Hatchimals, the hottest toy of the 2016 holiday season, have caused countless parents stress and anxiety in the quest to find the elusive critter.
Desperate parents wait in long lines only to walk away empty-handed because stores only receive a few dozen in their inventory shipment.
So, what can parents do if they or Santa cannot put their child's most-wanted gift under the tree? Here are a few ideas on how to avoid a potential holiday meltdown.
Letter from Santa
If the jolly old elf is part of the family tradition, then he may be able to help soothe hurt feelings.
Even if Santa Claus typically is the go-to guy for the kids' biggest gift wish, this may be the year that even he can't deliver.
But, his word still holds major sway with the little ones, so perhaps a quick note left on or under the tree can ease the letdown. Need some inspiration, Tiffany from Feel Great in 8 has a printable available — so you can save Santa a little time.
Gift card "rain check"
Want something for the kids to unwrap under the tree? Whether it's from Santa or someone in the family, a nice box with a gift card, a picture of a Hatchimal and a note promising a special shopping trip after the holiday season when store shelves get new shipments, which the manufacturer Spin Master promises will increase in 2017.
Speaking of Spin Master...
Spin Master didn't anticipate the Hatchimal mania that took off this holiday season, so they did not make enough to meet demand. In response to the shortage, the company realized there would be many disappointed children and created a special website to make waiting for the toy a little more fun.
Hatchimal North Pole is a website where kids waiting to get a Hatchimal can play games, check on supplies from Santa, find craft activities and much more.
Yes, the truth may hurt sometimes, but preparing your child for disappointment before the big day may be the best bet.
If you know there is no way a Hatchimal is coming for Christmas, then consider chatting with your child about how most children don't get everything on their list. Be honest about how hard it is for you to find the gift or Santa's elves to keep up with demand. Also, make sure to emphasize that not getting a Hatchimal has nothing to with how good the child is during the year. Sometimes, people just can't get what they want at the time they want it.
Admittedly, it's not the ideal situation, but it is the perfect way to teach a life lesson about disappointment to your children.