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‘Tis the season of giving, but do we always think about our gifts before we give them? There are certain gifts that should be left at the store. Giving children everything they want without any thought can lead to a lot of trouble. Here is a list of four things you can save money on NOT getting. This list only applies to children ages 1-16, if you have a child in college; I think you’re safe to buy whatever is on your list.

1. Cell Phones

With all these news stories about sexting, bullying via text or even just the general distraction that cell phones seem to create in today’s youth, why even buy one? I know, I know, some parents will say it’s a great way to keep track of your children and make sure they’re  safe. This makes me wonder, where kids less safe in the 80’s and early 90’s before this cell phone boom occurred? Just because all their classmates have one, doesn’t mean your child needs one too. This cell phone craziness needs to stop with our youth. I am only in my mid-twenties; I don’t remember anything called sexting when I was in high school. Also, do you notice when you give your child a cell phone, it leads to them wanting more independence at a quicker rate. Cell phones should be left for the adults who need them. If you must give them one, why with all these features they don’t need? Does a junior high school kid really need a Blackberry?

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2.Game Consoles and Games That Aren’t Child Friendly

Seriously people, stop raising future couch potatoes. There is nothing wrong with having one game console for your children to enjoy. I personally prefer the Wii console because it has more family friendly games and it can be physical, which will keep your children active. These violent and over the top games are not the right choices for your children. When I see two young kids shooting at each other in a pizza store because they own a first person shooter game, we might be taking it a bit too far! If your child can’t spell half the games they own, why get it for them? Also, how are we bringing up our children with all this violence? It’s not enough that they have to see it in school or around street corners, but now we are bringing it into our homes. This is one toy that your children can live without.

3.Clothes That are In Style

A lot of us love to buy clothes for our children on Christmas. The ugly sweater that grandma used to give you, has now turned into a pair of sneakers that she spent her whole SSI check on. This goes for both boys and girls. Just because their friends have it, you know they’re going to want it. In what terms, do you say yes to this request? It all depends on what it is! If they want a pair of skinny jeans, basketball sneakers or even those space shoes made of sheep skin you can’t afford; I would have to say no. It is your job as a parent to teach your children that they don’t have to keep up with their friend’s style choices. Why does someone who is going to continue to grow need something on their body that cost more than 100 dollars? If they don’t need it, leave it on the rack.

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4. A Television

Can someone please tell me why a child needs their own television? What’s wrong with the TV in the living room? This is definitely a bad gift. First off, you can’t control what your child is watching if you’re in one room and they’re in the other. Second, why do we keep giving our children things to separate them from us? If television time is necessary, it should be done in a place where everyone hangs out. Not in their room.

I know most of you are thinking, so what can I buy for my children? Try to put more thought into their gifts before you buy them. There are other fun things out there to purchase that doesn’t have the negative effects I listed above. Yes, Christmas is only once a year, but we should think about our purchases and the consequences they may create later on. Don’t turn this joyous holiday into a purchasing circus.