When I was eight, I asked for a Space:1999 Eagle-One Lander for Christmas. It was a massive thing and I wanted it more than I wanted a puppy or even a radio.
We were at Mom's place that holiday and arrived for our stay a few days before Christmas. I was certain that she'd done all her shopping already. I made a quick, discrete search of the apartment and determined that there we no hidden gifts anywhere…
They had to be back in the car.
So I told Mom I'd forgotten something in the Datsun and could I have the keys to go get it? She gave them to me. I went out alone and opened the trunk. To my victorious delight, there it was, still unwrapped. The EAGLE-One Lander of Space:1999 in all its boxed majestic glory!!! Elated, I returned inside.
A few days later, Christmas morning, it was wrapped under the tree. Opening, it was just as I had seen it in the trunk, exactly what I wanted and asked for. And I burst into miserable, confessional tears. I had spoiled the joy of surprise. I already knew what I was getting. I knew what my brother was getting, and Christmas morning was grey and drained of light.
My life doubled in years before I parted with the Eagle-One in a pyrotechnic fireworks battle with the MilleniumFalcon. But the lesson has remained. Since that Christmas day, I never feel the slightest curiosity at the prospect of destroying my own surprises.