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Christmas List Fiasco

One year my Mom decided she had figured out a no-fail way to keep us from figuring out what the Christmas gifts were. Her idea was going to settle all the sneaking under the tree that naturally happens when you have 2 young teens and a elementary school boy excited about Christmas. Since the title of this is called Christmas List Fiasco, I’m guessing you’ve already figured out that her idea didn’t go exactly as planned.

Christmas List Fiasco

Mom kept a private numbered list with all the presents and who they were for. Then she only wrote a number on each of the gifts. Now, you need to know that my parents love having lots of presents under the tree. If we were getting gloves, hats and a matching scarf, then we would open 3 packages – not 1 box.

The plan was working great. The presents piled up under the tree and we had no clue who they belonged to. But then it happened – Mom lost the list!

That Christmas morning was quite a fun experience.  Mom would pick up each present, examine it carefully to see if she could remember exactly what was in the package.  If she wasn’t sure, she would carefully open the edge to see the inside then pass it out.

The Rest of the Story

When I decided to write this article about the event, I wanted to give Mom a chance to give her side of the story.  In those famous words “Here’s the rest of the story”….

I didn’t realize that Mom had grown up with her Mom doing this every year.  According to Mom, my grandmother would keep a list and number the presents every year for her 4 children.  So, naturally, my Mom thought that if it worked for her mother, then it should work for us as well.

The traditions continues.  Well, not exactly.

So, I’m sure you are wondering if our packages have numbers or names.  We go the more traditional route in our household.  We put names on the packages….most of the time.  But, sometimes it is fun to leave the kids guessing.  I brought in one present the other day and put it under the tree.  I strategically left it out so the kids could see that it has a big Question Mark on the package.   When they asked who it was for, I told them I hadn’t decided yet.  I would just give it to whoever was the nicest kid on Christmas morning.  Now, of course that’s not what I’m going to do and they already think they have it figured out.  It’s a present for all three of the kids.

Sometimes, what’s in the gift is only half the fun.  Sometimes, the mystery of the gifts is part of building excitement of the Christmas season.

Have you ever tried a non-traditional approach to showing who is going to get which gifts?  I’d love to hear your stories!

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