How to Hide Presents From Your Children

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One friend told me in a recent conversation how her young daughter approached her frustrated because she had spent hours making a map of the house, then systematically searched each room and marked an "X" on every potential hiding spot that didn't hold presents. Kids may be smarter as to where in the house to look, but as parents we still have the resources to keep our kids on their toes. Hiding holiday gifts has never been easier than with this guide...

  • WRAPPING PRESENTS: If you have sneaky children who just can't wait to find out what their gifts are every year, use a few of these tricks. My husband gave his younger brother a gift wrapped entirely of duct tape one year. It only took him fifteen minutes to unwrap it and finally see what was inside. You can also wrap your gift in multiple gift wrapped boxes. When they open one box thinking they have found their gift, they will only find another gift wrapped box waiting for them. Frustrated and worried that Mom or Dad may find out, they will probably stop after a couple of empty boxes. You can also switch names on holiday tags. All of Ann's presents can be labeled as Jake's presents and vice versa. Kids will never figure it out until they open their gifts on Christmas Day.

  • HIDING GIFTS INSIDE THE HOUSE: There are several great places to hide gifts inside the house that children may overlook. Places in their own room may be overlooked. Many children may not even suspect that presents are hiding under their own noses! While this may work for some children, others may not be fooled. Consider hiding presents in old, labeled storage boxes. Kids may not think to look for birthday or Christmas gifts left in a box marked "Old Yearbooks." You can also hide presents in places of the house that younger children may be scared to go like under the stairs, or in that scary corner of the basement. The shed or high shelf of the garage is also a great place to hide gifts. For those who are hiding holiday gifts, many parents state that hiding gifts in the artificial tree box or Christmas decoration boxes works great. Kids think that these boxes are empty anyway, and never suspect that their presents may be hiding here.

  • HIDING THE GIFTS OUTSIDE THE HOUSE: Still a better idea is to hide those birthday and holiday presents outside of the house where older, prying eyes can't see! Some parents pool and rent a small storage shed. You can also rent a Uhaul storage unit for as little as $15 a month to store all of those goods. One group of friends sends holiday gifts within their group to each other. Children are stumped by which friend's house their gifts ended up at that year. On Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed, the Dads have fun bringing holiday gifts to the right house, visiting with other Dad's, and helping each other assemble presents. Another novel idea is to enlist the help of trusted, elderly neighbors. In our neighborhood, our retired neighbors love to help us parents with children out. The couple allows parents to send or have gifts mailed to their house so children won't find out, then stores them for the parents until Christmas Eve. We laugh because this couple has made it such a serious yearly business that they have cleared off some of their downstairs storage shelves and now have presents stored and organized in alphabetical order by family! Storing gifts in a work office, or having stores hold gifts until Christmas Eve is another idea for keeping gifts away from children until the big date. You can also store gifts at a grandparents home, or have gifts sent to a grandparents or other family members home so you won't have to haul all of those Christmas gifts with you if you will be spending the holidays with family.

  • RESORT TO THIS STORY: One year, a friend was allowed to open all of his gifts on Christmas Day, than got to return them all the next day when his parents found out he had been snooping and already knew what his gifts were. You can always threaten the same true story if your children decide to snoop around. As a parent, it takes a lot of time, energy, money, and thought into buying a gift, and it takes the fun out of gift giving when children are forced to put on an excited face for a present they already know they are getting. While they may think it's fun, year's down the road as they laugh about how they already knew what they were getting, you will still feel a twinge of anger at remembering that day. Besides, how YOU hid the gifts from your children will be a much funner story to tell the grandkids and one that your children will also enjoy telling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have you discovered any unique hiding spots for presents? Share them here!

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