Sunday, December 26, 2010

On Playing Santa: Machete and Batteries Not Included

The actual name of this clipart? Happy
Caucasian Family of Four Opening
Presents on Christmas Morning
I'd never heard of anyone receiving their gifts from Santa Claus wrapped until my sister got married, and she argued with her husband over it.  When we were growing up, we would awake on Christmas morning and run into the living room where our gifts were free from wrapping/packaging, fully assembled, and ready to go.  I never knew that there was any other way.  Santa doesn't have time to wrap every gift.  Sheesh.

My family's way of doing things is even more justified today since toy packaging has gotten so much more complicated.  When you've got a kid chomping at the bit for his new toy, it feels like it takes for.e.ver. to extricate the stupid toy from the packaging.  I think a good rule of thumb for toy manufacturers is that any packaging that requires tools that are not allowed on airplanes is too much.  I know that I needed box cutters, a machete, and some minor explosives this year.  Toys that require batteries also beg for this approach because who remembers to have that small Phillips-head screwdriver on hand, let alone the right size batteries?

In the end, I decided to go with a combo of some wrapped and some unwrapped presents for Audrey.  She has recently begun to get into opening presents, so I didn't want to deny her that.  But when it came to Barbie, I really didn't want to be handling sharp objects at 6:00am with no caffeine in me.  So in the waning hours of Christmas Eve, Barbie and I spent some quality time together.  Either Barbie is way into bondage or her manufacturer is concerned that neither a hair on her head nor a CFM shoe on her freakishly small feet move even the slightest fraction of an iota during her long journey from the Far East.

One of Audrey's gifts was Equestrian Barbie and her horse Tawny, who requires 4 AAA batteries.  I was so proud that I had Tawny all ready go, posed under the tree with Barbie mounting her.  Audrey came down the stairs and I immediately pushed Tawny's button and had her trot over to Audrey...who was completely freaked out by it and asked me to turn it off.  Yes, the first words out of her mouth on Christmas morning were "Where's the off button?"  Outstanding.

But I knew that all I had to do was create some crazy and semi-sadistic play schemes and Audrey would be all over it.

Barbie is in a sugar-induced coma, and her disproportionately long neck has been broken from multiple Tawny tramplings.  She is currently face-down, legs akimbo, and covered in dried up Play-Doh in between the couch cushions in the dolly hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.


  1. Hahahahahahahahaha {snort} hehehehehehehehe {sniff} Thank you. :)

  2. Thanks, I needed a laugh today and we did the same "unwrapped" version of Santa gifts. I am shocked that the horse can actually stay upright (mostly). The TSA tool rule should be implemented by next Christmas - let's start a FB group...

  3. I am finding it a bit freaky that the horse has the same hair as Barbie!! Santa doesn't wrap presents in our house either, why add the complication!! Jen

  4. I have missed having young ones to share in the excitement of these kind of gifts.

    Thank you for your take on it.
    I loved it! And it brought a smile to me although all that saw it was my computer.

    It has been heart warming to see the love you have and the lessons you have shared.
    I am So glad I "accidentally" found you!

    Happy New Year to your family!

  5. Those videos rock. Looks like you did great as Santa!

  6. That horse freaks me out. Although, Katie would prob like it and her bday is in 2 weeks...hmm...ha. Will Barbie meet the same fate...?
    we wrap everything. I don't know why. And I don't know why we don't take all the stuff out of its packaging. Its bad enough German Santa has to make a Christmas Eve stop...I don't have time to put stuff together..ha.

  7. Stocking gifts = unwrapped
    Under tree gifts = wrapped (unless too big)

    I hear you on the clamshell/super-stitched packaging, though. We've been known to free the toy from the entangling packaging, and THEN re-wrap it in a simple box with easy-to-tear wrapping paper so kiddo can get at it promptly on Christmas morning. Best of both worlds.

  8. I just had the same "does santa wrap presents in your house" conversation over on Twitter!! He doesn't, nor ever will, in our house
    I too hate the packaging on toys...especially the hard plastic packaging. Such a pain! There must be an easier way. Great business opportunity for some innovative person, to invent a parent friendly easy to open toy packaging I reckon
    looks like Audrey enjoyed her toys!! Por barbie..hope she recovers soon!

