Tag Archives: Christmas Presents

Spoiling Christmas

Christmas was never quite the same after I discovered the truth about Santa when I was about eight or nine years old.  I don’t recall being especially devastated by the revelation, I must have been having doubts and confirmation was just a reality punch.

A couple of years ago I asked my ten year old granddaughter what Santa was bringing her and she raised an eyebrow and looked at me as if to say ” Move on Granddad”

Some spoilsport at school with an older brother or sister would inevitably spill the beans on the myth of Christmas and this would be confirmed in early December when you found presents, that were supposed to be still at Santa’s factory at the North Pole, on top of or at the back of parents’ wardrobe.

Early December was the obvious time to find Christmas presents because it was just after dad’s November pay day and because Mrs Gamble, the Freeman’s catalogue agent who lived a few doors away, was making more frequent drop-offs than usual.

I remember when this happened and I discovered the gifts wrapped in mid-December and I sneaked them into the bathroom, locked the door and carefully unwrapped the paper to see if this was true.  It was quite a shock to find some new additions to the model railway and quite difficult to wrap them back up again to cover up my snooping.  Even more difficult to pretend to be surprised when I opened them again a fortnight later on Christmas morning!

Richard, my brother, of course is nearly eight years younger than me so we had to continue to pretend about Santa in our house until I was about fifteen, although I am fairly certain that I told my sister straight away and spoilt it for her early on.

Anyway, never mind the twelve days of Christmas here are my top twelve tips for children for finding Christmas presents:

1. You really don’t want to get caught by parents so search only when it is completely safe to do so. Preferably while they are gone for at least an hour or so, if they have gone to the pub this is best but if not, search while they are busy elsewhere in the house.  It helps to have a quick place to hide in if you hear someone coming.

2. Look for presents in really obvious places.  Some parents can be surprisingly careless about this.  Check their wardrobes, under beds, etc.

3. Rather like a computer game check every room, no matter how mad this may seem (even your own room!).  Search all nooks and crannies, including cabinets and cupboards and under floorboards.   Once you are sure there are no presents in the room you are in, move on to the next one.  Check the attic if you possibly can.  Don’t forget the garden shed.

4. Concentrate the most time in your parents room. You might need a step ladder for this but look on high shelves that are out of reach (this is an equally good tip for all rooms), and see if you can find anything there.

5. Take a forensic approach.  Check inside bags. If your parents are sneaky, they may have hidden things inside a plain plastic bag. Look behind books in the bookcase.  Do not disregard anything if you really want to find those  presents.

6. Take pictures of how the bags are arranged before moving them around to see the gifts. That way when you’re done looking, you can look back on the photos and arrange them back to the order they were in. You could also use a mobile phone camera if you have one.

7. Difficult this but if possible check your grandparent’s house but don’t go more regularly than usual because they might get suspicious.  They might be old but they are not stupid.

8. Snoop around in your parent’s internet history. This is so easy because kids know more about computers than old folks.  They might have bought stuff online and even if you can’t find it you can at least see what it is.

9. Ask a brother or sister if they know, or agree to exchange feedback on gifts you know they are getting, for information on gifts that they know you got.

10. Try shaking gifts that may be under the tree already (if your parents do that) and try to listen to the noise it makes, how heavy it is, and if it rattles in the package a lot or a little.

11. Try slightly peeling the gift wrap to view a minor spot of the gift, or, and this is really only for experts, if you’re skilled enough, try unwrapping the whole thing and re-wrap it.

12. Look inside your parent’s cars.  A lot of times parents leave receipts in the car so you could look there, also try looking in your mum’s purse. They usually keep them in there in case they have to return anything in January.

Follow these simple guidelines and  it’s a sure thing that you can can really spoil any Christmas Day surprises!

A Visit to See Father Christmas

A Visit to Santa

About this time of year it is time for children to visit Father Christmas and open up negotiations in respect of this year’s Christmas presents.

