Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cracking the Christmas Code...

After several years of marriage Tim and I visited his parents in Baltimore for Christmas. Tim is the oldest of five children with a brother just a few years different in age, a sister a few years past that and then two brothers sixteen and eighteen years younger. On Christmas Eve the adults numbered six and spent several long hours helping Santa wrap presents for the younger boys. We were holed up in the basement - wrapping paper and ribboned bows flying preparing the gifts for delivery. The Christmas haul for those boys was enormous and hiding it all under colored wrapping took forever.

The space below the tree had been empty from the first of December until Christmas morning where then - there wasn't room enough to place everything. Christmas morning was a flurry for the young brothers discovering their loot compared to the groggy half comatose experience of the adults who'd stayed up half the night getting ready for it.

Kendrick never believed in "you know who" -- and as much as we tried to convince him there'd be more gifts if he did, he spent the weeks before Christmas ferreting out the secret locations around the house where presents were hidden. If the contents of a closet had changed to make room for a Christmas surprise he'd see it right away. There was nowhere presents could hide that he couldn't find. When he started involving the other children in his pre-Christmas reconnaissance -- I had to find another way.

Enter the Christmas Code. I didn't invent the idea borrowing the genius from my father who hand wrote cryptic number and letter sequences on the packages foiling any ability for us to know who they belonged to. With the caliber of intelligence I was dealing with I had to come up with a different code every year.

I've been coding presents for at least ten years and over time I have come up with some very sneaky ways to prevent Christmas surprise spoilage all the while displaying the loot right under their noses. I boast a 100 percent non-cracked code record.

Every year they beg me not to code but I press on.

The Christmas morning revelation of the code is the highlight of my day and several years kids have remarked, "that's it? that was too easy." or "we would have never figured that out."

Hence my perfect record!

I wrap and code all through the season pacing myself avoiding the night before marathon. My kids don't have any idea which ones to shake and placing the tamperproof stickers on the packages prevents the old unwrap and rewrap trick Kendrick made famous.

I'd tell you this years code but then I'd have to kill you.


H.A.M. Fam said...

My father in law and his brothers used to sneek to the Christmas tree on Christmas eve to see the loot. They would do the wrap and rewrap trick and lots of others. So there dad started putting out traps to catch them. Then it became a game to see if they could get through the traps. Then my father in law had to do this for his kids and now Brian does it for us. It is a great tradition!!
You are such a fun creative mom - keep up the good work!!


Life as a Greenstreet said...

That's hilarious! So far we have a couple of big boxes in our closet Emma knows must be for Christmas but she is satisfied knowing "can't open it until Christmas." You mean it gets more complicated??
I like the night before wrapping marathon. :) Although we do set the big gifts up as to avoid such on Christmas morning...
I love Christmas.

Leslie said...

My mom desperately needed a code. I peeked so much that she gave up and quit trying to keep the gifts a secret.