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A mom’s sanity-saving guide to everything you shouldn’t buy this holiday

You’re armed with your child’s Christmas list and you’ve got plenty of caffeine and snacks to help you power through your shopping. But before you plow blindly through the toy department wondering if you’ve bought enough, consider these signs that you shouldn’t buy this toy for Christmas.

Once you’ve finally managed to decipher your child’s handwriting and decode their Christmas wish list, it’s time to decide which toys will actually wind up under the Christmas tree. We all love to watch our children’s faces light up when they see gifts under the tree on Christmas morning, but figuring out exactly what toys to buy your child is one of the most stressful parts of the holidays.

Getting everything on your child’s wish list might seem like the easiest way to guarantee a merry Christmas, but buying everything they ask for may leave you regretting more than the fact that you didn’t get more egg nog. There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t buy a particular toy for Christmas.

Here’s how to tell when you should just walk away: 

More: 20 Things your toddler really wants for Christmas

1. Because as much as you love your child, you can’t or won’t spend that much for this toy.

2. Because it’s so big that finding enough space for it would mean getting rid of the coffee table and possibly the cat.

3. Because “some assembly required” means giving up your entire afternoon and still having three pieces left over with no idea where they go.

4. Because they’re going to fight over it with their sibling and you can’t justify getting two.

5. Because the only thing scarier than this jack-in-the-box is opening a can of biscuits.

6. Because all those lights and songs will turn the nursery into an all-night rave.

7. Because it looks like an overpriced pet toy.

8. Because you lack the organizational skills to keep track of all those tiny pieces, and so does your child.

More: 9 Seriously creepy things only Santa can get away with

9. Because Santa told you he’s getting it.

10. Because if you buy it, your favorite lamp won’t survive to see New Year’s Eve.

11. Because the vacant stare of this doll is already freaking you out.

12. Because your kid has another toy just like this one already that lies neglected in the toy box.

13. Because just the thought of accidentally stepping on one of the pieces hurts.

14. Because that cartoon secretly annoys you.

15. Because Grandma bought it before you could.

16. Three words: Batteries not included.

17. Because you don’t trust that anything baked by a light bulb could be safe to consume.

More: 8 Creative Christmas Eve traditions to make the night even more special

18. Because you can’t remember if this is the right character.

19. Because you can’t read your child’s handwriting and now you’re thinking they could really use a calligraphy set instead.

20. Because you still haven’t recovered from the childhood trauma of never winning this game.

21. Because even after watching the commercial, reading the box and listening to your child talk about it, you still have no idea what this toy is supposed to do.

22. Because you just replaced the carpets.

23. Because they’ll shoot their eye out.

24. Because you want to play with it, and so you’re buying it for yourself.

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