November 27, 2010

Christmas Presents

The biggest problem with living in a small town home is the lack of storage space...especially when the holidays hit. When we lived in Philadelphia, I used to hide all of my kids' Christmas gifts in the basement. This year, the only place that I could think to put them was under a blanket in my closet.


"You've got to be kidding me," my husband said when he saw my good idea.

"They won't even notice it," I insisted.

Just to be safe, I declared my bedroom off limits for the next month to anyone under the age of thirty.

That was all the invitation that my kids needed to rifle through my personal belongings while I was making dinner.

Needless to say, they noticed the peculiar mound in the corner of my closet.

"I'm taking it all back!" I screeched. "Every last bit of it!"

In the middle of my tirade about respecting privacy and listening to parents and staying out of places where you aren't supposed to be and not being a lemming and having the confidence to tell your sister 'no' when she orders you to pull off the blanket, my husband made the fatal error of suggesting that I was partially responsible for the fiasco.

"I told you that that wasn't a good place to hide the presents," he said.

In a fit of rage, I ran upstairs. When I came down, I held up a pair of electric hair clippers that I bought at T.J. Maxx last week for $9.99.

"I'm taking your Christmas gifts back too!" I barked.

I wish that I could say that my husband was devastated by my announcement, but he was not.

I wonder why.

34 comments

Lin said...

lol...I thought your hiding place was perfect!

Jodee Leader said...

Oh my goodness! What a hoot! We are in the same boat here, however, we hide all of our gifts in the trunks of our cars!

jennie w. said...

You should put them under their beds. My kids never look under there--since under the bed is just the place to shove gogurt wrappers and dirty socks.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I don't know what his problem was. Seems like a perfectly good place to me. Maybe you should have put the litterbox next to it too or something.

Whatever. He's the one whose not going to be able to trim now.

(raise eyebrow)

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

try wrapping them and then putting them into second boxes marked tax return records 2008-2009. Add a few pieces of boring paper to the top of the box for extra security. Guaranteed not to be checked by the kids.

Anonymous said...

I hide my son's presents in his older sister's room. (He's not allowed in there.) I hide her's in my closet (she's 17 & thankfully too old to snoop for gifts.) :)

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mal said...

My parents always hid our Christmas presents in their room. Every year Mum would announce that if anyone entered her room without her express permission they would have to open all of the presents for that person right then and she wouldn't buy anything else (so even if she only had one gift so far, that was it) and we wouldn't have anything on Christmas morning.

It worked every time.

The Desert Girl said...

Get a couple of cheap laundry baskets from the dollar store, put the presents in them and cover with crunched up summer clothes so it looks like dirty laundry. No kid wants to mess with dirty clothes!

Nicole said...

I tell my kids that if they even make me think they're looking for them I will take everything back to the store immediately. Works so far:)

Valerie S said...

As a child I lived in extreme stress before Christmas that I would come across my presents by accident. No snooping for me. I hated not being surprised. On the other hand my children (who are related to their father) knew every year what they were getting by time Christmas morning rolled around. No matter what great place I thought I had found for hiding it was discovered. I finally found that if I hid everything in the camp trailer and locked the door they couldn't see what it was. Ha! Apparently even a slit of an opening in the drapes is enough to see everything. From then on I just pretended they were really, really surprised on Christmas.

Erin Rose said...

better than me..i out them in the soare room and close the door.....we dont have a basement so what else am i supposed to do...i feel your pain!

MomJovi said...

It's funny because I was JUST thinking the other day that by next year (when my daughter will be almost 4) my closet hiding system won't work either. Luckily we have high shelves in our closet, so this year, I threw everything in garbage bags and tossed it up there. No basement and guests are coming to our spare bedroom, so hiding places were scarce for me, too.

Very funny.

Anna said...

Yeah, I would say it was a fatal error on your hubs' part. I mean really, kiddos shouldn't have been snooping, no matter how great (or not great) the place is.

I like the suggestion of putting the presents in garbage bags and having them at the top of the closet. I never went hunting for my Christmas presents... my mom threatened me that she would donate them if I found them and then I wouldn't get any presents at all.

Dolly said...

I have the same situation with hiding presents. So, now...I just wait till the very last minute to shop:)

Jennifer said...

mine are in the closet too.. but they are in the back depths BEHIND the giant box that is my preserved wedding dress. The kids aren't brave enough to go back in there.

Anonymous said...

lock your bedroom door! or atleast the closet.

