I happen to be someone who is very hard to surprise. It’s not that I’m hunting for clues or searching for secrets. I am just observant. I notice things. So if you’re trying to pull off a gift-giving surprise, here are six ways to make that happen, according to someone who is very hard to surprise.
1. One thing I’ve noticed about marriage is that it can be extremely tough to surprise a spouse. They’re always around. They know your hiding places. And they have access to your bank account. That’s why paying with cash is key for pulling off a surprise. Chances are they’ll log on to the online bank account and see where you’ve been spending. Avoid that by using cash so your purchases can’t be tracked.
2. Maybe it’s women’s intuition or maybe it comes from my years of peeking at presents under the tree when my mom wasn’t looking, but I have a pretty good idea what’s in that box under the tree. So if you really want to surprise someone, don’t put it there. Stash it somewhere else– even at a neighbor’s house or at your office if you have to.
3. Buying online? Don’t have the gift delivered to your home. Your spouse could get the mail before you do. Instead, have it shipped to a friend’s house for safe-keeping.
4. Be low-key. If your loved one makes a comment about something they would love to have, make a mental note and move on. Don’t ask tons of questions to draw attention to the fact that you find this tidbit of information extremely interesting. Listen, downplay the comment and store it away for a future gift-giving moment.
5. Destroy the evidence. Don’t let your hard work be ruined by a pesky receipt or a shopping bag with a certain store logo on it. Get rid of the evidence quickly and there’s a better chance you’ll pull off a great surprise.
6. Let them believe something else. This is a tip only for the pros. If you really want to surprise someone, drop a few clues that lead them in a totally different direction. Put a decoy present under the tree, but keep the really good ones hidden away. A few days before the big event, mention that you have been too busy to shop or that you have no idea what to buy them. They’ll be even more shocked when you pull off the surprise gift-giving.