What to do with holiday snoopers?

I am pretty sure that I have a holiday snooper in the house. I put a bag of books in Michael’s top chest drawer thinking the kids never go up there. I also put a small necklace box in a Macy’s bag in the same hiding place. (I have stuff hidden all over the house because there are no basements here! Boy do I miss basements!)

The next time I went in that drawer the books were out of the bag and spread out and the jewelry box was also out of its bag.

The three possible snooping candidates all denied being in there. I asked Michael if he did that and he said he wasn’t sure but he didn’t think so. Since he wasn’t 100 percent certain that he didn’t do it, I didn’t prosecute the snooper. I did move the items.

They’ve never really been snoopers. Last year I just had stuff shoved in my closet behind a bathrobe. It appears I need to pick up my game.

Currently I have stuff zipped into luggage and a bunch of it hidden behind boxes on some shelving units. I have some stuff under the stairs behind picture frames. I do have some stuff on in my closet but not much.

Do you have snoopers in the house? How do you prosecute if you discover a holiday snooper? What is an appropriate punishment?

68 comments Add your comment

Madea gets reassignment surgery

December 15th, 2011
4:08 am

I say give them the death penalty!

And how are basements more clandestine than other areas? Don’t you think they perpetrators would eventually figure out the basement as well?

It’s confirmed. You are not very bright.

Me

December 15th, 2011
6:51 am

It was easy for us as I have a “music” room in the basement that contains keyboards, guitars, my mixer console, etc. This room locks wtih a deadbolt and has its own “zone” on our alarm system. This is where we have always hidden gifts for Christmas, etc. The kids all knew they couldn’t be in there without me allowing them in so we really didn’t have the snooper issue. My sister hides her gifts in the attic since the kids are too small to pull down the attic access stairs so, if you have these, this might be an option.

Isabella

December 15th, 2011
6:54 am

The elf on the shelf probably did it.

catlady

December 15th, 2011
6:57 am

I never had a snooper that I am aware of, but if I did I would return the gifts for the children (assuming those were the ones snooped). Then, Christmas morning, I would see who was “surprised” that they did not get what they had snooped out! THEN, I would explain to that child WHY they are not allowed to do such a thing, and let that punishment take care of it. I am sure that child would NOT snoop the next year!

Sometimes, Theresa, you MUST take the bull by the horns and see that there are consequences severe enough to end the behavior!

Kat

December 15th, 2011
7:22 am

News alert! The Duggars posted photos of their daughter at the memorial service and on Facebook.

Kat

December 15th, 2011
7:24 am

I can’t tell if catlady is being truthful (grateful she’s not my mom) or sarcastic (not funny).

I would suggest asking a neighbor to store the gifts for you until the holidays. Snoopers are poopers. Also, they aren’t very smart if they don’t cover their tracks. Now you know how imperfect adorable children can be!

Augusta

December 15th, 2011
8:03 am

I hid presents in the kids rooms. They never think to look there. They look all over the house, but they never look in their own closets, up on the shelf way in the back…….Not once has a present been discovered…..

usually lurking

December 15th, 2011
8:19 am

@Augusta, that’s pretty good. Hidden in plain sight so to speak. I never worried about the snoopers, if they are not surprised, that’s their fault.

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
8:21 am

@ Kat….I am pretty sure catlady is not being sarcastic. Teachers typically do not put up with a lot of bologna. Some do and usually will not make it very long in the classroom. I have seen these teachers and they have no idea what is wrong. catlady has been teaching for a long time! Those that do put up with a lot of bologna and are still in the classroom are not the teachers you want for your children. I also remember her story about ice cream cones ( with her children) and tossing ice cream out the window of the car. You can have a room full of adorable children but if they are mischievous their countenance will not be helpful for long. If you do not set the standard you will be toast. You will dread your job as the children will be in charge and you will be worn out most days.

Since I now know catlady, she has three successful grown kids herself and she apparently did something right.

