Q. I’m very excited to celebrate not only a first anniversary, but also Christmas this year with my husband. We got married a few days after Christmas last year. I’ve got an idea for both a gift (new snowboard and boots) and a getaway trip (snowbound for three days to snowboard and sit by a fire and snuggle), but I’m nervous he’ll find out. He’s quite the snoop when he thinks there’s a gift coming his way. It’s adorable, but I really want to surprise him. Any ideas?
-No Show No Tell
A. I’m assuming you probably have both joint and separate bank accounts. So first, pay for the gift with cash if you can so there’s no credit card bill that screams "Bob’s Ski Chalet" on the list of payments. Wrap the gift and securely hide it at a nearby friend’s or parents’ house until the day before Christmas. And be sure to figure out where you want to hide it once you pick it up from the off-site locale. Perhaps keep it in your car trunk under a blanket the night before and then pull it out when it’s time to actually give him the gift. As for the trip, if you can just put the reservations on hold with a credit card, then it shouldn’t show up on your bill. Ask the place where you are spending your anniversary to not send anything in the mail and instead email you. Print out email confirmations and then delete. You can give the gift of the trip in a nice big stocking or basket filled with a few things you’ll need for your trip such as sunscreen, cashmere or wool sport socks, new gloves, a bottle of good wine and decadent hot chocolate (I love Vosges - vosgeschocolate.com) plus details of the trip written in a nice card. After he knows about the great trip, then go get the snowboard and boots as the extra terrific gift.
Since we’re on the topic of shopping and helpful ways of hiding purchases, you may want to detail your confession for ShopandConfess.com. They are holding a contest where you can submit a short, self-produced YouTube video telling your shopping story and you’ll have a chance to win $1,000 or possibly $20,000. Just do it by November 26th. (And by the way, I’m one of the judges!)