Christmas, as we all now realise, is a time for love, family, friendship, and in particular presents. And if you have to forgo feelings of love, family and friendship in order to obtain the presents, then so be it.

Some people like to think that part of the joy of receiving a present is its secretive nature, and it displays how much the gifter knows and thinks of the giftee. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have some idea as to what your presents are, so you have some time before the big day to practice your fake appreciative smile when you open that third pair of Christmas-themed socks that you will only wear for the next week, or the scented candles that you never wanted. Luckily for me, I can bring out that smile on demand after receiving Sarah Milican’s DVD for my birthday (if you can fake that you appreciate that, you can fake it for anything).

The real fun in presents is not the thought behind them, its placing them into two separate piles of great gifts and those that you hope the receipt is wrapped up next to it. But how do you prevent your parents/partners knowing that you’ve relished the perks of peeking? Welcome to a long overdue guide in how to figure out what you are getting for Christmas without getting caught.

10. Set Up Camp Inside Your Parents Closet

christmas presents

No parent is so efficient that they immediately wrap the presents the minute they get them through their front door. This is what the closet is useful for, as it shields the intended recipient from viewing their bountiful earnings for the year, which will then be replaced by wrapping paper in a few short days. But, if your parents do not keep a particularly hospitable closet, covered in shoes, coats and old abandoned clothes from last year’s disappointing holidays, then it is relatively simple to hide yourself within it for a while. Therefore, when your parents place your present in the closet, free to the open air, you can freely pick it up, examine your haul, and spend the next few weeks practicing how genuine your reaction should be. A few pointers before embarking on this mission however will probably benefit any aspiring closet camper:

  1. Do not hide in the closet for longer than a few hours – mothers in particular have incredible sixth sense to when something is missing, and if you were to spend around a week in the closet, the only present you are likely to get for Christmas is an arrest for wasting police time
  2. Ensure that you have food in order to stave off hunger pains, but do not take any water. The last thing you want to do is pee in your parents’ closet, as your presents will likely vanish into thin air, mainly due to the fact that they’ve been stained with urine
  3. Finally, remember closets are usually dark places – if you do get your hands on presents in there, it will be of no use to you if there is no source of light to see them with. (P.S. NO MATCHES – fire damage will give away the fact you were sneaking around)

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    This article was first posted on December 20, 2012