My two did not snoop ( that I know of and of course I cannot be 100% sure) . They often shook the presents once they were wrapped and under the tree. Once, I wrapped up a box of buttons and a box of tiny pebbles…one for each. They were very puzzled and had no idea what the contents were until they unwrapped the gifts. It was funny to watch…they were both under 10.

TallMom

December 15th, 2011
8:38 am

My mom would leave all of our presents in big black trash bags, sitting in plain view in her room. Then, she would “booby trap” them…and she would know if we’d try to look in or even touch the bags. We only tried ONCE.

She only started doing that when we were older…middle school aged. When we were younger, we never snooped. I don’t know why. I think kids (in general) today have a lack of self control and/or will power. They have a need for INSTANT gratification…and they get it. Thanks to technology, they don’t have to wait for ANYTHING anymore…and that has started trickle down into other areas of their lives.

I wouldn’t punish the kids for snooping…I would definitely try to hide things better. Maybe some day, 30 yrs from now when they have their own children, they’ll have fond memories of snooping for Christmas presents :-)

Augusta

December 15th, 2011
8:49 am

Our presents were wrapped and put under the tree immediately. Mom didn’t hide them, she brought them home, went down to the basement, wrapped them and put them under the tree. I remember one year, I snuck down to the living room, found a present from my Aunt (she always sent me beautiful jewlery). I carefully opened it, saw what it was, and wrapped it back up and tried to look surprised when I actually opened it on Christmas day. I never did that again, as it took away the element of surprise……

Techmom

December 15th, 2011
8:52 am

I always snooped but that’s because we didn’t really have good hiding spots in our houses growing up (base housing). I finally figured out that it was no fun if you didn’t have some surprises on Christmas or if you found out what you were getting and it wasn’t what you wanted. That happened to me when I was in 4th grade and I lamented for 3 weeks about it and still had to act happy and surprised on Christmas day.

I think catlady is a bit harsh on this one. We’re not talking about a classroom of 30 kids MJG, we’re talking about kids who are too excited to wait until Christmas day.

JOD

December 15th, 2011
9:00 am

I don’t think I was a snooper, or if I was, I didn’t have much chance. Like Augusta, all of the family gifts were already under the tree, so it was just Santa gifts that my parents hid. I think the intrigue of having something under the tree kept me from snooping elsewhere :o)

DD is too young to snoop – ‘Santa’ got her a HUGE dollhouse that Hubs put together and ‘hid’ in a room (e.g. covered with a blanket and put boxes in front of it).

Hubs, however, is an AWFUL snoop. He’s really obvious about it, so it’s like a game. We have lots of great hiding places in our house, so I let him have a little fun, and put something away if I really don’t want him snooping.

@Augusta – Awesome idea; I think I will try that.

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
9:14 am

@ Techmom… sometimes teaching skills carry over…I know mine did.

Jennifer

December 15th, 2011
9:17 am

I used to carefully unwrap and rewrap once under the tree. If you think you’re kids don’t snoop, you’re probably wrong! I don’t think it’s a punishable offense, just hide them better. And get some really yucky stuff, label who it’s for, and hide it where they’ll find it! Yeah, socks and underwear. Yeah, a pink bunny suit!

Augusta

December 15th, 2011
9:42 am

I’ve also been known to hide stuff at my office. I go shop on my lunch hour, then stash some there.

Stacey

December 15th, 2011
9:44 am

My husband has a brother who is 15 years younger than he is (17 years younger than their sister). When he was about 10 (no longer believed in Santa) he was snoping at my sister-in-law’s house and discovered a Sega Genesis hidden at her house. Since she didn’t have kids at the time and wasn’t interested in video games herself, he just KNEW the game was for him. Unfortunately, no one knew it until his dad dropped him off Christmas morning and he had all of these cartridges that he had asked his dad to buy for him. After all of the gifts were opened he asked where is SEGA was and told how he “knew” about it.

Come to find out, my sister in law’s best friend knew her kids were snoopers so she had their gifts hidden at SIL’s house. That was at least 15 years ago and we still tease him about it.

Fred

December 15th, 2011
9:52 am

I know I didn’t snoop, i never got anything TO snoop for. Catlady was my mom. i spit on the sidewalk once. No presents for life. But she told me why and I knew the consequences. The punishment really fit the crime.

