It's the thought that counts.  Unless the thought includes something that creates more work for mom and dad, or noise, or trash.  There are some gifts that make parents cringe!

When kids rip open packages at Christmas, it's safe to say that they're not thinking about the excruciating pain that gift could potentially cause their parents in the middle of the night, in the dark, on the way to the bathroom.  Legos, Barbie Doll hands, and stray board game pieces are the worst to step on.  I lost a toenail on a Sit-n-Spin once.

Parents on Cafemom.com talked about the gifts that make them cringe, and parents here in the Treasure Valley may agree.  Here are some of the top answers.

Live Pets - Anything that creates work, changes the vibe of the house, and requires upkeep needs prior approval.  If parents are going to be buying dog food or kitty litter for the next ten years, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Nerf Guns - Toys that could potentially cause injury also need an okay from parents ahead of time.

Musical Instruments - The noise level in the house increases by ten when one musical instrument is added, and parents could be on the hook for lessons too.  A book about drums might be better than an actual snare.

Gifts That Require Parent Participation - Is it okay to admit that sometimes a parent needs a break?  Gifts that the kids never need help with quickly become a favorite.

Anything Without an Off Switch - Toys are noisy.  And, I would add anything that's motion-activated.  Those things can scare a girl to death and they always seem to go off the minute they have us alone in the dark and cornered.  They are a Halloween movie waiting to happen.

So, what's left?!  Fuzzy pants, pajamas, and books, apparently.

My mom sends money to me each year and asks me to spend it on my girls to cut the risk.  And inevitably, I will end up using it to buy a new dog, a violin, and ten board games that the kids and I play for hours and hours over the Christmas break.  Oh well!  The kids are happy, and, in the end, that makes me happy too.  I'd just rather not step on a Barbie in the process.

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads