I had to post this email from my brother. This is the instructions he gave us for buying gifts for his son and daughter:
Hi folks, I thought I would just send a quick e-mail regarding "appropriate" gifts from Santa for the kids. This is loosely based on what they have told me they want and what I think is acceptable.
First some ground rules to help you choose. Of course anything with lead paint is out, or other toxic ingredients, simply spend a few hours on the web researching all of your choice toys components or save yourself the time and simply rule out anything made in China all together.
Also, children by nature are fragile so pointy things or things that shatter or explode are a bad Idea. Children are also tough on stuff so you want to avoid the overly delicate things, maybe you should bring a hammer with you when shopping and do some field tests on any toys you might be considering. Be prepared, you may get some looks from the staff.
Also, Dada's back is old so he can't spend too much time bending over, picking things up off the floor so nothing with a lot of parts to clean up. No "some assembly required". No 20,000 piece jigsaw puzzles of famous works of abstract art. Also things like marbles, and roller skates , that Dada can slip on and hurt himself. Nothing camouflaged in the night that might also present a tripping hazard. Nothing the kids can choke on, nothing sticky or stainy. nothing that needs batteries or winding up or frequent maintenance. nothing too flashy (ADHD you know).
Art supplies are great unless they can be used for acts of vandalism throughout the house. Nothing that would require me to have to make major repairs to the drywall or present potential threats to the structural integrity of our house. Nothing that can incinerate, eviscerate, amputate or suffocate. War toys are great if that's the kind of thing you want to promote you fascist. Nothing that makes a food product that I will have to try to swallow and pretend tastes good to please my little "future chef". Nothing that shrinks in the oven or grows in a glass of water. Forget outdoor summer gear (are you nuts?). Kites are out unless you want to come over in mid-January and stand in the blustery freezing cold and wait for my cranky child to launch it.
Nothing that breathes or breeds (that includes fish or otherwise) nothing that will force me into a premature discussion relating to death, sex or credit swaps. nothing corporate. nothing religious. nothing political or too gender specific. nothing boring. nothing that may present major financial liabilities, bonds are good, hedge funds not so much. Last thing I need for Christmas is yet another mad scramble to make a margin call. Nothing squishy, grainy or gritty.
No nightmare fodder please.
Nothing I will find in my car seat later that would require an explanation to a state trooper on the side of the road. nothing that produces the utterance "uh-oh" from another room while I am trying to catch up on my emails. The following base ingredients are out: Iron, Chrome, Zinc alloys, Uranium, Plutonium, Di-Hydro-Oxide, plastics containing polychromanatenitrosillyobsualtebutylferminanine. (I read bad things about that in Parent's journal) nothing that I may have to one day bury in the back yard (see the previous paragraph)
Nothing that will cause conflict between siblings. Nothing that will over pacify the little scamps. Nothing nostalgic for an era that they have never lived in, in other words no Tom Nix Pocket knives. actually any pocket knife is probably not a good idea. forget gag gifts, they are not funny. no adult sporting goods. no eatery franchise gift certificates. stimulating the imagination is fine, stimulating the appetite not so much (America has a child obesity problem remember?)
Nothing depressing. nothing wingy, whiny, chirpy, blubbery, smelly, stinky, tacky, giddy, stumpy, sloppy, curvy, wishy or washy, flippy, mustardy, winky or floppy, waxy, wany, zippy or zany. no fresh salmon. and save the canned goods for next year when the economy really tanks.
I hope this helps