Give yourself a real holiday gift and stop clicking on this garbage

Kids in bed, TV on, phone in one hand, beverage in the other — this is our time, the precious, uninterrupted late-night hours to catch up on work Netflix and social media. Pick your background series and plug your phone into the charger. It’s time to discern the need-to-know from the nonsense. 

Nice: On This Day photos. Go ahead. Look back on chubby baby faces or nights out with your friends and fondly reminisce. You’ve earned it. 

Naughty: Your friend Pam, who just posted pictures of the recycled, hand-stamped thank-you notes she crafted so her little Benson could express gratitude to each of his friends for their fabulous birthday gifts — in a unique and environmentally sustainable way. 

You know what, friends? Ten (his age, not his actual name, but it’s easier this way) had a birthday party a few months back, and nineteen of his precious buddies showed up with awesome presents in gift bags that were carefully placed in the back of the minivan before we headed home. Unfortunately, one of Ten’s brothers had to go to the bathroom on our way back, and we drove the last four miles police-chase style, resulting in a veritable Nerf gun–and-Lego orgy in the back of the car. I had no idea who sent what. We sent zero thank you notes. It still keeps me up at night, so thanks for reminding me, Pam. You’re the coolest. 

Nice: Time-saving recipes. You can’t go wrong with a time-saving recipe. No one will ever argue this point. 

Naughty: Weight-loss suggestions. I’m 39.5 years old, and suddenly there are videos popping up in my time line that say things like, “Lose Weight Before 40” with pictures of (I’m pretty sure) the old lady at the end of Titanic doing squats. No, thank you. 

Nice: Hilarious status updates. 

Naughty: Quizzes with titles like “Only a Genius Can Name These ’90s Sitcom Stars.” According to this deceitful clickbait, I am a registered nurse, earned a PhD in English, have a 190 IQ and am an avid Gilmore Girls fan. Frankly, only one of these is true. 

Nice: Elf on the Shelf pics. (With a grain of salt, that is. While Pinterest is a great resource for excellent ideas, it’s also proof that some of your friends have WAY too much time and intensity on their hands.) 

Naughty: The hot Christmas toy. Before you click on that great toy with the two-day shipping, let’s ask ourselves, “How long is my kid going to find this interesting?” (Have you seen the giant chocolate ball stuffed with cheap plastic toys you can score for the bargain price of $50?) 

I’m not suggesting we put a million educational books under tree, but the simple introduction of a “Will this puncture my foot if I accidentally step on it?” rule could be a game changer. 

Have a great holiday season, friends, and thank you for a great 2017! 

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