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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are you ready for Christmas?

It's only 70 days until Christmas. Is it really that close? Seems like just yesterday it was 4th of July.

I have no idea how we're going to manage Christmas this year. My partner and I usually purchase 1 major gift for each child (or 1 shared gift) and then buy them stuff they need, like clothing, shoes, etc. We're very practical. We're also very dollar challenged this year and I'm sure we're not alone.

We have 2 teens, a boy and a girl and it's becoming increasingly difficult, not only to come up with gift ideas, but also to get the shopping done. When they were younger it was easy. They went shopping with me, and when they weren't looking I would slip items into the cart under my coat. When it was time to hit the check-out lanes, I had them stand a couple aisles over, where I could keep an eye on them and then I put my coat on and put the items on the counter and paid for them. They were too busy watching other people check-out, or they were fighting. They had no idea what I bought.


I try to shop early, a little at a time, so it's easier on the wallet. My Mom did the same thing when we were kids. She would wrap them early and hide them. Her favorite hiding place was the bottom drawer of her cedar chest. I figured it out early on and was very adept at peeling away the cellophane tape, opening the package, checking out the contents, and then re-wrapping it. No one was the wiser. Today with my family I employ a tactic I call "hiding in plain sight". I'll even do this before I wrap the items. "Hiding in plain sight" is just what it means, sort of. I've hidden gifts in the garage which I made no attempt to cover. I've hidden gifts in a plain box on a bookshelf. Family members pass the items daily, and have no clue. Sometimes I give up my hiding places because I can't resist the "gotcha" response. Othertimes, I keep them secret. It doesn't matter, I've never been found out. How do I know this? Because they would have to give it up becauses they would have to gloat about it, that they were able to figure it out. "Hiding in plain sight" works because they least suspect it. Try it. Let me know how it works for you.

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