My daughter found one of her presents last week. i chopped her hand off and made her bury it. But I told her why and that there are consequences to being a kid, I mean, being curious. It didn’t matter to me that I left it out on my dresser covered by a dusting rag and forgot it was there when I asked her to bring me the dusting rag, she SHOULD have closed her eyes. But the bright side is that she’s learning to write with that other hand rather quickly. I mean I made sure I cut off her dominant hand. Look at how much more she’ll learn this way having to learn how to write all over again. She’ll figure out how to play that violin with one hand or I’ll do something else to her. SHE wanted those lessons and by God she better not let something trivial like a missing hand get in the way. I WON’T have my money wasted by dammit.

Stacey

December 15th, 2011
9:54 am

My husband has a car in the garage that he says he is going to fix and put back on the road. We always hide my son’s gifts in the trunk of that car. The hide in plain sight would work for him though because he isn’t observant. Unless I put it on top of the TV or in the refrigerator, he won’t notice it.

Satan Claus

December 15th, 2011
10:01 am

Jesus is the snooper!

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
10:26 am

@ Stacey…re: trunk. A few years back I had lots of Christmas presents in the trunk of my car. I arrived at a school and went inside for a show. When I came out, I saw the trunk was popped a bit. I almost had a heart attack as I walked to my car. AMAZING but everything was in tact. I now pat the trunk of my car no matter where I am, as I cannot imagine what it would be like to find an empty trunk no matter what is inside. I also once had a car that locked all by itself, when I was not pressing the clicker. If you slammed the door too hard…it locked. Possessed. i knew someone whose van door would open at weird times…all by itself! SOOO…I am a kook about knowing where my keys are.

Add that to the fire alarm in the middle of the night at a hotel and now I sleep with my purse and all of it’s contents/a small flashlight in plain view. I do not mind running out in p.j.s, with bed hair but I do want to have ID and credit cards if I will need to purchase something on the road!

Some events I do not want to repeat.

jarvis

December 15th, 2011
10:28 am

We put all gifts in the attic.
No access for little folks.

LM

December 15th, 2011
10:33 am

My brother and I were snoopers, mom got smart and started keeping things in her car trunk. It was easier then I think because she would go shopping the week before Christmas. Not like me who will buy all year long and have to “hide” the gift then come this time of the year I have to figure out where it is hidden.

My daughter is a snooper so some extent but she won’t open a wrapped gift. She has learned if she snoopes and finds what she got, there will be no surprises Christmas morning. We also give clues. This is the first year I gave a clue and my daughter figured it out. And the first year she has managed to keep a secret.. I am enjoying the idea of a real surprise.

Jess

December 15th, 2011
10:45 am

Put them in trash bag and put them in the garage

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
10:51 am

Here is a clue I received ( over 20 years ago) from a cute 3 year old who was so excited about his Mommy’s present;

IT’S PINK, IT’S SOFT, IT’S WARM, IT HAS A ZIPPER, YOU WEAR IT OVER YOUR NIGHTGOWN

Hmmm…
We still laugh about it!

Father Christmas

December 15th, 2011
10:53 am

Two words: dye packs.

Figment

December 15th, 2011
11:02 am

My son is too little to snoop (he’s almost 4) so I can put them high up on a shelf and put some things in front of them and he doesn’t see them. Of course I also wrap them first. Once they are under the tree though I’m sure it will be hard for him to resist.

Figment

December 15th, 2011
11:03 am

I didn’t snoop as a child, I knew what would happen if i got caught. Once they were under the tree I would shake or poke at them trying to figure out what they were but I don’t remember ever unwrapping one to peek.

TXMom

December 15th, 2011
11:10 am

Mine are too young to snoop, so we’ve got everything stashed in my husband’s home office in our basement. However, i have a feeling we’re going to have to start hiding stuff better.

I tried to snoop, but never found anything. I found out later that my mom either kept most of my presents hidden at her office or immediately put them in our attic when she got home from buying them. Since the attic stairs were in their bedroom, I couldn’t sneak in there to check. Besides… I was kind of scared of the attic. Ha!

