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Gifts to Keep Your Children From Putting You in a Home

Gifts to Keep Your Children From Putting You in a Home
Ryan Boyd

Bribery is the heart and soul of any family dynamic. There are millions of invisible transactions within your family -- you buy your grandma a Garfield calendar so she won't attempt to sleep on your bathroom floor again, you get your nieces a toy that does nothing but scream and scream because you still haven't forgiven their parents for that time they listened to the entirety of Wham!'s discography on a road trip, and you steal your uncle's money because you really like money. But your children are another matter. You can see hidden malice glittering in their eyes, and you know that they're keeping records of your gift activity with their small, clever fingers. Christmas approaches. Time to make some investments!

1. Hungry Hungry Hippos

The snapping jaws of the hippo are a metaphor for the endless death march of time, and how the years snap up our lives like so many marbles. Your children know that you only have so many years and so many marbles, and they are the hungry, hungry little hippos. If you keep them occupied with obsessive button-tapping, it'll give them a release valve for the hate in their hearts so that they won't have as much of it toward the end of your life. The buttons must click. The marbles must remain in play.

2. Operation

You can't have real relationships in life without some degree of vulnerability -- when you love and trust somebody, you're essentially throwing open your ribcage, handing them forceps and a scalpel, and hoping that they won't get any funny ideas about needing a new intestine scarf. What better way to let your children know that they ultimately have access to your innards than by allowing them to vivisect you in effigy? When the buzzer goes off due to careless enthusiasm, it'll fill them with a sensation that will prove very useful later on -- remorse.

3. Sorry!

Our lives are a game of connect-the-regrets, and the entirety of it can only be seen as your departed soul drifts far enough above to see the full picture. How can you possibly atone for the dirt you've done every day of your life? How will your children ever learn to forgive you for your transgressions, the ones you made in a blind parental stupor because you didn't know any better? Answer: Sorry! The little plastic pawns struggle and jockey for position, sending each other back to the start and knocking each other down, because that's what you have to do to move forward. Your kids will learn the insincerity of the word "Sorry!" before their baby teeth tumble out, and they'll make peace with the evil that we do to one another as an inescapable part of life. Also, Sorry! now comes with Fire & Ice power-ups. That's so cool! What do those even do? Toys today are so fancy.

4. Candy Land

Make your children associate you with the fudge pop monster. Make them understand that you are the fudge pop monster. They would never put the fudge pop monster in a home.

5. Clue

Was it Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with a rope? Was it the abstract concept of parenthood in the modest suburban home with the crushing weight of your expectations? Sometimes your child will be the victorious detective, and sometimes they'll be the assassin crouching unseen in the library, eagerly shifting the pleasing weight of a wrench from hand to hand. The two of you will be locked together in a whodunit that will last decades, and will the final reveal truly be as satisfying as all those hours spent agonizing over it? Would it give them any pleasure to put you in a home when it never really became clear which of you was Mr. Body? If you buy them this classic board game, you'll drastically reduce the odds that it was Your Child in the Rest Home with the Long List of Grievances.

Need good deals on toys for Christmas? Head over to Hasbro's page on Ultimate Coupons and make sure you're not spending any more money on toys than you have to. You will need so, so many toys this Christmas, because you never know which one will be Their Favorite. Might as well go for broke!