I’m thinking for Christmas, based solely on the amount of time I’ve spent locked in the bathroom hiding from my children, just trying to get in a quiet 5 minutes, my girls should get pretty little white jackets with lots of buckles. I kid! I joke! I might get them if I thought I could get away with it! I kid! I joke! I’m legally required, here, I think, to tell you that it’s Safe Toy and Gift Month. To make up for that joke, I’m going to help you recognize unsafe toys.
I grew up with some pretty dangerous toys, but I was (Sesame) Street like that. I had one of these, only instead of a horse, it was Big Bird.
Then there were the toys with tiny parts that came off, parts that my younger sister could swallow. I know we both had one toy that would give that woodchipper in Fargo a fright.
Each generation of toys seems to get safer. My mom played with something like this, which she, of course, shoved through the roof of her mouth and had to get stitches. Her parents might have just as easily given her a Shuriken (“ninja stars” to anyone who isn’t actually a ninja).
Why do we even BUY toys for kids? They don’t want toys, they want rocks, sticks, boxes, and toilet paper rolls, from which they can make pets, weapons, hideyholes, more weapons, etc. This Christmas, Chanukuh, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, if you’re going to give in to consumerist pressures to buy “STUFF,” consider retro-cool presents. For you Christians, maybe go WAY WAY back to Jesus’ day and give the gifts Jesus got: gold, frankincense and myrrh. After all, as the title character in the one-man show, Joseph, said what? they couldn’t find a rattle? And what parent doesn’t want their kid playing with rocks, trying to burn things and learning the fine art of embalming?
Give safe gifts. Give smart gifts. Give the gift of time, love and grace this holiday season.
What’s the most dangerous toy you played with as a kid, and still lived to tell the tale?