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?