Reindeer Games

There are reindeer in my house.
Sort of.
Years ago, my children – like all children, I imagine – would look for hidden presents before Christmas. It was never very easy to hide gifts. I believe that when a child found a gift with his or her name on it, that child would shake the gift or maybe even peek under the wrapping paper in hopes of finding out what might be in the box. The "evidence" led me to believe there had been what one might call "tampering."

So, I simply quit hiding the gifts. Instead, I put the names of various reindeer on packages. (As daughter Mandy pointed out, this was not an original idea; a long-ago neighbor did the same.) Each year, it became a game to figure out which reindeer was which person. Usually, each child was two reindeer.

This has become one of our family traditions. It just wouldn’t seem right to have gifts with the real names instead of reindeer names.

Now, the children are grown – ranging from 26 to 33 – and the family has grown to include a son-in-law and a grandchild.

They’re all living in other states, but their gifts are ready with reindeer names, awaiting their arrival home for Christmas.
Since there are more people, I’ve added Frosty and a few other names, although I haven’t yet had to use Scrooge or the Grinch, thank goodness.

Of course, there’s been another change: I’ve gotten older as well, so the biggest problem now has to do with remembering which person is which reindeer and keeping up with where I’ve hidden THAT list!


The Brantley Boys said...

I will say that I may have been the culprit in peeking at my presents. It used to be a game. I figured how to slice the tape just right and then tape it back. It was fun and I never felt like I ruined any surprises, b/c it was a surprise when I peeked at them.
Also, I think you really have to credit Jill Townsend's mom for the reindeer names. She did it and I told you about it afterwards...I am pretty confident that you borrowed that from her.
However, I don't know where you got the "forgetting which reindeer was who" tactic. That surely happens every year. I do love the reindeer method. I will probably carry that on with my kids.

The Brantley Boys said...

Maybe you should dedicate a post to your favorite reindeer? Remember the reindeer that you called "Donder" and continued to write on the name tags for years.

Unknown said...

The Brantley Family: Yes, I remember Donder. That's a whole 'nother tradition, isn't it?
This year, I looked it up -- just to make sure. It was tempting to use Donder instead of Donner anyway.

JudyBug said...

What a cute idea! My solution had been to write on the back in shorthand (yes, I guess I'm that old). No one else knows shorthand and it drives the family crazy!

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