Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Secrets

It's been a fun saying in my family over the years "I know Christmas secrets!" - usually said in a sing-song, teasing voice that's meant to imply "haha, I know you are getting a really great gift and I bet you are just dying to know too!!"

Well, Christmas 2007 held the biggest Christmas secret for my family, and I think I'm still tired from keeping it.

My dad has always loved music, and as long as I can remember, there's been an acoustic guitar in the corner of his room. He recently got back into it, and talked about an electric Fender guitar in the music store across town. It was several hundred dollars, and he figured he'd save some Christmas money and treat himself later in the year after finding a side job or something.
Well, my Mom and sister and I collaborated and decided my dad needed that guitar for Christas morning. He deserved it more than anyone we knew, and we wanted to surprise him. My mom handled the details of ordering it from the store and we all chipped in the money. It should have been easy. And it was.
A worker from the store called the house to talk to Mom about a payment issue, and gave the message to my dad on the phone.

Here's the scenario. My mom and I are at lunch during my lunch break from work, and I'm about 3 1/2 months pregnant and stupid. Seriously. My brain cells were being taken by my daughter on a daily basis and I was just an idiot throughout most of my pregnancy. So we're sitting there at lunch, eating chips and salsa, when my dad calls me, not knowing I'm with Mom, and tells me he got a call from the music store and they asked to talk to mom and he didn't know what to do because he didn't want any surprises to be ruined regarding Christmas.

The fate of the surprise hung on my reaction, which didn't bode well with my recent pregnant track record.

I swallowed the chip stuck in my throat and lied. "Don't worry, I'm sure its not a big deal. I don't know anything about it, but I'll drop hints. I'm sure its nothing."
Dad said "oh okay, great. Well don't tell her what happened today."

Forced cheerfulness. "Okay!"

I hung up. "Mom, we have a problem." and told her everything. We panicked, not knowing how to keep the surprise going. We'd come so far!

Finally, I got back to work and formed a plan. I called my dad and lied again. "I talked to mom, and found out she was ordering you guitar picks and a gift card for your acoustic. No biggie! Just stocking stuffers."
He believed me, and my tired pregnant brain went back to work.
We were so far beyond nervous for the rest of the month that we literally all lost sleep over it, walking on eggshells, explaining to the music store not to call anymore. We wanted the surprise to work out so desperately. My sister's husband at the time bought an amp to go with the guitar, and this Christmas was definitely All About Dad and no one deserved it more!
When the guitar came in, we wrapped it and hid it at my house, and held our breath for weeks.

Finally the big day came and we left the tell-tale long package in my trunk before going inside. We all opened a few gifts but none of us could concentrate. And poor Dad couldn't open anything because all of his gifts went back to the guitar and its accessories. We kept handing him presents then saying "oh wait, not that one yet!" Finally, we couldn't take it anymore and we made him close his eyes while my Hubby brought the gift inside. Dad opened it, and you guys, it was priceless. Worth every stressful moment! He actually teared up, and by the time the surprise was finished, we were all so exhausted and glad we'd carried the whole thing off that we didn't even care about opening the rest of our gifts!!

Coming up with that lie to throw my dad off the track was probably the sneakiest thing I did during my entire pregnancy, and I'm still missing that burst of brain cells it took to come up with it. =)

Here's some pics from that morning!!!


  1. What a sweet story, Betsy! Thanks for sharing!! :)

    You know, it really is more fun to give than to receive.

  2. Awww, what a precious memory! It's so much fun to find the perfect gift.

  3. Sweet! Don't you just love giving gifts to people you love?

  4. I'm crying because you made me miss my dad.

  5. Sweet story, Betsy! Love the photos too. I see someone else likes Ron DiCianni art. I LOVE it.


  6. Oh that is so cool.

    My friend got the surprise of her life last year. Her daughter Amy is in the army and wasn't coming for Christmas but her eldest daughter and Amy came up with a plan she picked Amy up and smuggled her into the house then on Christmas Morning they took my friend Breakfast in bed and as she was drinking her coffee yelled Suprise and she almost choked cos there was Amy. She was so suprised.

  7. Aww, good thing the dude at the music store didn't ruin it all! That's an awesome story.


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