No kid will look for gifts in the clothes ham­per

The Arizona Republic - - Valley & State - Ka­rina Bland Reach Bland at ka­[email protected] nare­pub­ or 602-444-8614. Read more at karin­ab­­cen­

Tara’s kids start search­ing the house for hid­den gifts in Novem­ber, know­ing mom starts shop­ping on Black Fri­day.

At 11, 13, and 15, they’ve had years to sniff out all her best spots. She’s run out of ideas.

She sent me an email ask­ing where I hide presents.

Maybe my child wasn’t par­tic­u­larly bright. But I didn’t have to work that hard to hide Sawyer’s gifts.

When he was 3, I hid a mon­ster truck the size of a dish­washer by throw­ing a blan­ket over it in my bed­room and putting a cou­ple of pic­ture frames on top. Sawyer never glanced at it.

I got more cre­ative as he got older, putting Lego sets, iden­ti­fi­able with a sin­gle shake, in a suit­case in the closet.

I hid small things in my un­der­wear drawer. (No self-re­spect­ing kid will dig among his mom’s un­der­wear. Eww.)

Some par­ents stash presents in their cars. But I don’t have a garage, and I don’t trust my car alarm.

I could have hid­den gifts in the clothes ham­per in my kid’s bed­room be­cause God knows he never lifted the lid.

Or un­der the kitchen sink, where I keep clean­ing sup­plies.

Or in the dish­washer.

You could try the neigh­bors. We kept a ping-pong ta­ble un­til late one Christ­mas Eve. An­other year, I said no to hid­ing a puppy for a week. (That’s like ask­ing to keep a tod­dler un­til it’s pot­ty­trained.)

A good spot is the box you store the ar­ti­fi­cial tree in.

Or you could wrap them but not put name tags on them. (As­sign each kid a dif­fer­ent wrap­ping pa­per so you re­mem­ber who gets what.)

That’s the other rea­son I didn’t get too cre­ative.

I’d for­get where I put some­thing and months later come across a Stomp Rocket hid­den be­hind books in a book­case.

It was fine, though. I usu­ally found them just in time for his birth­day.

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