The Latest from Lola's Diner

Friday, October 16, 2009

Are You Ready for Christmas 2009?

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. I think this year we're going to skip the major gift and only go with the practical.

Since we have teens 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 still occasionally employ this technique, but the I have to be more careful.

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.

Unfortunately, the first year we moved to the burbs, my hiding place was a cabinet in the basement. A power outage that stopped our sump pump had me scrambling to retrieve the items before the flood water got too high. I narrowly escaped saving an Ipod and I had to leave out some DVD's to dry. They ended up being fine, but that's no longer a safe hiding place.

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, board games in a bag behind the sofa. 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. Other times, 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 because 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.

Lola's Diner


flavoredmom said...

That hiding in plain sight thing would never work with my kids. You've never seen such grabby little hands - they have to touch everything. I might try disguising their gifts as cleaning implements - that's sure to repel them. Happy VGNO.

I am Harriet said...

The weather seems to disagree with the 70 day theory.
Happy VGNO!

Anonymous said...

OMG I think I've met my Christmas Shopping Soul Mate. I know exactly what you mean. Mine are older too and hiding in plain sight is so much easier. New clothes go in with the summmer clothes bin and they are clueless. I wrap a little each day startin in Nov while they are at school and then on Christmas Eve they go under the tree. And yes, major cut backs over here as well. Money is tighter and with 3 I always start in Sept right after School Shopping. Have a great weekend and VGNO

blueviolet said...

I like your hiding techniques! That makes good sense!

Like you, I'm toning it down this year. But, toning it down from last year's toning down is really bringing the kids some slim pickings.

Tania said...

Can't hide in plain site with toddlers... they are on it like white on rice!
Happy VGNO!

Martha in PA said...

Happy VGNO!

Tracie said...

I don't' think that hiding in plain sight would work with us because my daughter notices everything...and comments on it....and asks what it is for and where it came from....

Christmas--I am not even thinking about it yet, I know that I should, but I am just not there. My husband and I usually do one "big" gift for our daughter and maybe get something for the both of us to enjoy....we go out to eat for a special Christmas brunch and have a nice, quiet family shopping early isn't too important in our world. When it comes to extended family, I try to do something homemade, so crafting early would be a good idea, but this year I just haven't made it (hopefully I will be in time for Christmas!)

Happy VGNO

Jessica said...

I do the same thing - hide in plain sight. But I am not ready to start thinking about Christmas! Ack!

Happy VGNO!

StaceyC4 said...

Yes, Christmas is going to be tight this year and light. Between being unemployed and my dad's crazy wife having him thrown in jail...OOPS! I wasn't supposed to say (well, it's not on MY blog so I guess it's okay) but he is normally the one who gets my kids their BIG gifts. They'll adjust, I'm sure. As for hiding places, my house is tiny so it gets harder as they get older - they look everywhere! The only thing I do now (and started like three years ago) is that I wrap them as soon as I get them and I stack them so it's like you say - in plain sight. So far, no one's really messed with them.

Lin said...

I'm toning it down this year too--they don't really need anything grand, maybe some clothes and stuff. They have too much anyway. They don't think so, but I do.

As for hiding--mine goes wrapped into the attic. Last year some snow and ice blew in sideways through the vent and I had to re-wrap a few things last minute! Ugh!

john said...

i agree, the older they get, the harder it is shop for. every year i say Im toning it down, but this year im sticking to my word.

i just bring the gifts to work and keep them there.

Lisa said...

If I really wanted to be cagey then I'd hide stuff in the laundry. God knows no one will touch THAT.

Auntie E said...

Oh yeah in plain sight is the best. I don't know how many times I hear..I can't find it. I will say it's right on the dresser...then I hear no it isn't..LOL. I go to the dresser and get it.They Still have no clue.
Teens..Christmas...I have my teen write a list and tell her she'll get one thing off the list.
The list is also good for others who ask what she wants. Stopped buying clothing because she is sooo picky!

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