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Canajun Finances Home » Gifts You Shouldn’t Get Your Kids (ever)

Gifts You Shouldn’t Get Your Kids (ever)

I have to admit I stole the topic title from MSN Money. However, let me put a Big Cajun Man slant on this, and see what Gifts you shouldn’t get your kids this Christmas (or any other time for that matter).

Any Gift Over $250 In Cost

Anything with a price tag over $250 as a gift for any kid under 18 is simply a bribe. Unless the present is a donation to an RESP, you can use that money for something better.

A Cell Phone

If you buy your kid a cell phone, you are creating yet another debt hole in your budget, since your kids can’t afford a cell phone, can they? If you must buy them one, make sure it is NSA approved , has tracking capabilities and the ability to broadcast messages loudly over them like: COME HOME NOW! and GET OFF MY DAUGHTER!


If your child is over 8 years old, they know how they want to dress. Leave it alone, parents; they don’t need another Brady Bunch Checked Shirt!


As a corollary of the previous rule, I have heard of parents buying their daughters lingerie as gifts. Are you people insane? Why not just hand them a lit stick of dynamite? Better still, buy them a pack of Condoms with the Lingerie; at least that might be useful.

This is a sexist gift warning, too, because if you have Sons, you must buy them underwear. They will keep wearing the same ones forever, otherwise! People who buy their daughters’ lingerie need to remember what it was like when they were their kids’ age and then put the underwear back on the rack!

A Car

Yes, this is just a corollary of the first rule. Anyone who buys their kid a car as a Christmas present, this is a Huge Bribe. If you must purchase something vehicular for your children, buy them Snow Tires or a Real Muffler.

A Firearm

Do I need to explain this one? Unless your child is in the Military, RCMP or the Provincial Police, no firearms.

A Credit Card

And Boom Goes the Credit Card

This is the same as a Firearm. If you are the one who receives the bill, it’s more like a Financial Neutron Bomb.  A Credit Card given to a 16-year-old is not teaching them about money. It is teaching them how to spend. There is a difference. Teach your kids how to live on cash and the money they have. If you want to give them a Credit Card, shred your credit cards and make them into a festive Christmas Wreath.

A Carton of Cigarettes or a Case of Beer

If your child is younger than 18 and you buy either of these, your parenting license is revoked. The argument, I’d rather they drank at home than at some stranger’s house, is about as good as I’d rather be blown up by a Russian H-Bomb instead of a North Korean H-Bomb; at least I knew where it came from.

Any Video Game with Theft or Kill in the Name

Again, do we need to discuss this one?

Something You Always Wanted

My wife and I made this mistake a few times. Our kids don’t want what we wanted when we were younger (in terms of gifts, at least), and trying to relive your childhood by buying your kid a table hockey set or a complete Fun Factory from Play-Doh will not endear yourself to your kids.

You may always have wanted a wood-burning kit, but your parents were right not to buy you one!

Any Pet

Unless this is a pet that you want to care for, pay for and take for walks, leave pets off the list (unless it is a pet that easily turns into a meal, like, say, a Christmas Turkey or a Christmas Steak). They are cute, cuddly, and the black hole of Calcutta in terms of money and time (for the parents), so forget about it.

A Personal Gift

I read this one and thought that was an interesting idea, but that assumes I understand enough about how my kids think and what they value to create such a gift. Mothers, you may think you can tackle this question, which rivals the Riddle of the Sphinx in complexity, but I caution you that this is not as easy as you think. Your kid may say they love the gift, but in 1 month, look for where they may have left it, and figure out whether the gift was as personal as you thought.

What Gift Should You Give?

Why the heck, ask me? My wife entrusts me with purchasing gifts for one person, and that is her. She is disappointed every Christmas (who knew a Bread Maker would be such a bad gift?), so I am the last person to ask about Gift-Giving advice.

Don’t JUST get a robe, for your wife!

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I was given quite a few of these!

    Credit card – Dad made me an authorized user on his Speedway card since he was paying for my gasoline when I was 16.

    Grand Theft Auto – Birthday present I believe. Love that game. Have yet to shoot/stab/maim anyone in real life.

    Over $250 – Yep, received an Xbox 360 for Xmas one year. Believe it cost $299.

    Beer – Grandfather gave me a beer on my 18th birthday! Legal (even in the USA), but some people would disapprove. My parents take the opposite approach: Drink anywhere BUT my house.

  2. to me, this is a pretty useless post. Every family is different and a lot of what you say doesn’t apply. Buying my son a 30-06 rifle for big game hunting was not a horrible gift idea. To this day, he tells me that was the best Xmas gift he’s ever received.

    If anyone needs to be reminded not to buy their teen a pack of smokes, beer, or lingerie, then they are too much of a moron to bother trying to help.

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