When I was a young boy we lived in Leicester and mum would take me and my sister to see Santa in his grotto at one of the department stores in the city, probably British Home Stores or C&A, I can’t really be sure about this and after mum had paid a shilling or whatever then we would join the line of excitable children as they waited in turn to shuffle to the front of the queue and go through the door to see the great man himself.

When we were kids it didn’t matter that he had cotton wool for a beard, plastic elves behind him, that the present that he gave us was wrapped in cheap paper or that our time with Santa was all over in the twinkling of an eye because this was one of the big occasions of the childhood year.

On 12th December 2010 I visited Santa for the first time in about fifty years when I took my granddaughter, Molly, to visit him at Baytree Garden Centre in Spalding and how things have changed.  This was one of the best Father Christmas visits ever with Disney style animatronic displays, a ride in Santa’s sleigh and room after room full of his friends and little helpers to keep us amused as we made our way to our private appointment with the man in red.

Eventually it was our turn to be invited through the door to go through and chat about our Christmas wish list.  Not many changes here though because he still had the cotton wool beard and the present was still wrapped in cheap paper and when it was opened certainly didn’t contain anything on the list.  I went back again this year but had a growing collection of children to accompany me.  Molly explained that she had been a good girl all year and Patsy, when asked what she would like for Christmas, asked for a pillow – but forgot to say what she would like inside it!  Daisy was too young to chat with Santa so we will have to leave present selection up to him.

Christmas was never quite the same of course after you found out the truth about Santa when you were about eight or nine years old.  Some spoilsport at school with an older brother or sister would spill the beans on the myth of Christmas and this would be confirmed in the December when you found presents, that were supposed to be still at Santa’s factory at the North Pole, on top of or at the back of your parents wardrobe.  My brother Richard is nearly eight years younger than me so we had to continue to pretend about Santa in our house until I was about fifteen, although I am sure I told my sister straight away!

St Petersburg Santas

How to spoil Christmas!

Christmas was never quite the same after you found out the truth about Santa when you were about eight or nine years old.  Some spoilsport at school with an older brother or sister would spill the beans on the myth of Christmas and this would be confirmed in early December when you found presents, that were supposed to be still at Santa’s factory at the North Pole, on top of or at the back of your parent’s wardrobe.

Early December was the obvious time to find Christmas presents because it was just after dad’s November pay day and because Mrs Gamble, the Freeman’s catalogue agent who lived a few doors away, was making more frequent drop-offs than usual.

I remember when this happened and I discovered the gifts wrapped in mid-December and I sneaked them into the bathroom, locked the door and carefully unwrapped the paper to see if this was true.  It was quite a shock to find some new additions to the model railway and quite difficult to wrap them back up again to cover up my snooping.  Even more difficult of course to pretend to be surprised when I opened them again a fortnight later on Christmas morning!

Richard, my brother, of course is nearly eight years younger than me so we had to continue to pretend about Santa in our house until I was about fifteen, although I am sure I told my sister straight away.

Anyway, never mind the twelve day’s of Christmas here are the top twelve tips for finding Christmas presents:

1. Search only when you are sure your parents won’t catch you. Preferably while they are gone for at least an hour or so, and if not, search while they are busy elsewhere in the house.  It helps to have a quick place to hide in if you hear someone entering.

2. Look for presents in really obvious places.  Some parents can be careless like this.  Check their wardrobes, under beds, etc.

3. Rather like a digital game check every room, no matter how ridiculous this may seem (even your own room!).  Search all nooks and crannies, including cabinets and cupboards.  Once you are sure there are no presents in the room you are in, move on to the next one.

4. Concentrate the most time in your parents’ room. Look on high shelves that are out of reach (this is a good tip for all rooms), and see if you can find anything there.

5. Check inside bags. If your parents are sneaky, they may have hidden things inside a plain plastic bag. Do not disregard anything if you really want to find your presents.

6. Consider taking pictures of how the bags are arranged before moving them around to see the gifts. That way when you’re done looking, you can look back on the photos and arrange them back to the order they were in. You could also use a mobile phone camera if you have one.

