I admit it…sometimes I have a little too much fun with Christmas. I’ve been “coding” the presents under the tree every year since my kids were little. It started because I didn’t want them snooping…it continued because everyone has come to expect it. So instead of names, each tag says To: Candy Cane, Nutcracker, Snowman or Stocking. (And no, it’s not random…) Other years the code has been the cities of each person’s birth (scrambled), backwards birthdates…I don’t even remember what all else I’ve done. It’s been different each year. And I’ve been doing it so long that if I ever just put our actual names on the presents, my kids would probably assume it was STILL a code.

The only problem is Teen is 4 1/2 years older than Preteen…and too smart for his own good…so he usually has the code figured out in a day or two, and Preteen often struggles with it right up until Christmas. Of course, he’s also the one most likely to snoop…so that’s okay. But sometimes I feel bad that he’s left out of so much that goes on around here.

Well, this year PRETEEN got the code! And Teen hasn’t figured it out yet. So you can imagine how pumped Preteen is. When he got it so fast, I wondered if it was too easy…but maybe not? It’s nice for him to figure something out before his brother. I don’t think Teen has to put any work into this, though…Preteen is SO pleased with himself that he can’t stop himself from making comments…and eventually one of these comments is going to give the secret away.

Coded Gift Tags

6 thoughts on “Coded Gift Tags

  • December 20, 2006 at 8:53 pm
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    what fun!

    What a fun way to put the presents under the tree. My girls are much more into the surprise aspect. They hardly shake or snoop under the tree. More amazing, they know exactly where I keep the unwrapped presents and have never tried to take a peek. Once they get older, I might need to try your coding idea. What fun!

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    • December 22, 2006 at 4:00 pm
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      Re: what fun!

      My older one isn’t a snoop, but my younger one can be. They both LIKE the codes, though. They ask every year, “are you going to put a code on the presents again?”

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  • December 21, 2006 at 1:46 pm
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    I’ve used colored stickers before, but never thought of using code names. What a cute idea! And it sounds like your family has a lot of fun trying to figure them out.

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    • December 22, 2006 at 4:01 pm
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      I never used colored stickers, but early on I used the Christmas gift tags. In other words, the TAG itself was the code (and then the to: line was blank)

      Reply
  • December 21, 2006 at 7:05 pm
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    So my mom wasn’t the only one

    My mom did ‘codes’ a few times when I was younger. One time she assigned us all planets and then promptly forgot who was who…it made for the unwrapping time, well, very chaotic and fun. Maybe when my kids are older I’ll try do the same (but I’ll write the code down and hide it well)

    I stopped by your blog to tell you about http://www.isara.com but I really don’t know how to follow the Christmas code story with it. Lol! But really, do check it out, it’s a charitable web-portal. Thanks – Ginafish

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    • December 22, 2006 at 4:03 pm
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      Re: So my mom wasn’t the only one

      Planets? Oh, that’s a good idea. My boys would’ve loved that when they were younger…

      Reply

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