by Lisa Huff Sloan
If it's been a while since you've taken a child's toy out of its packaging, let me remind you of something before Christmas morning. It's hard as hell.
First, you have to break through the nearly impermeable force field of plastic and extra durable cardboard that could be used to make coffee tables. Then, there are all those indestructible little twisties to hold everything in place. And just in case the twisties don't work, toy manufacturers now screw the toys into the box. Seriously, does Tonka think its toy dump trucks are so life-like that they're going to drive away?
All this leads to crying and screaming because you're not opening the toys fast enough -- and that's just from you. There's also more than a good chance of slicing open a finger or slitting a wrist while trying to open what has in recent years become known as "clam shells."
Do yourself a favor and prepare ahead of time by investing in some super-sharp kitchen shears that cut through virtually anything or wire cutters -- or something more than your every day scissors. You can try some of the products marketed specifically for this purpose, but try them ahead of time (and save your receipt). Unfortunately, not all of them actually work.
Also have on hand a small tool kit with at least a flathead screwdriver and a Philips screwdriver. Is she kidding, you ask. Try me.
I'd also have a serious talk with Santa. Ask the big guy to take a present or two out of its packaging before he blows the joint. He can always stick it in a gift bag or wrap it up in gift wrap so as not to eliminate the element of surprise. But this way, the kids have a toy available for playing with right away and you have time to use the Jaws of Life on some other toy.
You could chance it without any fancy tools, in which case I'd recommend spiking the eggnog to take the edge off. Oh wait -- I recommend that anyway. Happy Holidays!
Lisa Huff Sloan is the founder of Well Prepared Mommy , a site helping moms-to-be and new moms become more organized.