Walking to my car after running an errand, I passed a woman who was putting a huge stuffed unicorn toy into the back of her van. I asked her where in the house she could hide that so prying eyes wouldn’t see it.  She laughed and said that she hid all the gifts at this time of year at her next-door neighbors.   This triggered a memory so I told her about occasionally hiding gifts meant for my dad at our next-door neighbor’s home.

My dad could ferret out gifts for him practically anywhere. In my high school house there weren’t any locks on any of the bedrooms doors, so that was out.  He found things in the basement; he found things in the garage; he even found things hidden in the living room fireplace, which we never used.

When I was little I had inherited this trait. I dug into closets, under beds, any place I thought I might find a stash.  One year at the holidays, when I was about 8, I knew every single gift that I had received before I even opened it.  That was the last year I went looking.  It was no fun at all to open gifts that I already knew about and then having to feign surprise.

Ever since then I wait, letting the anticipation build. Sometimes this backfires. Once my folks brought me a gift from their travels in Russia, instructing me to wait until my birthday, a full 3 weeks away.  The gift sat on the piano bench for those 3 weeks and when I excitedly opened it, it was one of those big fur hats that are popular in Russia.  I can’t do fur, even if it’s a wonderful thought from someone who loves you, so I called my folks to tell them I couldn’t keep it.  Even though this time it turned out badly, I’m still committed to waiting until the right moment!

How do you keep from snooping? Or do you just go ahead and peek?

19 thoughts on “Anticipation”

  1. i have a little sister who snoops. she taught me early it’s no fun to know all your gifts

    she would crawl through closets and under beds til she knew everything

    i just never had the bug

    i was curious
    when i was a kid i was going through my folks closet while playing hide and seek waitingvto be found
    my dad thought heceould be safe hodingvs revolver in a sock tied to a hanger and hanging in the closet
    i asked him about it and he looked real surprised and asked me how i found it i told him and he swore he’d never try hiding things again he got god of the gun and either kept his word or got a lot better at hiding stuff
    when i was 5 or 6 i found one of my moms used kotex napkins in the trash can and my dad must have been out of town working construction so i was sure from my tv watching that certainly someone must have broken into the house and held my mom captive after he was shot while trying to rob a bank, she’d kept quiet but he left after waiting for the cops to lose his trail while he slept it off after he made my mom fix his gunshot wound … what else was the possible explanation. of a giant bandage tull of blood
    … explained about woman stuff and it wasn’t nearly as good as tory as the bank robber
    you darn women and your taking all the fun out of good bank robber stories just bleeding every month for no dang reason at all. takes all the fun out of snooping in the trash

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am a fully recovered former snooper. Indeed, my family has to pressure me now to open my presents when I’m supposed to. I prefer watching others open their gifts, especially those I got them.

    When I was nine my parents drove to Des Moines for an intense day of Christmas gift shopping. When they got back they holed up in the dining room, shut off from my sister and me by doors, and they wrapped every present. Of course, we kids were wild with curiosity.

    Somehow I figured out that the gifts would come with receipts. It wasn’t hard, when we were allowed back into the dining room, to find a big wad of crumpled receipts stuffed in an old ash tray. I began opening the receipts, reading descriptions of the presents. I think I had read three receipts when I stopped, overwhelmed with guilt. The misery of pretending to be surprised by those gifts was enough to cure me of Christmas snooping forever.

    Even so, my parents took no chances. First they loaded wrapped gifts with little chrome jingle bells, a measure to discourage shaking presents to figure out what was inside. Then my mom quit putting names on gifts, labeling gifts instead with numbers that were keyed to a master list she guarded with her life. The routine each Christmas morning was for the cutest child to toddle around distributing gifts while my mother used her master list to make sure that all gifts went to the intended recipients.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, hey, little sister! With chivalry and deference to the fairer sex, I didn’t mention in my story who I read the receipts to! That was you, my young partner in crime. People who live in grass huts shouldn’t stow thrones!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I once found, by accident, a beautiful blue sweater wrapped in tissue paper, in the bottom of a 15-drawer chest that served as a dresser for my sister and me. I don’t remember why I opened that (usually unused) drawer, but I pretended I hadn’t seen it on Christmas morning. Either she caught on, or I didn’t go exploring any more.

