When it comes to Christmas presents, kids have a sixth sense; they can smell presents the way a Mom can smell chocolate. You’ve worked so hard to find them the perfect gift, and then, they find the gifts and spoil the whole surprise.
The spots listed here are stealthy ingenious because they are, as Poe’s purloined letter, so obviously right in front of your nose, yet still concealed.
- Not under your bed — but under your child’s bed. They’ll never check there.
- In the Valentine’s Day Decoration Tub.
- Your neighbor’s attic.
- That Special closet with the lock.
- In the laundry room, under a bag that says “To Fold.”
- Behind the cans of tuna in your pantry.
- Under the Halloween Costume tub.
- Empty suitcases.
- In the garage, in the tub with the gardening tools.
- At your office.
- Under the tree?!
For example, while you wouldn’t be the first parent to hide your child’s presents under your bed, nor would your child be the first to check there first. Today’s parent must be armed with new solutions to out-smart today’s child. For example, how many children would think to check under their own bed for those delightful gifts? Parents of dust bunnies everywhere can attest that the lost sock or the delinquent library book is usually always found there, even after the child guarantees you that he’s “looked everywhere.”
I once thought garbage bags would be clever — dark-colored garbage bags full of neatly wrapped presents, stored in the garage, right alongside the garbage cans. For an entire month, my boys were never asked to take out the garbage, “I’ll handle it,” I said. Still, I found the garbage bags had been untied and the smartly wrapped parents now sported torn edges where the scotch tape had been pulled off and re-affixed. I would have faired better if I had simply tucked the gifts into the attic, and put them into the plastic tubs labeled “Valentine’s Decorations” or “Summer Clothes.” Or why didn’t I take advantage of the empty storage containers that were tossed aside once our Christmas decorations were pulled out and displayed?
If you store the gifts out of your home, say, at your office, or at Grandma’s, for example, there is always the challenge of migrating the presents back into your home for Christmas morning — a large task to add to any Christmas Eve. Storing them in the trunk of the car runs its own risks, as sometimes those battery operated toys get jostled around, and the word’s “I’m Elmo” can reverberate through the car just when you have the kids packed in for a night-time cruise to look at the city’s Christmas lights display.
Of course, you could just leave the wrapped presents under the tree, and tell the kids the truth, while trusting them with the responsibility of doing the right thing. “Here are your presents. You can peek, but if you’ll do, you’ll ruin your own Christmas morning.” The year my parents left the presents out under the tree, I did sneak downstairs after they were asleep, and tore the corners off every present addressed to me. That was also the last year I tried to unlock the mystery of any surprise that passed through my life.
Today’s cyber market place delivers its own clandestine challenges. Your computer’s search history leaves a clear trail – that must be deleted from your browser, and your computer. Without this step, a quick glance at the search history will reveal your entire Christmas plan. That handy “memorize password” feature exposes the order history of every item you’ve ordered on amazon.com, along with their delivery dates. How will you know your security features have been breached? A sure sign is when your child looks at you and says, “Mom, that Xbox 360 your ordered is the wrong one. The 4G is the right one.”