Rosemary said...

Don't hide presents in garbage bags! We ended up throwing out a huge bag full of unwrapped gifts... when the time came to wrap them, we discovered that someone had carried that bag out to the trash, and the garbage men had come and gone by the time we realized what happened. It was a very sad moment.
Nancy

Anonymous said...

I hide presents in my luggage. NO one looks in there!

Rachael said...

That looks EXACTLY like my closet! I have a blanket covering the pile. I do like the suggestion of the garbage bag!

Lee said...

You could try the trunk of your car, in an attic, or maybe with a good friend/neighbor?

So did you take them all back? I'd be sure to tell Santa on them all.

Laura, Ben, and family said...

I hide mine in my closet, but My mom used to hide them either under her bed, or in the linen closet behind the towels.

After all - what child would get clean sheets or towels without mom forcing them? Nobody looks behind them.

Laura, Ben, and family said...

The other thing my mom would do - her and a friend would trade gifts. Everything for her friends kids would be in Mom's room. All ours would be at her friends house. They'd Visit each other for wrapping, and we had no way of snooping.

of course, not that we even considered it!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Hi--your are hysterical and if you lived in nowhere Montana, I think we'd be pals, or chums or at least laugh at one another. So, anyway, I have all my kids presents in plastic grocery bags in my closet as well. I told them the {true} story of when I and my siblings went on a hunt to find our Christmas presents and eventually found them in the trunk. It was awesome for like a minute and then we were incredibly deflated. My mother refused our requests to buy more presents--the nerve!! So, I tagged on my own quaint moral and hopefully I won't hear the cellophane crinkling anytime soon!

MissMel said...

Love it, Jana. My Mom would wrap ours and when I found them I would slice the paper open with a razor blade and then tape it back up when I saw what it was. Its the same trick I ended up using with the "unopened" oreo package.
I can't hide presents anymore. I forget where they are and Christmas Eve comes and I can't find anything. Maybe you could send yours to me and I'll take care of them for you.

Anonymous said...

Some how I lucked out. Mine are 9 and 7 and are like me and have the "whatever" attitude when it comes to presents. Don't mistake me, they LOVE to get them, but don't go crazy when they know they have presents waiting for them. I store them in our downstairs bedroom either in the bags or boxes they arrive in and mine have never snooped.

Of course, standing rule is I can return anything at anytime so "X" holiday for anyone caught snooping is cancelled and the money I get from returning said snoopers presents will be spent on Daddy and I!!!

Of course there was the one time my daughter walked in the "gift room" when she was 5 (at my direction) and saw her easter loot and asked what it was. I told her the bunny was extra busy this year and brought her stuff early but she had to forget or else he would take it back! Her eyes about bugged out of her head and she got real worried. I asked her if she could forget? She got a huge smile and said "what candy?"

- RaeRae

big mama said...

I agree with luggage. It's worked for 13 years. Awesome. Also--the trailer outside works well unless the snow is too deep to go and retrieve them.....then you can see the footprints when the kids go outside to look for the sleigh tracks Christmas morning.

Abby said...

My best hiding spot is inside my insanely huge wedding dress bag. You know- the one almost everyone has from David's Bridal or some such store. It's so big and puffy and heavy by itself and seriously- who would EVER think to look there? Plus you can stuff a whole lot of crap up INSIDE the dress as well as around it in the bag.

Sants said...

This is just another example of why we explain to our children that monsters are not under THEIR beds, but in our closet and under our bed.

Andrea said...

I don't have a basement so this year i've hid all my kids presents in our suitcases. they don't go snooping through them so they are safe there. I did get caught though trying to put some pjs away one day and had to give them to my son early.

Tracey in Calgary said...

This made me howl, because even though we have tons of storage in the basement, I have done the very same 'blanket' trip in my closet, just like this!! So funny! However,I have discovered it works much better if you WRAP the presents first ;-))

Casey said...

looks like you will need some Anti Bacterial/Anti Biotic
for those presents

The Payne Family said...

Growing up my sisters were huge present snoops. All it took to rid them of this was getting caught one year and EVERYTHING got taken back to the store. They never snooped again.

TracyKM said...

This happened to me when I was a kid....but my brother got some of his cool presents, and I didn't get the Barbie I found!!
We have this problem too, now that our basement is finished. I just bought a vacuum, and I think I'm going to stuff the presents in the box! We've also hidden the presents in my husband's truck...