Sunday, September 30, 2007

An Early Christmas Tale

I hate to do this because I am afraid it will create a monster, and yet I do it anyway.

H is not what I would call patient when it comes to receiving presents. His birthday is just four days after Christmas, so on December 1, he starts to go present crazy. He will go through every closet and look in every crevice in the hopes of finding his presents. When he finds a wrapped present (this has never happened with me, but he used to do this at his parents' house), he will use a knife to slit the tape, unwrap the present, and then rewrap it. And then he will brag that he knows what he is getting for the holidays, so I don't know why he bothers to rewrap his presents. I guess because his parents would have taken them away from him if they knew he had found them.

Our first Christmas living together, I kept everything at work until the day we were opening presents. Our second Christmas, we had access to each other's bank account statements, so of course H figured out where his present was from, even though I didn't bring it home from work again until the day before Christmas. Last year, I took out cash from the ATM and gave it to my friend and had him buy H's birthday present for me and keep the present at his apartment. This year, my friend and I have the same game plan, except that the friend is now in charge of both Christmas and H's birthday, and H knows the birthday present was stored at my friend's apartment last year, so now my friend will keep the presents at his office since we go to my friend's apartment from time to time.

The reason I am telling you all this is that I already wrote my friend a check this year because I thought that since it was September, H wouldn't notice. But of course, H did and assumed that I had loaned our friend money without talking it over with H first. So I had to tell H that the money was not a loan, and I couldn't come up a cover story for the money fast enough, and H figured it out. Aargh.

It is cute and sweet that H gets so excited about getting presents, but it is so much work! I must admit though that it is kind of fun for me to figure out how to keep the presents a secret from H every year.


KM said...

Now if you procrastinated like D you wouldn’t have this problem. He usually buys my presents either the day of or the day before Christmas or my birthday. Thinking about Christmas in September—I applaud you!

stefanie said...

I'm one of those big dorks who wouldn't open a gift for me even if I found it, because I hate to ruin the surprise. Even as a kid, if I accidentally came across my mom's Christmas present stash, I was partly excited and partly disappointed about it. I am a nerd.

H, on the other hand, is big overgrown child... one part adorable and one part maddening, right? :-)

lizgwiz said...

Just don't get him anything. That'll teach the big snoop. Hee.

L Sass said...

H is terrible! Although, AS would feel your pain--I am a terrible snoop and will be a nightmare to buy for when we begin to cohabitate. Must be something in the water in SW MN, right?

ALTHOUGH, I've gotten much better in my adult life at resisting snooping. Even though I am always tempted by the instant gratification, sometimes I manage to squelch the urge so that I can still have the surprise!

Noelle said...

Wow, you're missing out on all the fun of shopping at 4:00 on Christmas Eve afternoon! I'm impressed by your dedication to the surprize, and saddened by H's dedication to spoiling it.

One Smart Cookie said...

Oh, we love to torture each other by putting out the presents in advance and then giving very devious clues to drive the other person crazy. Neither of us would cut the tape to sneak a peek, so it works out for us.

I think you should get something that you know H would hate and then hide it somewhere that seems reasonable place to hide something but that you know he'll find eventually. Then when he sneaks it open he'll think he's getting a really awful present.

-R- said...

KM, I was actually thinking about how procrastination would work to my advantage, but I think I would get too stressed out.

Stefanie, I used to purposely avoid any place where my parents might hide our presents because I like to wait and be surprised.

Lizgwiz, another good idea!

L Sass, good for you. Way to hold out!

Noelle, I think H actually likes the challenge of finding presents, but he is also (in my opinion) disappointed when he ruins the surprise. I don't mind taking the extra steps to keep him on his toes.

One Smart Cookie, hiding fake presents is an excellent idea, except it involves even more work on my part, so I don't think I'll try that. At least not this year.

Operation Pink Herring said...

My brother did the fake present thing to his girlfriend. It was hysterical. He used this hideous pair of earrings that my aunt had given me a few years before... they were BAD. She was so relieved when she found out she wouldn't actually have to wear them... and pretend to LIKE them!

Joel always guesses his presents. Must be something with these kids whose birthdays are close to Christmas. I don't know if he snoops or if he just is THAT good of a guesser, but I have never, ever surpised him.