In the tradition of my mother, I try to convince my children that they will not be receiving the gifts they have asked for for Christmas and birthdays. I ask them what they would like and then try to maintain the fun of the surprise. Mind you, they do not always get what they have asked for, so there is always some doubt anyway.
I was with Mary when she first saw this hat in the department store. She loved it. She raved about it. She exclaimed that she would REALLY like to get this hat for Christmas.
I bought it later that week when she was not with me. When I later asked her for Christmas ideas and she would mention the hat I would say, "You mean like a knit hat, a warm hat?" and she would say, "No, remember the one at Von Maur? The black one with the rose thing on the side?" I look confused for a minute. "Oh yeah. That one in the junior department?" She says, "Yeah!" and then describes exactly where it is and what it looks like. I smile on the inside. I know I have convinced her that I have not already purchased it.
A week or so later I ask her again to remind me of her Christmas suggestions. She mentions the hat. For a few seconds I give her a blank look. Knowing she would not believe that I have no recollection of our last conversation, I pretend it is just coming back to me. "Oh yeah. That black one?" I ask. I have tricked her again. I can tell from her face. (Although interiorly I know she may be thinking, "Is she pretending")
When (if) she reads this post she will probably tell me she could read me all along. We'll see.
In any case, it's my little game. I think keeping a gift a surprise is half, maybe more than half, of the fun.