I can’t spend as much time on blogging today as I’d like because I am up against a firm gift wrapping deadline. For one thing, I am working to beat the holiday shipping rush. I have to wrap gifts for family in Virginia with enough time to pack them in the neat and orderly manner that annoys the guy at the UPS store. Yes, in case you are wondering, I will be patronizing my favorite UPS store run by the guy who asks me without fail, “Have you shipped with us before?” Goodness, it drives me crazy. I AM A REGULAR CUSTOMER. (Deep breath). Maybe I’ll play along with the whole charade this time. Maybe I’ll act like I’ve never been there and ask all sorts of questions before I disclose that yes, indeed, I am in his computer. We’ll see how Mr. UPS Store Guy likes a taste of his own medicine.
Anyway the most pressing reason I have for completing my gift wrapping today is because Jared will take his last final exam at nine o’clock this morning. This means Christmas break in the Datoc household officially starts at 11 o’clock. HURRAY! What does this have to do with gift wrapping, you wonder. Let me tell you. The minute Jared crosses the threshold of our home, the following words will pop into his head. LET THE SNOOPING BEGIN! He will immediately run upstairs to wake his brother, who incidentally has been sleeping since he got home from college on Wednesday evening. Together they will begin creeping around the house, snooping for Christmas gifts. This is a time-honored tradition in the Datoc home, having been passed down from my side of the family. I’m pretty sure my mom was (and may still be) a snooper. I am a snooper. Both of my kids are snoopers. I am fine with the snooping. In fact I’m better than fine. I like the idea of Christian and Jared sneaking around the house, snooping in closets, corners, behind the furniture, in the attic, in the basement, and pretending they are not. It’s a bit of a game, and just thinking about it makes me giggle. Pat and I will pretend we don’t know the kids are snooping and they will pretend they don’t know that we’re pretending that we don’t know. You know the drill. I’m not sure if Pat knows I’m still a snooper. He actually may believe that at my age I have outgrown this sort of thing. I am here to tell you I have not. I still snoop, but I NEVER, EVER peek. Peeking is worse than having bad manners. Peeking is mean-spirited. In fact, peeking is stealing. That’s right…stealing. Frankly, I think there needs to be a nationwide, no make that a worldwide, prohibition on peeking. Legal or not, hear me when I say this. Under no circumstances is peeking ever allowed in the Datoc home. Peeking will not be tolerated.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Christmas snooping and Christmas peeking are NOT one in the same. Christmas snooping involves only the search. Finding the stash puts an end to the snooping. It is at this point that the snooper realizes there will be a gift waiting for him under the tree on Christmas morning. He may be tempted to peek, but he will not. He does not remove the wrapping paper, open the box, examine or even steal the tiniest peek at the package contents. Christmas peeking deprives the bestower of a very precious gift; the gift of seeing the recipient’s face as he rips off the wrapping from the package and beholds its contents for the very first time. Remember there is only ever one very first time for anything. I tell you, Christmas peeking is stealing. It is tantamount to stealing an actual physical Christmas gift before it ever has been given because for some people experiencing the excitement and joy expressed in the surprised looks on their children’s faces is the best Christmas gift of all. I’m just saying that’s how it is for some people.
Peeking is not allowed in this family. NO PEEKING ALLOWED! I won’t have it. It’s mean-spirited and on top of that it’s flat-out stealing. We are not a bunch of thieves. We Datocs may snoop, but we NEVER, EVER peek. We weren’t raised that way. Now you’ll have to excuse me. It is eight o’clock. Jared just left for school which means I have exactly two hours and thirty minutes to complete my gift wrapping. Wish me luck.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a… Good Night. Sleep Tight.