When I was a kid I would get Christmas gifts pretty much year round. One morning in February I’d be getting ready for school when my mom would suddenly pop into my room holding a new pair of gloves or a package full of socks. One afternoon in July, she’d suddenly come around the corner with new colouring books or a building set. Each time she’d be muttering to herself about how and where she finally found it.
You see, my mom would hide our Christmas presents so well that she would be finding them months and even years later.
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A few years back when my parents packed up moved to a new house, she dug up all sorts of oddball things. We’re talking new, sealed toys from the 1980s, which had never quite made it under the Christmas tree; vintage lick and stick books, cassette tapes, storybook LPs, not to mention the socks and gloves that would have fit me when I was twelve. I laughed and swore that this would never be me.
Of course, then I had kids. And it happened. Somewhere in the third year of motherhood, after I’d had my second daughter and the utter lack of sleep had become old hat, the dense fog of mommy-brain took over. And I lost my daughter’s Christmas gift. The Big One. You know, the one item she asked Santa to bring her. Yeah, that’s the one I lost. Trust me, I didn’t feel like laughing.
It was the 23rd of December, the kids were snugly tucked into bed, and my husband and I were wrapping gifts. Suddenly my husband noticed one toy was missing. The One Special Toy that Grace had asked for was nowhere to be found. (It wasn’t anything elaborate or expensive, there was just this one particular Thomas train that she wanted more than anything.)
I tore the house apart looking for it, searching high and low, but could not find it. I started to panic and I began looking over again in all the same places two and three times. I finally decided it must be hidden in the closet in the baby’s room, and since I couldn’t check there while she was sleeping we called off the search until the next day.
The following morning I checked that closet, I checked every closet in the house. I searched everywhere I could bloody think of and I could not find that darn toy. So I ended up sending my husband out on Christmas Eve to buy our daughter her special present, for the second time.
No sane person goes toy shopping on Christmas Eve. It was, of course, a nightmare. Traffic, lineups, crazed grumpy people out making last-minute purchases; my husband experienced it all (and I got to hear all about it later).
To say that he wasn’t exactly impressed with my forgetfulness would be an understatement. Dad the Hero had to try three different places before he finally found a replacement gift.
Oh, and then on Boxing Day I finally found the train in a completely stupid place that I don’t remember ever even vaguely considering as a gift stashing spot. It was inside a box up on top of our fridge that normally holds junk food for my husband’s work lunches. I have no memory of stashing it there, and no idea what the heck I was thinking when I did. We ended up donating the duplicate to a toy drive..
My mother of course had a good long laugh when she heard the story. I wish I could say I learned my lesson and that I’m actually nothing like her when it comes to gift giving misplacing…. but the other day I was going through some cupboards down in the basement and I found one brand spanking new still in the box toy that I don’t even remember buying.
In fifteen years I suspect I too will be moving house and discovering treasures like unused colouring books, sealed CDs and packages of size 4 socks.
What about you folks? Have you ever hidden gifts so well that you couldn’t find them? Ever have to make a mad dash on Christmas eve to get your kid a toy? Has anyone else ever found an ungiven gift years after you bought it and squirrelled it away?
Lynda Cook says
I think this has happened to all of us, there is this one toy I bought when my daughter was a baby, and it was such a good price I didn’t want to leave it, so I thought I would buy it and put it away till she was old enough, well I never did find that toy and my mother ended up selling her house, I hope the new people found it, but it still to this day baffles me and makes me mad that I have no idea where it went
We have most certainly found items we meant to gift a couple of months after the fact!! Good thing they have birthdays.
I do this so often that my kids have come to expect a random gift or two to appear well after the holidays are over. I am already trying to find something I know I bought back in September and hid somewhere.
Nikki O says
My husband lost my daughters slippers for a year he bought for christmas- found the following christmas! lol They didn’t fit the next year!
Cheryl Grandy says
I’ve got a misplaced gift somewhere in my house that was supposed to be included in the box I recently mailed to family in Alberta.. Fortunately, it will still be appropriate next year, so I can send it with next year’s box (If I find it and don’t lose it again!).
Joni Caraway says
Yes, this has happened to me when my children were young and now I stash gifts away for the grandchildren. Enjoyed reading your blog post.
LILLIAN BROWN says
i once locked all the gifts in my cedar chest, and hid the key from my girls. Christmas Eve , we had to take the hinges off to get in because I forget where I hid it.
Jennifer Wilson says
Yes, this happens every year. The earlier I start, the more I forget!
Elizabeth Matthiesen says
This used to happen to my mother every single year. She hid presents because she knew her twins well! Yes it was our fault because we were very nosy and searched high and low to find our presents. Mum could always tell of course, we just couldn’t mend torn wrapping paper too well
Deborah P. says
We have all done that for sure it is just part of the hectic pace of life with kids. If I forget one it might come back as a birthday gift. My youngest daughter is also named Grace.
kathy downey says
It happens,I have found items when I do Spring cleaning
Janet M says
This is such normal activity with a big family. Mothers have a lot on the go,
Florence Cochrane says
My mother and father stored everything in the attic no way for us to get it. One year dad put his foot through the ceiling after having too much cheer. Did find her wine and did I ever get sick. Her card cub had to go without that year. For my own kids I did find things in the new year.
Susan T. says
This cracked me up! My aunt is notorious for losing presents and we never expect to get anything on time. Birthday presents can be 6 months late. Christmas gifts are usually lost for years. It’s so bad that she finds presents she bought years ago, toys for her son and I and we are in our 40’s! That Barbie dream house isn’t so desired anymore! Lol!
Donna L. says
Yes, so now I don’t start shopping too early so I don’t forget where I put the gifts.
Allie Futterer says
This is so true–Early shopping is so important!
Silvia D says
I too do this not just at Christmas but other occasions through the year! Always something that i ‘misplace’ . i still occasionally actually find some Easter candy that was not hidden but stashed away!
wendy hutton says
when cleaning out my dads home after he passed we found many wrapped gifts hidden in closets that he forgot about, only bad thing he didn’t have any name tags on them
Oh, I got a good laugh at myself (and your recalling), reading this!! Funny how a) we turn into our moms at some point, and b) having kids just zaps bunches of our brain cells. I can attest to both! Hahaha! GREAT piece of writing, Thanks for the chuckle!
Oh for sure – and most of the time I just end up giving it to a younger kid at the next opportunity!
Lorna Robertson says
I have done this and now have a special gift spot in my closet behind stuff and now always can find everything as I shop all year long for gifts
Yep, I can honestly say this has happened to me.
Janet Lance says
This happens to me often around Christmas. I have to make a note now where I hide gifts.
Deanna Tousignant says
I tried making notes. I lost the notes. (I only wish I was joking). This year hubby came up with an idea and we’re listing everything in a shared Google doc, which is working out ok so far.
Chris Finn says
I am definitely guilty of doing this more than once!
Kristy R. says
Happened to me last year. I couldn’t find one of the toys that I had bought. Thankfully it was more or less an “extra” so I decided not to worry too much about it (but it drove me nuts that I couldn’t find it!). When we moved it March, I found it burried in the linen closet under a set of sheets that we never use… oie!
Debbie W says
I’m guilty of the same thing. I know I have bought things and for the life of me, cannot remember where I placed them. Surprise gifts for my family and surprise to me how well I hid them.