Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
Yes, I know it’s not supposed to be a competition with Christmas and all the gift buying involved in that holiday. But let’s face it…as a kid there are just certain presents you dread opening in the light of the candles.
We may not have Santa, but we can make sure our kids don’t suffer the pain of the (insert creepy organ chords here) bad Hanukkah gift! (More creep, scary music.)
This is one of those classic Hanukkah gifts that almost every kids gets. And almost every kids hates. But somehow, when we move from the kid to the mom or dad, we forget that awful moment when the that squishy package appears in front you.
Did you open it and pretend to be happy? Or did you suddenly remember a school assignment/dirty litter box/really important phone call, and leave the room, promising to “open it later”? Ah, you remember now! Please, spare your kids that moment!!
9. A new baby brother or sister
What kid wouldn’t love welcoming a new family member just in time for Hanukkah? Pretty much all of them! Believe me, I tried this one. My third child arrived on the third night of Hanukkah. Somehow the other two didn’t see this as a great gift. Go figure.
8. Hand-knitted anything
This one had to make the list, because no matter how much love Grandmon or Aunt Ida put into that sweater or hat or whatever, this present comes with a double-whammey. Not only does a kid have to open it and look happy, they have to actually wear it, too! And probably in public! Aggghhhhh!
7. Gift card to your grandmother’s hair stylist
The kids love her, they really do. But please, oh, please, not a gift certificate to the woman who does her hair! Anything but that! Bring on the socks and underwear, but please don’t expect a kid to let the person who does that hair cut theirs!
6. Stuffed animals wearing Hanukkah sweaters
Stuffed animals are an iffy gift for anyone over the age of three, but add a holiday-themed sweater or t-shirt to the mix and you’ve even lost the preschool demographic. Sure, it looks cute sitting on the table next to the latke tray, but once the holiday is over this gift is a sure bet for the back of the closet or under the bed.
5. Footie pajamas
Yes, they do make footie pajamas in all sizes these days. But please, please, please do not take that marketing choice as permission to actually buy them for your kids as Hanukkah gifts. Like the stuffed animals wearing holiday sweaters, these things should come with an age warning so no one over three ever has to see them inside a gift box.
4. School supplies
Oh gee! Notebooks and pencil holders! Wow, what a gift! Excuse me, but did you forget that Hanukkah usually comes during or just before winter break when kids are using every circuit in their brain to FORGET about school?
There is an exception to this rule, however. If you have a tween or young teen girl, even school supplies are acceptable if they feature one of the singers from “One Direction“. Ditto for those footie p.j.’s, too.
3. Toothbrushes, electric or otherwise
I have yet to meet a kid who ripped open the package and screamed in delight to find a new electric toothbrush. Heck, I haven’t met one who even smiled at the thought, unless it was one of those painful “OMG, I can’t even figure out how to react” kind of smiles.
2. Nail clippers
Er, um…does anyone of any age love getting nail clippers as a present? So it baffles me that these little bathroom tools appear so often among Hanukkah presents kids get! Sure, sometimes they’re hidden in a “personal care kit” that includes other kid-friendly “winning” gifts like nail files, tiny combs and (gasp!) tweezers. Now there’s a winning gift combination — NOT!
This is the Holy Grail of bad Hanukkah gifts. And by some awful quirk of fate (or exceptionally poor parental planning), new underwear is always the gift kids get to open on the night when the whole family is over — or that cute guy or girl from class is visiting.
Double the awfulness scale if the underwear a weird shape (grannie panties). Triple it if superhero characters are involved in the design.