StrictMom

December 15th, 2011
11:19 am

My kids found the gifts last year. I asked them repeatedly not to look for them as I didn’t have time to really work on hiding them after their deadbeat dad left me in the lurch. I returned every present they found. The good news is that I have a new boyfriend now and he’s taking me to Breezes Montego Bay Christmas and the kids are going to stay with their dad’s 7th Day Adventist parents who do not celebrate Christmas so the joke’s on them.

Deanna

December 15th, 2011
11:27 am

I snooped once when I was about eight years old. My mom found out and boxed the present up and sent it right back to the store. I never snooped again! :D (But I still want that cowgirl outfit back!)

Moquan'dii Ashul

December 15th, 2011
11:27 am

I with you strict momma! If i catch my kids lookin for chrismis gifts they better hope i aint there or ill whoop them lik theys no tomorow. When i was a chile i found a doll one o my sisters was gonna get and i set it on fire and like to burn the house down. i gots locked in a closet for the rest o the day and then my dad gots home and it gots much wurse. Long story short is that i done never did that agin. You gots to teech em respect fer heaven gods sake.

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
11:29 am

New thought …I ordered most of my gifts online and they are stacked in brown boxes in my formal living room. Not much to look at if you were interested in snooping. Just an idea. You could also PUT them in brown boxes with packing tape? Or, is it easier to haul them up to the attic? We too have attic stairs that are just outside our bedroom door. We learned that anything going up there needs to be in an airtight container as we had a guest squirrel who chewed through all of the kids hand made ornaments. We had to put a trap up there to catch him and then release. There was the year our cocker spaniel ran into the tree and knocked it over….we lost ornaments then too. Even though our tree is COVERED in ornaments…there potentially would be many more without those mis-haps! Everyone here gets a new ornament each year, to add to our tree. When our two officially move out…they will have their own set.

fer

December 15th, 2011
11:38 am

First of all, let me say we do ‘have basements HERE’ ! We have a full basement in this house, the house before had a full basement, heck, I even lived in a basement apartment for 4 years ‘here’. So don’t generalize just because you didn’t buy a house with a basement.

There are many ways to foil ’snoopers’. Once I asked my neighbors to hide the bikes for that year. (My kids weren’t snoopers but the bikes were just too big to hide.) For smaller things, I would suggest wrapping ‘presents’ like dog food, garbage bags, dish detergent, toilet paper, etc. in fancy packages w/ the snoopers’ names on them. Hide the real presents in a large old suitcase or trunk WITH A LOCK ON IT! It’s really not hard. Or if the snoopers have already opened their presents, then let that be it — come Christmas morning, tell them to go get the presents they’ve already opened…..

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
11:49 am

They have basements in Arizona? One more thing I do not know!

I GOOGLED and found this:

Very few homes have them, and they can usually be found in older developments from the late 1950’s and 1960’s. There may be newer homes with basements, but you won’t find too many of them.

Sunken living rooms are about as close as you can get to a basement in the Phoenix area..

When I taught in Texas, the kids in our area did now know what a basement was…I had to draw a picture to show them…they were amazed! It is funny how you encounter different things when you move across the country. I cannot fathom not owning a car but it would not be practical in NYC or perhaps DC!

oneofeach4me

December 15th, 2011
11:50 am

I agree with Techmom about the kids snooping, they are just SO excited!! I also snooped once and just as she, I was disappointed that I ruined the surprise for myself. I NEVER did that again!

As for mine, I know for a fact they snoop. Heck, my youngest son has a serious issue with instant gratification. So…. the presents get wrapped immediately and put up in the attic and they don’t come down until Christmas Eve. Problem solved.

HB

December 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

My mom’s garage is the neighborhood snoop-proof hiding place. Every year, it’s filled with bikes, trampolines, scooters, etc., then the neighbors all come pick their kids’ stuff up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. :)

Fred

December 15th, 2011
12:34 pm

I nominate strictmom as the mother of the year. May ALL you women emulate her her and her warm empathetic ways. Off she goes with her shack job while laughing about not having to buy presents for her kids. Serves them right those bratty little monsters.

