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I’ve decided to help out readers of Chicken Little. You know the old saying about how to carve a statue of an elephant: cut off anything that doesn’t look like an elephant. Well, many people struggle with what to get their kids for Christmas. I can’t tell you what your kids will like, but maybe it would be useful to tell you what NOT to get them for Christmas.




Only a psychopath would give their child a Texas mickey of Jack Daniels for Christmas. Three litres weighs 6.6 pounds. Can you imagine any drunk child trying to lift that without spilling it on the floor?




Sure, it can dice a Douglas fir in less than 20 seconds, and chew through a pesky leg in less than two. Impressive stats, definitely. But what about the warranty? Kids are hard on their tools, and there’s no way a custom job like this comes with comprehensive 24-month coverage.




Teaching your child to be charitable might seem like a good idea. But if you want your little Van Gogh to ever be famous enough to cut off his own ear, the fewer competing artists there are the better. And if hardship is the creative pool from which great writing emerges, how do you expect your pampered offspring to create the novel of the century if the Unicef kids get their hands on pencils and paper? 




The whole point of getting a child a car is that it’s a no-hassle babysitter. Hand keys to kid, tell kid to stay in the yard, retire to salon to smoke cigar. But with this bad-boy, not a day would go by that your kid wouldn’t be asking for a lift to the Bonneville Salt Flats: “But Dad, I have to break my land speed record from yesterday. Pleeeaaasee?”




Reliability? Check. So simple even a child soldier could use it? Check. But what about accuracy, and I mean accuracy out to a kilometre or more? A .50 calibre sniper rifle is a much better choice – just ask the Marines.




What could be wrong with a teddy bear? Plenty. Interactive is the name of the game. Smart kids need smart toys. What does a teddy bear do? Nothing. Two weeks after Christmas, it’s just another soiled pillow. Challenging presents encourage creative play. This is more like it:,r:73,s:0,i:387&tx=216&ty=45


If you’re still stumped, you may find some good ideas here:



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Recent comments

  • Quip
    November 27, 2012 - 09:43

    I can't believe that you show so little compassion for young, poor children in far off lands Mr. Sparling. Some of these children walk twenty kilometres a day for a basic education, and you dare to suggest that we deny them an education that they would give their lives for. We are not competing against these kids for literary fame, glory and honour, and therefore they deserve all the support we can give them.