Last year my wife and I came up with a great idea to surprise the kids on Christmas by having no presents under the tree.
They had presents, but they were tucked in boxes in the van, and we told the kiddies we were going for a ride. They played along…after searching everywhere in the house for where we hid the goods. After finding the house empty of gifts, they really thought we were trying to teach them some great lesson about the true meaning of Christmas and agreed to go on a drive with us…
…to Utah. We drove down to Gram-gram and Papa’s house with the presents and opened them at their house. It was a great memory for the kids, but I was disappointed that none of them were upset at us or had unresolved issues afterwards, so this year we’ve had to up our game.
So…here’s the plan for this year:
- We’ve spent the last week organizing rooms and boxes and putting a lot of stuff in the garage.
- The house we’re renting sold to a new owner, and she was nice enough to tell Cindy that she wanted to paint and recarpet the place.
- We naturally had to remove all the artwork from the walls and move stuff out to the garage so they can re-carpet (conveniently the day after Christmas).
- Tonight at midnight, the Elder’s Quorum in our ward is showing up to move everything in the garage (and all the furniture in our current house) to our new house!
- The kids will wake up in the morning to an empty house! Everything (Christmas tree included) will be gone!
- They’ll go for a drive with us, we’ll drive around the town for 30 minutes (to drive them crazy), and then we’ll stop at a house in our ward to go caroling…
- …and Gram-gram and Papa will answer the door to our new place! (They came up to surprise the grandkids this year)!
- And we’ll celebrate Christmas in a bigger home, with our kids and my mom and dad.
I’m pretty sure the kids will love the surprise of everything (more rooms, grandparents, brighter home, still in the same neighborhood, etc.). If any of the kids develop issues, then at least I can check that off my Christmas list.
Whatever happens, it means next year it’ll be harder to outdo ourselves.
C’est la vie, eh? Wish us luck on pulling this off…
Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!