I have perfected the art of hiding Christmas gifts. I can hide them so well that not even I can find them.
When the kids were little, hiding gifts was easy. I could have slung snowshoes or various other things around the vacuum cleaner and they would have gone unnoticed for months. Years, maybe.
I once considered hiding gifts in the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink where we keep dishwashing soap, glass cleaner and furniture polish. It would be the last place any of the kids would have looked. Kids, nothing. It was the last place I liked to look.
Laundry baskets and the dishwasher would have been safe stash spots as well. The freezer, however, was off limits. It was their home away from home, fanning the door looking for frozen waffles and Bagel Bites.
I’ve heard of people hiding gifts in trash bags, but it sounds like a recipe for disaster. Now that the kids are grown and have homes of their own, the hiding spots have multiplied exponentially. Closet shelves, dresser drawers, under the beds, obvious spots as well as every nook and cranny are potential hiding spots. The problem is not hiding the gifts; the problem is finding them.
I have a central hiding spot, but sometimes when in a hurry, which is to say most of the time, I have been known to tuck a gift in a spot that is perfectly logical at the time, but makes absolutely no sense later. Finding them becomes a cross between buzzing in on “Jeopardy” and playing Scattergories.
Bedroom slippers in a drawer with swimming suits: “Seldom worn things for $500, Alex!”
A sketchbook hidden beneath a paper cutter: “Things that start with “P” — paper for drawing, paper for cutting.
The youngest stopped by the other day as I was wrapping a small gift for one of the grandbabies. “How many gifts do you think you’ll forget about this year?” she asked.
It has become a Christmas tradition. We finish our gift exchange, I look around, take inventory and realize something is missing.
The crowd, always helpful, not to mention easily amused, offers suggestions:
“Check the linen closet behind the towels. You hid body wash there once.”
“How about beside your dresser? You always think nobody can see large boxes because there’s a surge suppressor in front of them.”
“Did you look in the utensil drawer? Remember the time – ”
Personally, I think it’s nice to run across little treasures during the course of the year. It’s a way of keeping Christmas in your heart, not to mention your closet shelf, in the attic and the garage, all year long.
Lori Borgman is the author of “My Memory is Shot, All I Retain Now is Water.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.