Well, a few years ago, when the kids got older, there was a lot of "pilfering" going on with the packages under the tree. When Mom and Dad weren't home, the kids were sneakily opening their presents and then sealing them back up before anyone caught them. But, like most kids, something gave the game away. Somehow, we found out what they were doing. I don't even remember how we found out now, but find out we did. And that's when it came to me. I remembered something that my mom did to my sister and me a couple of times back in the day (and for the very same reason, too!). She "numbered" the presents instead of putting name tags on them. Yeah, numbered them. And she's the only one who had the list of what number went to which person (we all said extra prayers for her well-being during those holidays...whatever would we do if that list became lost or stolen or - gasp - if she was hurt in a car wreck and got amnesia and forgot where she'd stashed The List?).
So I implemented the Numbered Gifts Tradition in our home, too. Oh the groans, the moans, the cries of outrage! I was the cruelest, meanest, most awful-est Mom in the whole wide world! I was taking all the fun out of Christmas! (My children can be sooooo melodramatic when they try. Wonder where they get that from?). Sure, sure. I knew how they felt. After all, my mean ol' mother had done the same thing to me. But this time, I was the do-er, not the do-ee. Much better point of view, let me tell you! And I reveled in the madness. All the packages survived the season unscathed and ready to open at the accepted time (Christmas morning). The gifts were truly a surprise, like they were intended to be. Nobody knew ahead of time what all they'd gotten. It was great. I loved it. They loved it. All was well.
Until the next year. When I put the first wrapped presents under the tree and the kids saw numbers instead of names, they were back to feeling outraged. How could I do that to them? They'd learned their lesson last year and promised not to peak and pilfer! Promise, promise, promise! Cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-stick-a-needle-in-my-eye-Promise! Ha. Ha. Ha. Like I'd fall for that. No, no, my little darlings. Mom has found the fool-proof method to keep little prying hands and eyes away from the gifts and I'm not about to give it up now. And so goes the birth of The Numbered Gifts Tradition in our household.
Well, a couple of years ago, Christmas time rolls around and it's time to start wrapping new gifts. I realized then that there were only 2 kids left in the house, Kaleb and Jacob. Surely it was time to go back to name labels instead of numbers. One night, we were discussing Christmas lists and I said something about not doing the numbers that year and the boys had a fit. Not do numbered gifts? What was I thinking? Mom! It's tradition! So here I sit. Caught in my own net. I continue to number the gifts, which means I have to keep a list of what's what and which number goes to which person. And I have to keep that list in a place where no one else can find it, but where I can remember where I put it! And as I get older, that last part just keeps getting harder and harder! (Oh and how do you do a mysterious enough list of numbered presents with just 2 kids in the household? You number some of your husband's gifts, too, just to keep the formula a little more complicated!).
So what's some of your holiday traditions? I'd love to hear about them!