As if there isn’t enough to do with getting ready for Christmas, I have a new idea for you. To make package opening more exciting, put a clue to the contents of the package on the tag. This is something I started maybe 10 years ago and it has become a fun, challenging, dreaded part of Christmas at our house.

Now it’s important to be clever. You can’t just say something like “a man’s haberdashery item which he puts around his neck” for a tie. You must come up with something like “Bangkok resident,” or Thai (tie, get it?) Or “gasp, gasp” which of course is a pair of pants. Many years ago, there was a clue “snail gasps” for Jonathan which John inadvertently blurted out “escargot pants!” Of course, the gift was cargo pants.

So years and years of trying to think up new clues for a shirt or a pair of pants. It gets harder and harder as time goes by. Jonathan says we only have to clue for unique gifts now but every time someone gets a gift with no clue, you can see the letdown. In an effort to keep things fresh and interesting, sometimes I use rebuses, sometimes trivia questions about Christmas that you have to solve before you are allowed to open the package. Around here the present opening takes a long time.

Add a little more pressure to your Christmas preparations! Start with a few clues this year and before you know it, everyone will be clamoring for more. It’s really a lot of fun and a great source of angst for the present givers.

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