December 23, 2005

my typical christmas, as a kid…

Posted in family, nostalgia at 1:52 pm by Marise Phillips

I was a little shit. Seriously. And not just at Christmastime.*

But come each December, as gifts from various friends and family started to pile up under the tree, I would lie in wait for my parents to leave the house. Fortunately for my brother and me, they sang in the church choir. And once we were old enough to stay home alone, we ended up having many opportunities to do so, since they had to go to all sorts of rehearsals and special masses.

And the reason why this alone-at-home time was so important: I had come up with a master plan to find out what *all* my presents were long before the 25th. All it took was a pair of scissors and some tape.

With the scissors, I would slit open each seam where the tape met the wrapping paper, unwrap the present, decide whether I liked it or not (the latter situation being good to know about in advance, so I could adequately prepare myself for pretending to like it later), and then either remove and replace the old tape, or simply re-tape where it had been slit open. No one was the wiser. And my brother enjoyed the advance notice as well.

The only time we had any issue doing this was the year we got an ATARI 2600. We were *dying* to play with it, and it was *soooo* tempting to take it out of the box and fire it up. But we had principles, man. Yeah… right!

*Throughout the year, I beat my little brother to a pulp, taunted him (he had a horrendous temper, and I could ignite it at the drop of a hat), and generally got him in trouble with our parents. I was almost always the instigator, but I had a way of looking angelic, making all adults think that the enraged one, next to me, was the one causing the problem. God, considering the number of times I royally screwed him over, I’m shocked that we’re actually on speaking terms these days!



  1. My mom has an uncanny ability to know what her gift is without unwrapping it – even when it’s wrapped in a completely different shape. I, unfortunately, never inherited said trait.

  2. knitcrazed said,

    omg… i can’t believe you were that bad a sceamer. although i would have probably plugged that atari sucker right in if it was out of the wrapper. oh the good ol’ pong days, where have they gone?

    and to think that you were a brother tormentor too???!!! being the youngest of 3 boys and the recipient of similar instigating i can say firsthand that reacting with a temper was usually the only recourse. thank goodness most of us grew up. now we call a person with a temper passionate đŸ˜‰

  3. matt said,

    ah, closure! my sister has finally admitted (in a public forum, no less!) that she was devilishly responsible for much of the trouble in the house! u can’t pay for this type of closure! golden!

    it was all easy enough to forgive. u were merely looking out for number one, a habit most of us indulge a goodly amount of the time.

    love. yer bro

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