The dreaded wire-ties. If you have a child and have bought them a toy from a regular store, you know why I dread wire-ties.
My inlaws like to buy Fisher Price toys for my daughter, particularly the Little People. That's great, and they're fun toys, but it's usually very frustrating for my daughter because she'll open the present in 5 seconds and then have to wait 45 minutes for me to actually remove the product from the twist ties, wires, strings, cardboard, plastic and reinforced steel that toy companies use in their packaging.
Seriously, what is the purpose? Was there such a rash of shoplifting Little People that they have to practically glue them into the box now? On Christmas Eve when I'm frantically wrapping all of the presents I thought I could get ready in under an hour (ha!) I have been taking presents out of their packaging so that the magic of Christmas morning isn't interrupted by needle-nose pliers and a blowtorch.
There are a couple of ways you can avoid having to do all of the unpackaging yourself:
1 - Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging! Yes, there were already so many reasons to love Amazon, and now here's one more. They are on a campaign to reduce packaging for the products they carry. This year they have a very limited number of toys and items that will come with minimal packaging. If any of these things are on your shopping list I hope you'll buy them from Amazon to send a message to manufacturers.
2 - Buy secondhand: someone else already did all of the unwrapping and assembling. I know a lot of people don't feel it's right to give a child a second-hand toy as a gift. Some of my friends have said that it would make them feel like a bad parent, or like the child might think they didn't love them. I think that's so interesting. Because the kids I've known don't care whether something is new or not, so long as it's all there and looks good and works. And if buying second-hand means mom and dad have money to spend on MORE presents, they're even happier.
Not only are these both great ways to save yourself a lot of unhappy Christmas morning (or Eve) unpackaging, they both eliminate some of the holiday waste destined for our landfills.
I'd love to hear any other tips you have for avoiding the wire-tie blues!