parent opinion

9 Christmas presents you’d only give to the kids of your frenemies.

Oh, how I used to delight in giving Christmas presents to my nephews, specifically chosen to annoy my sister.

Really, an annoying gift for the kids was a gift for me too, because of her reaction. 

One year it was a recorder (when the receiver was three, and had no hope of playing it tunefully). Another year, a whistle. The next, a harmonica.

Watch: Things Mums never say. Ever. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

If I had wanted to be nice to her, I would have bought a toy doctor’s set so she could lie down while her kid examined her. But then, what kind of sister would I have been?

In the past, friends and family have been much better to me and my son, Winston, than I was to my sister; he’s been given some great stuff.

The fact of the matter is that the gift you give someone’s child is a measure of you as a person and the strength of your friendship, in the parent’s eyes. 

So, unless you’ve been wronged in some way and you’re into revenge-gifting, using the children of your frenemies as scapegoats, what should you avoid handing over?

Fugly clothes.

This one is ensured to drive your friend nuts, because there’s an unspoken expectation that at some stage, you’ll need to see that child in those clothes. Which is both emotional and physical labour for their parent, the degree to which depends entirely on the level of fugliness.

The same applies to tops with inappropriate slogans on them…you know, like the ones which sexualise Santa ‘as a joke’. In my humble opinion, stick to The Wiggles, even if they’re teenagers.

Weird novelty gifts (like Donald Trump toilet paper).

This present seemed great in theory…until Winston began to insist we use it in the bathroom. I could not bring myself to do it. I did use it to blow my nose sometimes, though.

My private parts and that face was not the sort of intimacy I desired. Image: Supplied. 


Anything that involves close parental supervision/extensive parental involvement.

The Holy Grail of gifts for kids is no mess, no noise, and no parent required. Bubble wands are a good example for kids old enough to use them.

Board games like chess, are not. Also, skipping ropes, marbles and lab kits. Ain’t no parent got time to be teaching and supervising their kids like that.

A lifelike remote controlled rodent.


Or so I’ve been told.

A baby doll that cries.

A crying baby noise is not a pleasant experience for any parent. If you do give this gift, expect to be given one back if you have a child.

A toy megaphone.

This one may sound obvious, but many people don’t know that toy megaphones are as annoying and loud as real ones, and no, sending the kid to the next suburb to use it won’t make a difference.

A GIANT chocolate stocking.

I’d expect it would be quite difficult to moderate one’s intake with a giant stocking/a chocolate filled stocking the height of a small child. You’ll end up with kids full of sugar, jingling way past bedtime. 

This one is from Costco, and although there seems to be sufficient portions for a family of five, we all know there will be swapping, and counting, and it will end in a s**tshow.

Nothing like an excessive stash of chocolate to tear a family apart. Source: Facebook. 


A super soaker gun.

Vast experience has taught me the that being flooded by a super soaker is only fun for the person using it. And the person using it will target their own parent, even indoors.

Anything impossible to get out of carpet.

Little beads. Glitter. Slime. Paint. 

"Oh, they can use it outside", you may say. But every parent knows it will be smooshed into the carpet by the end of the day, impossible to remove completely, and become a daily reminder of the moment your friendship ended.

Yes, it’s all smiles until you unexpectedly sit on it. Source supplied. 

And, one last really important recommendation – check if the kids are allergic to anything before you gift them something they want to devour immediately. 

If they’re not allowed to eat that giant Toblerone because of the nuts, for example, their parent will hate you; not because you almost risked the life of their child, but because they know they will now have to eat it.

I mean, in this world of food wastage, what choice have you given them?

Feature Image: Getty