Christmas at my house has become a game. A sneaky, tricky, misleading sport full of red herrings and false leads. And as my parents tell me, it's my fault. See, when I was a kid I hunted after Christmas presents like it was my job. In my younger years it wasn't hard. Presents were easily found stuffed behind coats in the hallway closet, under beds, car trunks, and following internet histories showed me all that was to be mine Christmas morning. Eventually my parents caught wise and starting hiding presents in safer places, like at neighbors' houses and other places I've yet to find out. Still, I had learned by then to match our Christmas lists to the boxes under the tree by carefully shaking and listening. Lava lamps have a rather distinctive sound.
Then Mom and Dad really started pulling out the stops. Shaking presents wasn't effective anymore because Dad used crazy shaped boxes that were far too big for the actual present (think a TV box for a DVD). On top of that he stuffed the boxes with beans, shopping bags, and books to throw us off. Presents no longer had names on them, just 3 different wrapping papers, one for each kid, though we had no idea which paper was for whom. And Dad being the scheming type would give us false clues. One year he told me all my boxes, which were heavy, were full of books. I didn't believe him, but it did cause some nervous gift shaking late at night and joy on Christmas morning when I found out they all contained camera equipment.
As for this Christmas, I don't know what's in the boxes under the tree. (Well, I do know one. A coat. But only because Mom asked me what color I wanted it in, not by any snooping of my own.) And I haven't shaken any presents. In effect I have been beaten by my parents at the Christmas game. I have thrown in the towel. But on Christmas morning I will be surprised at whatever I get. And in that respect I win.
I'll let you know the results after Christmas.