From the December 2015 issue

The Peril of Pink Bunny Suits

There is a condition that sweeps the world around this time of year. Some are masters at suppressing it. Others don’t even try to hide it or notice they have it, for that matter. And kids? Well, they are affected most of all.

It’s called “present face” – and we’ve all had it at some point in our lives. It’s what happens when you get a present that you don’t like or don’t understand and you’re just struck dumb for a few moments. And as you process this “thing” before you, your face is anything but jubilant. Of course, within a few seconds, you try to recover. Usually with a high-pitched, wide-eyed, not-fooling-anyone exclamation like, “Wow!” or “Cool!” or “This is awesome!”

In the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story (the inspiration for our cover), little Ralphie certainly has a case of “present face” when he sees the pink bunny suit given to him by Aunt Clara. But since Aunt Clara isn’t there, he doesn’t have to try to recover. And while it’s hard to argue in defense of Aunt Clara’s gift-giving prowess, the truth is it’s easy for the best of us to give a child a case of “present face.” And while I know kids are supposed to be grateful and respectful, and it’s the thought that counts, let’s get real for a second. We all buy presents in the hope that they will be loved and truly enjoyed.

So every year, we at Metro Parent offer gift ideas for kids of all ages and tastes. We don’t rely on our own knowledge, though. We tap into expert opinion: the folks at independent toy stores that really know the difference between a present that will delight a child and one that will disappoint.

Beyond our Holiday “It” List we decided to take our effort to ensure the delight of children during the holidays a step further. Our roundup of Sweet Santa Setups lets you in on the coolest, poshest most magical places in southeast Michigan to see the big guy this season.

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So fear not, dear parents. This holiday season will be jolly. No dreaded cases of “present face” and no bunny suits – just good gifts, good times and good wishes to you all.

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