Dude, Where's My Christmas Gift?

"This is, sadly, a cautionary tale about trusting your 'neighbors.' My sister and her family had just moved into a new house in South Carolina and had my parents over for Christmas a couple years ago. To save money, I sent all my family gifts to her, since they were all together for the holidays. I carefully wrapped all the gifts for my sister and brother-in-law, my father and also my nephew. I handmade little gift tags out of puffy sticker material -- literally hours of work spent on the wrapping of these gifts.

I took the large package of gifts to UPS and sent it along. However, I mixed up 'Drive' with 'Street' on the address, which sent the package into a tailspin. This small mistake caused UPS to just send the package to my sister's last known address, her old house, which was about 20 minutes from her new one.

Upon realizing they hadn't received the package, we tracked the box and found out it went to their old home and that it had been signed for the night before. My sister and father went over to the house to retrieve the package.

They knocked on the door and saw people inside, but had to wait a long while before a child answered the door. They explained the situation to the kid, who then got his mother who came to the door and asked my sister and father to wait while she got the package. She comes back about 15 minutes later with a box of the items, all unwrapped. They had apparently opened all the gifts and stowed them away, and then had to get them back out to give them to my family. All those hours wrapping for nothing!"

Erinn Deshinsky, Charleston, S.C.

Don't Let This Happen to You

Double- and triple-check your addresses. That's all.