And to think, while they make you pass a test for a drivers license, ANY witch who can spread her legs can have kids……….

Just damn.

Fred

December 15th, 2011
12:39 pm

MJG: They have three houses with basements in Phoenix and “fer” lived in all three of them. ROFL

Jenn

December 15th, 2011
12:46 pm

When my husband was a kid, he caught his little sister (10 years younger) snooping/finding his Christmas present to her. So, he wrapped up a piece of coal instead. She burst into tears when she opened it on Christmas morning, but he had the real present — a Paddington Bear — at the ready to hand over, so the tears were short-lived. She DID learn her lesson and it’s a great story we still embarass her with to this day!

Basement Bob

December 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

MJG This may come as a surprise to you but all states allow homes with basements. It’s not a regional thing…….that has to be one THE dumbest comments you have ever made (11:49 a.m)…..

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
12:52 pm

@ Fred…glad I made your day! i will keep trying…haha!

Laquille Soffeitt

December 15th, 2011
12:55 pm

My kids all snooped back when they was wet. They only did it that once though. Come Christmas time they found a dead rabbit wrapped up unda the tree. And that it! Aint had a problem since. They goes to bed on time now too.

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2011
1:01 pm

@ Fred…can you help me out here…haha!

@ Basement Bob….YES…I am fully aware that they are allowed…thanks for sharing but they are not always practical and thus many areas of the country do not have them. I have often been to places where no one has a basement and they say, “oh wow…you are so lucky to have a basement…I wish we did.”

They probably allow storm cellars for tornadoes ( in all states) too but I am not sure everyone wants or needs one. We also had a smoke house, the farm, and it had a large cement chopping block for animals to be laid on and places to hook them up. I am certain those are not allowed in our Gwinnett Subdivision but probably would be allowed in Ga if folks wanted one.

To me, it is not about allowing but about what is practical and TYPICAL for the area. The granite counter tops I just put in are NOT found in many farmhouses nor even expected in some rural areas.
I have folks ask me all the time, ” what is a swim and tennis neighborhood…or even…what is a cul de sac.”

If you think that is one of the dumbest comments I have ever made…you do not know me ( ’tis true).
I have gotten the eye roll from my own two many times for saying dumb things and even from my neighbor’s son who is 10. Lots of folks know more than me and I am fine with it. Just learn when I can!

Figment

December 15th, 2011
3:02 pm

It’s pathetic when people need to troll a parenting blog for entertainment.

Fred

December 15th, 2011
3:11 pm

@MJG: You can only explain it to them, you can’t understand it for them :D

Planning

December 15th, 2011
3:19 pm

Thanks to Walmart lawaway..happy they brought it back..80 percent of the gifts don’t even enter the house until 9 days before Christmas.(gift cards are stored under my matress)…also Walmart gives you the items in the cardboard boxes, labeled soap, paper towels etc…so I wrap the presents and keep them in the boxes along with the other stuff stored in the garage..so far it has worked well for 18 years!!..

my2cents

December 15th, 2011
3:43 pm

Boundaries!! As inconvenient as it is, I replaced the closet doorknob with an entryway lock that requires a key. It’s the only way. From what I hear, I’m lucky my kids don’t open every piece of mail or parcel that is delivered before I get home from work – that happens at some houses!

Patrick

December 15th, 2011
3:58 pm

I never tried snooping for presents. One year one of our old cats became the snooper for me: He would rip and tear the wrapping paper. I learned I was getting a leather-working kit one year, and five CDs another year.

One thing you could try doing is hide them at work. My parents did that, as well as hide them at my grandmother’s, who always lived within a couple of miles from us. I hardly went over there, and where she hid them I was never allowed to enter (spare bedroom; her bedroom).

I was a snooper

December 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

My mother found out that I was looking for my presents and she got smart. She started to hide them under my bed and in my closet. She knew I never cleaned under my bed or closet as a kid. It wasn’t until I moved out until she told me.