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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Start planning now for next year’s snooping

OK, it’s the day after.

No danger of giving anyone nefarious ideas at this stage.

Slice readers told about sneaking a peek at Christmas presents before the big day arrived.

Michelle Drake-Smith’s mother used to wrap gifts in a kind of paper that was, well, I’ll let her tell it. “They were extremely easy to open with a butter knife.”

Then she would reseal the package without her mother finding out.

Sarah Hayes admits she did it, but she doesn’t look back with pride.

“I was the absolute worst about snooping for gifts as a child. … I was forced to feign surprise on Christmas morning.”

For Marilyn Kile, the discovery was an accident. When she was 15, she had been learning how to snow ski, using rented equipment. “One day I was kneeling on our couch looking out the front window at something and looked down and saw a set of new skis hidden behind the couch. I felt sooooo bad! I didn’t tell anyone I saw the skis.”

Jeri Hershberger said her mom never figured out that hiding presents under her bed was not exactly high security.

Leslee Schoengold’s mother used to leave a presents list out in the open, but it was written in an uncrackable code. “It just killed me,” she wrote.

Keri Whittekiend used this approach. “I would carefully open each wrapped package with my name on it under the tree or hidden in my parents’ closet by slicing with a razor blade along the taped seam, peeling the paper back, checking out the gift, then carefully re-wrapping and re-taping each present.”

Sue Teague also used a razor. Once, as a teenager, she even returned a dress for one she liked better and then put the new garment in the box. “My mom had a funny look on her face (on Christmas morning), but she just assumed that she must have accidentally purchased the one I opened.”

Not bad. But Curt Olsen took a back seat to no one when it came to being a presents snoop.

“I was so good that when I opened the gifts on Christmas morning, the batteries were dead.”

Today’s Slice question: How many Spokane residents spend New Year’s Day shredding paper with the “Twilight Zone” marathon on?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Kwanzaa began in 1966.

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