7. Check your relative’s house, family friend’s house, or neighbour’s house.

8. Snoop around in your parent’s internet history, if possible. They might have bought stuff online and you can see what it is.

9. Ask a brother or sister if they know, or agree to exchange information on gifts you know they got, for information on gifts that they know you got.

10. Try shaking gifts that may be under the tree already (if your parents do that) and try to listen to the noise it makes, how heavy it is, and if it rattles in the package a lot or a little.

11. Try slightly peeling the gift wrap to view a minor spot of the gift, or, and this is really only for experts if you’re skilled enough, try unwrapping the whole thing and re-wrap it.

12. Look inside your parents cars.  A lot of times parents leave receipts in the car so you could look there, also try looking in your mum’s purse. They usually keep them in there in case they have to return anything.

Follow these simple guidelines and I it’s a sure thing that you can can really spoil any Christmas Day surprises!

A Life in A Year – 2nd December, The Myth of Christmas

Christmas was never quite the same after you found out the truth about Santa when you were about eight or nine years old. Some spoilsport at school with an older brother or sister would spill the beans on the myth of Christmas and this would be confirmed in early December when you found presents, that were supposed to be still at Santa’s factory at the North Pole, on top of or at the back of your parents wardrobe.

Early December was the obvious time to find Christmas presents because it was just after dad’s November pay day and because Mrs Gamble, the Freeman’s catalogue agent who lived a few doors away, was making more frequent drop-offs than usual.

I remember when this happened and I discovered the gifts wrapped in mid-December and I sneaked them into the bathroom, locked the door and carefully unwrapped the paper to see if this was true. It was quite a shock to find some new additions to the model railway and quite difficult to wrap them back up again to cover up my snooping. Even more difficult of course to pretend to be surprised when I opened them again a fortnight later on Christmas morning!

Richard, my brother, of course is nearly eight years younger than me so we had to continue to pretend about Santa in our house until I was about fifteen, although I am sure I told my sister straight away.

Never mind the twelve day’s of Christmas here are the top twelve tips for finding Christmas presents:

1. Search only when you are sure your parents won’t catch you. Preferably while they are gone for at least awhile, and if not, search while they are busy elsewhere in the house. It helps to have a quick place to hide in if you hear someone entering.

2. Look for presents in places you would expect them to be. Some parents can be careless like this. Check their wardrobes, under beds, etc.

3. Check every room, no matter how innocent it may appear (even your own room!). Search all nooks and crannies, including cabinets and cupboards. Once you are sure there are no presents in the room you are in, move on to the next one.

4. Concentrate the most time in your parents’ room/closet. Look on high shelves that are out of reach (this is a good tip for all rooms), and see if you can find anything there.

5. Check inside bags. If your parents are sneaky, they may have hidden things inside a plain plastic bag. Do not disregard anything if you really want to find your presents.

6. Consider taking pictures of how the bags are arranged before moving them around to see the gifts. That way when you’re done looking, you can look back on the photos and arrange them back to the order they were in. You could also use a mobile phone camera if you have one.

7. Check your relative’s house, family friend’s house, or neighbour’s house.

8. Snoop around in your parent’s internet history, if possible. They might have bought stuff online and you can see what it is.

9. Ask a brother or sister if they know, or agree to exchange information on gift’s you know they got, for information on gifts that they know you got.

10. Try shaking gifts that may be under the tree already (if your parents do that) and try to listen to the pitch it makes, how heavy it is, and if it rattles in the package a lot or a little.

11. Try slightly peeling the gift wrap to view a minor spot of the gift, or if you’re skilled enough try unwrapping the whole thing and re-wrap it.

12. Look inside your parents cars. A lot of times parents leave receipts in the car so you could look there, also try looking in your mum’s purse. They usually keep them in there in case they have to return anything.

Follow these simple guidelines and I it’s a sure thing that you can can really spoil any Christmas Day surprises!