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My favorite part of Christmas is the giving, not the receiving.  I love to watch the looks on people’s faces and gauge their reactions to the gifts that I agonized over selecting.  There’s no feeling as good as seeing the eyes of a loved one go wide in surprise and joy when they open that gift that was just perfect.

Surprise is a key word here.

It is also something that can be difficult to attain in my house.  My wife wants to be surprised on Christmas.  She wants this very badly.  But, when it comes to presents, she has a curiosity that would make a feline bow in deference. 

She loves to snoop, absolutely loves it.  She loves to try to make out what things are though bags, sneak peeks trough door cracks while I’m hiding things, or any other way she can find to try to elicit what it is that in those wonderful bags.

The problem is, if she is successful she immediately gets buyer’s remorse.  She doesn’t actually want to succeed in her snooping.  At least not completely.  Oh, she’d like to get a vague view of something that is enough to make guesses at what it could be.  But she absolutely does not want to know exactly what it is.  She loves the surprise too much.

A few years ago, tired of the game of trying to find new and unique hiding places, I tried a new approach.  I hid all the gifts in a relatively obvious spot and then deployed my secret weapon.

Guilt.

 Anytime she seems to be ready to go on the prowl I break out the guilt, and my stash is safe for a short while.  I’ve also learned to use her true desire not to know against her almost manic predilection for snooping.  She’s so afraid if she opens a drawer that she knows I hide things in that her gifts will be there in unconcealed glory that she tends to stay away.

And, if she gets to close I just ask her if she’s seen Snoopy McSnooperson.  It gets me a slightly guilty pout every time.  Works like a charm.

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