No Peeking!

004Remember when you were a kid, and you tried to figure out what was in those boxes under the Christmas tree? (Maybe you still do.) Perhaps you grabbed a box and did the shake test to figure out its contents. (With the shake test, you run the risk of it backfiring if you are particularly vigorous and the package’s contents particularly fragile.) Or, maybe you were bold enough to tear off a tiny corner of the wrapping paper, which you later blamed on the dog or cat or a sibling, especially after a parent told you, “Hey, no peeking!”

If you’re anything like me, you didn’t wait for presents to be added to the tree. You went looking for them. I usually did, especially after hearing my older brother say, “I saw something in Mom and Dad’s closet.” Yes, I was gullible enough to take him at his word. And of course I didn’t find anything in the closet. But I continued the search by poking under their bed and in the living room closet. And you know what? My parents were way ahead of us. With three curious children, they didn’t bother hiding gifts in the house. A locked car trunk ensured that our Christmas gifts remained unopened until Christmas Day.

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Hello Kitty wants to peek inside this gift. But the tied string thwarts her. Poor Kitty. She failed to realize that the gift is in the envelope. The thing on top of it is a crocheted Christmas tree light stuffed with cotton.

What is it about surprises that make us try to figure them out beforehand? Some surprises, like wrapped Christmas gifts, are all about delayed gratification. But in our instant, I-can’t-even-wait-a-second-for-my-download society, we have to know NOW. “I’ve gotta peek,” we tell ourselves. But does learning the outcome right away make getting the gift any better? (I hear some of you murmuring, “It sure does.”)

Waiting is part of the magic of Christmas. Think about it. When a parent refused to give in to any demands to tell you RIGHT NOW what’s in those packages, the anticipation was all the more heightened. Consider how excited you were as you lay in bed, counting the seconds until you could spring up and rush to the tree.

christmas-gifts

This season, is there anything for which you’re waiting? What can you do to regain that delightful sense of anticipation if you haven’t felt it for a while?

While you think about that, let me move on to another item of business. Those of you who waited for the Christmas book giveaway reveal, the wait is over! (Wondering what I’m talking about? Look here.) Drumroll, please . . .

drumroll

First up is a preorder of Audacity by Melanie Crowder.

Audacity-cover-206x300  500

The winner of is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Courtney Stein!

Next is The Terror of the Southlands by Caroline Carlson.

20306792  CarolineCarlson

The winner of is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Nancy Hatch!

Last, but not least, is Caminar by Skila Brown.

Caminar-hi-res-180x271  Skila-larger-size-180x120

The winner is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Laurie Morrison!

Congratulations, winners! See? You didn’t have to shake a package or look in a closet or under the bed. Merry Christmas! When you confirm below, please provide an email address. Thanks for commenting.

Christmas gifts from ivysays.com. Santa hat from dcafterfive.com. Drumroll from funylool.com.

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16 thoughts on “No Peeking!

  1. Thought you were going to talk about spoilers for a second. My parents hid the presents in a closet. I found them one year before they were wrapped and decided to play with a few of them. It resulted in it being a very scarce Hanukkah.

  2. Congratulations to all of the winners! I loved this post, L. Marie. It brought back so many childhood memories of my sister and I shaking and peeking at the gifts under the tree. And searching through the house too! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Merry Christmas to you, Jill.
      I miss the days of looking for hidden Christmas gifts. Just those days, however. There’s no way I’d voluntarily go through middle school again!

  3. As Adam Sandler said, “Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights.” I wonder if Jewish children who celebrate Hanukkah have a different sense of timing and gratification. However, throughout history, the holiday for Jewish children to get gifts was Purim (usually celebrated in March), not Hanukkah. Hanukkah came to prominence because of the commercial aspects of Christmas, and in predominantly non-Jewish societies, Jewish families didn’t want to feel left out. It’s kind of ironic, because Hanukkah is a holiday that celebrates the resistance to assimilation.

  4. Congratulations, winners! I shook packages, but I never really peaked. My dad and sister were terrible at waiting though–not about opening so much as giving. So, we frequently got one present early, because one or the other of them couldn’t wait.

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