ugh.
6. Super Expensive Doll
My daughter has her favorite dolls and at this point, I'm not sure how much attention a new one would get. It seems she always goes back to her favorites. It sure does suck to see a $100 doll sitting on her bed, not being played with, because she is too loyal to her others to bring it into the fold.
7. Remote Control Car/Plane
Once a child realizes that it's kind of boring to keep ramming their car into the molding over and over again, it's all done. My son has one from two Christmases ago that he fires up for five minutes every now and then. He forgets to shut it off and then, it talks at 2 am scaring me half to death. Remote-controlled talking cars can go straight to hell.
8. Train Table
Ah, the train table. So many parents swear by these and insist their child loves it but my kids were just "meh", as evidenced by the anecdote above. I can think of several mom friends off the top of my head with train tables they wish they never bought. And this one does not simply tuck away on a shelf once their Thomas the Train phase has ended- it's like a piece of ugly furniture that you are now stuck with.
9. A Pet
This is really not ever a good idea unless it's something you were planning to do anyway. Kids lose interest in pets and then it's your burden. Only make it a gift if you want it too!
10. A Special Chair
My kids both have Anywhere Chairs from Pottery Barn Kids that my mother bought them. They sat in them maybe twice and greatly prefer sitting on our big, comfy recliners. Why sit in tiny chairs when there are big chairs?
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