My daughter started to laugh. "She will think she just got a screwdriver. Then I'll pull out her real present and surprise her!"

My daughter handed me a white box sealed in duct tape with a gold bow on it. I shook it and something bounced around.

"It's a screwdriver," she whispered as she looked over both shoulders. She told me it was for her little sister.

"Didn't we already go Christmas shopping for her?" I replied.

"Yes," she nodded, "but this is a fake present." She started to laugh. "She will think she just got a screwdriver. Then I'll pull out her real present and surprise her!"

The next day, I came home to find her in her room. I knocked, and she let me in before quickly closing the door. She needed help tying a bow on a very extravagant looking present, which she said was for her little sister. It was another fake present.

"I thought you already got her a real present ... and a fake one?" I asked.

"She will think this one is from Santa," she said, with a big smile. "Just when she thinks she didn't get anything else, we'll show her all the presents!"

Shaking my head, I asked if she would like to get fake presents, too. "Of course," she said, adding the spectacle was the best part.

I took my daughters on separate shopping trips this year. It was a chance to spend some one-on-one time. Usually, I only like shopping when we know what we are getting. If a lot of browsing is involved, I get wobbly legs and must sit in the nearest chair.

But I like to take them out , especially when we are shopping for someone else. Of course, it's hard to do. They find a lot of things to add to their Christmas list.

I learned something interesting. My 6-year-old knew exactly what she wanted to get for everyone. But our shopping trip took forever and spanned the county.

My little one, on the other hand, had no idea what to get everyone, but she made her mind up quickly.

"I like the way you shop," I told her as we walked through the mall. She was too busy dodging Santa to answer. We had passed him a couple of times, and each time he waved at her. She was done waving and instead acted like Macy's had something interesting going on in the other direction.

Funny thing is, they picked the same gift for each other.

"Hey, want to prank your sister on Christmas?" I asked my 3-year-old as we drove home.

She very much did. And before I could say anything she announced the perfect prank.

"I can give her my present, and she will be very excited," she said.

"That's not really a prank," I replied.

She shook her head at this. "There could be anything in the box," she said. "I will tell her it's something funny, and then she'll open it and be happy."

We agreed this was a good idea.

Reach Dave at 330-580-8490 or david.manley@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @DaveManley