    Merry Christmas !

    xx Jazzy

  9. Sounds like you had a great Christmas!!

  10. I am a bit pissed off that Tawny walks better than I do at 6:00 AM. Or 6:00 PM for that matter.

    Isn't horse trampling imaginative play? Isn't that what we want?

  11. Has Tawny been in the eggnog? I think so in the first video clip.

    I'm just hysterically laughing at the clipart title.

    And Babs. She should stick to Corvettes.

  12. Reminds me of the Junie B Jones book where she watched the TV special "When Ponies Attack." Barbie's been "stompled"

  13. American accents! Cute! Yaw'll come back now, y'hear?

  14. Whoa Tawny! I like the way Audrey plays with Tawny and Barbie - way more fun than going on dates with Ken.
    We have everything wrapped under the tree, but stockings are unwrapped. And big presents are not usually wrapped - it's a waste of paper.

  15. Your little one is soo cute! As for toy manufacturers who encase kids presents in layers of industrial strength packaging, we always try to unpack the kid's presents the night before too. Prevents the kids hearing us swearing and crying as we inevitably cut and maim ourselves in our attempt to free the toys.

  16. For Nate's first Christmas (he was 6 months old), we couldn't get it together to get a tree. So we had a mini-shrub that was decorated like a tree. Nate was bigger than the tree. My first Christmas as a mom, I wrapped all of Nate's presents in pretty, fun, and bright paper only to quickly learn that Nate was terrified by the sound of ripping paper. (Good times.) This year, we did a mix - but the big presents were out of their restrictive wrappings. There's no way I can explain to my 19-month old why the Mickey Plane can't be used because a knife has to come out to free him. Therefore, Santa dumped all the gifts on our doorstep early and I took them all apart, quietly, in my bedroom. Nate was so enthralled with all the opened presents that he failed to deal with the wrapped ones. Next year? No gift wrap for the babe! :) Cute pony! Sorry her first words were "Where's the off button?" but glad that your dear ultimately loved the toy! Merry Christmas!

  17. We had a debate over wrapped/unwrapped presents. It was split about 50/50.

    All the guys were like- yeah wrapping them all would be cool, more anticipation.

    then the ladies- yeah thats because
    your wives will be the ones stuck doing it.

    yet another reason I dont hate the Idea of no Santa...

  18. heehee..I think that horse is freakish..Will it be euthanized after trampling its rider? ..;0 Yes, toys in bondage..I don't understand it..I hope you all had a wonderful merry one and that your new year is happy healthy and wonderful

  19. So did not know there was a walking Tawny horse! Maybe a good thing b/c in this house she'd already have broken legs. The Santa gifts . .not wrapped for us growing up, so I insisted they not be wrapped for our kids. Therefore, when Violet saw the VERY guitar she had been BEGGING for, all pretty and ready to play, just sitting there? She literally tossed it over her shoulder and dove into the pile of wrapped presents. Fail. The first thing she unwrapped were panties w/ princesses on them from daddy. She slept w/ them for days.

  20. The horse is a bit creepy, but I love the idea of trampling things. That is awesome. ha!

    It took me 4 Christmases to wise up and take the toys out of the boxes, get them play ready, and hide them in the closet. Then we wrap up the empty boxes and let the kids tear into that. Then when the need to play NOW strikes, they're ready to go! It worked out really nicely. I felt pretty proud of my moment of genius. They are few and far between. haha

  21. I think if any of my presents had come walking at me Christmas morning I would have said a lot worse than requesting the off button!! We wrap every single stinking present which means that after my nieces and nephew opened presents, and again with my cousins, there were a lot of muttered curse words as all the adults tried to break into the apparently childproof toy containers. The videos are classic, and I hope Barbie recovers from her binge eating disorder and spinal fracture soon.

  22. Are those snowman pjs Audrey is wearing? If so, my daughter has those too!

  23. I'm with Audrey, Tawny is freaky! Turn it off. Looks like she is just learning to walk in a PT rehabilitation facility.