I have a sixth sense and it’s one that actually drives me crazy. I can guess gifts. Seriously. Hand me a package and I can usually figure out what it is before I shake it. I really find it annoying because I love surprises.
One Christmas, my grandmother decided to give me a sewing box filled with all kinds of sewing goodies. I hadn’t asked for one, and hadn’t even thought about wanting one, but I managed to guess exactly what it was a few weeks before Christmas. She was convinced I had snooped in her closets and found it before she wrapped it. What’s sad is that I only remember snooping once and all I found was a doll she’d made me. I didn’t even snoop at home, but I sure loved shaking and handling gifts.
My mom found a way to deter me from guessing what I was getting – she came up with a code system for the gifts. Rather than put our names on the packages, she used a series of numbers to indicate who the gift was for. It worked because I had no idea which gifts were mine so I finally gave up trying to figure out the whole thing. I later learned that the code system was quite simple – odd numbers for me because I am the first child and even numbers for Ralph because she’s the second child. One year mom used the numbers of my sorority membership, but I never knew them so I had no idea.
Mom no longer needs to use numbers to keep my sister and I out of the packages, but it’s still fun to talk about the years she fooled us with her package code.