Quick Shopping Tip: To Avoid Tantrums and Overspending, Whip Out Your Phone and Lie to Your Kids

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Every parent has been in this situation: You’re in the toy aisle, your kid has an eye on one or twelve toys he just has to have, and you don’t want to buy it—at least not at that price, not in front of the child, and not at this time of year. What do you do to get out of the store without buying the thing, and without a major freakout?

A brilliant Parent Hacks tip provides the solution:

When my kids start begging for a toy, and I feel the negotiations are about to begin, I just pull out my iPhone and tell them to pose with the toy and I’ll take a picture and “email it to Santa.” I show them the picture, they put the toy back (instinctively, which is funny), and we’re on our way.

Not only are negotiations ended and tantrums avoided, the kids are all jazzed up thinking I’m getting in touch with Santa, and my dad has Santa’s e-mail address! How cool is that! As extra-extra bonuses, you get some cute pictures of your very excited kids, and if any children claim that they never really wanted the gifts appearing under the tree on Christmas morning, you have photographic evidence to prove them wrong.