    Now I’m a total snoop, but we always just tell each other what we want. I do have something stashed behind the garage for Husband, hope he doesn’t go back there…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I may be curious, but not snoopy enough to go looking around to see what presents I received. At this point, we generally tell each other what we would like and maybe an occasional surprise. I’m fussy and don’t want poor quality stuff or knick-knacky crap taking up space in my house. Geez, I sound like Scrooge …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Seeing those stuffed toys is so serendipitous today, especially the unicorns because my 4-year old granddaughter’s only wish for Xmas is a unicorn! Thank God, Target had a dancing unicorn.

    The stuffed animals with this story are also very timely because just last night, I posted the fourth story in a row of about my dad on my personal FB page, including pictures of the most popular stuffed animals he designed. A friend set up this page for me to gain support for my fight with city hall. Within a few hours, 200 people signed on to become members. This has to be a record time for garnering support!

    The page title is: “Nancy’s Evolving Dock Story”. Don’t ask me how Dad stories relate to my dock because they don’t! I’m clueless as to how to use a page with such a narrow focus and still keep it energized while awaiting my final court hearing in one month. As outraged as these 200 people are at the city, I don’t want the dialogue to be mired in negativity. So, I tossed in a humorous Dad story. They loved it. They asked for more. Now, I have people waiting every day for yet one more chapter.

    How I wish that I could just insert pictures on TB. Short of this, I’ll submit one or two of my Dad stories for later use, and email some pix to Renee or Sherrilee.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi–

    Just another randomly busy day. Never even got to the college to sit at my desk and read the blog.

    I was a major snooper. I have since recovered.
    The shelf in mom and dads bedroom was a popular place to hide things. I’d go so far as to even open the box and play with the toy if I could. Remember the toy cars, ‘SSP’? I had several of those. There was a really cool silver one, kind of looked like a Delorean, that’s the one I recall opening and playing with.

    Oh, and that ‘supersonic’ sound had to be the most annoying thing ever. I was always taking them apart, and removing the little plastic piece that made it buzz. And then taking them apart and removing the middle wheel so they were just toy cars.
    Huh. Story of my life; first thing I still do it take it apart to see how it works. 🙂
    I remember once Christmas I had opened a package; pulled tape off the end I think. Then sealed it back up– well, I mean I closed it and the just stuck the half stick used tape back on.
    When we got around to opening presents my big sister just commented that she hadn’t done a very good job wrapping that. Oh, but then she thought maybe it had been opened.
    There were accusations and denials and I ran and locked myself in the bathroom.
    Big sister came and talked to me through the door. I know other people did too and finally they just left me alone.
    I don’t recall coming out or how any of that was handled, but I know I felt bad for myself and for my behavior.

    Doesn’t it suck to catch yourself acting childish?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I was curious but usually not snoopy. I think my older sisters snooped and I tagged along sometimes but we usually didn’t find anything. However, I would spend inordinate amounts of time shaking packages under the tree, squeezing them, and trying to figure out what they were. I won’t do that this year, since one of the main things I’ve put on my list is a certain kind of wool socks. If that’s what I get, it won’t be too exciting, but I will definitely use them.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t recall any snooping incidents. Maybe I looked when I was a kid, but I really don’t recall it, so if I did snoop I guess I never found anything. So, either not a snoop or a very unsuccessful one.

    I do like being surprised.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I can’t recall ever snooping or looking for hidden Christmas presents, perhaps because I believed in Santa Claus? Or perhaps I was too busy peeking behind the next door or window of the Advent calendar? Don’t ask why I found it irresistible to peek ever so carefully to see what picture would be behind the next day’s window, but it was. I knew it was cheating, and we weren’t allowed to look, but we always did it anyway. I’m pretty sure it was a sin I had to confess every year in December.

    Liked by 3 people

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