I know a few people who like to wait right up until the deadline to try and take advantage of last minute holiday sales but that idea just stresses me out. I would much rather spend the month of December watching holiday movies, baking or rather eating Christmas cookies and just about anything but shopping for gifts. The tricky part about shopping early is keeping those gifts a secret from the kids.
No matter how well behaved your kids are, you know as the big day gets closer they will be looking in closets and under beds for the treasure trove of gifts. Even if your child isn’t looking, nothing can spoil the Christmas surprise more than stumbling upon your gift early.
Well have no fear. You can still get your Christmas shopping done early and keep the surprise with these tips:
1. Don’t Tag The Gifts. No doubt if you’re shopping for your child’s gift early, you’re probably shopping for your husband, grandma, teacher, next door neighbour and everyone else on your list too. Wrap all the gifts but don’t tag them. Instead right a secret code only you know on each gift for the corresponding recipient. Should your child stumble upon gifts galore they won’t know which gift is for them.
2. Order Online. If you have young kids it can be hard to find a moment to go pee without an audience forget shopping for gifts. You can make arrangements to have someone watch the kids while you shop or head to your computer. Many online stores now offer free shipping and gift wrap. Or take advantage or reward gift portals like the American Express Membership Rewards shop. Without having to fight mall crowds or find a parking space you can shop at your leisure after the kids have gone to bed. Those plain brown delivery boxes won’t be as interesting as shiny wrapped gifts when they come to the door.
3. Hide Gifts in the Scary Part of the House. Growing up there was always a part of the house that felt foreboding, like the closet in the basement with the light that always flickered or the tiny hatch in the ceiling that led to the unused attic. If you have a spot in your home that the kids dread then you’ve found the perfect gift hiding space. Of course, that only works if the scary part of the house doesn’t freak you out too.
4. Use a Store Wrapping Service. I always thought gift wrapping at malls was for people who couldn’t be bothered to wrap, until I became a parent. I enjoy wrapping but trying to get an unwrapped gift into the house or finding time to wrap when excited and highly suspicious kids live at home can be a challenge. And the closer you get to the holiday itself, the more suspicious these innocent children become. Bringing home wrapped gifts avoids these issues and combined not tagging means you can keep those holiday surprises.
5. Have a Decoy Gift. I know my kids don’t really want to know all of their gifts. On instances when they do discover secrets ahead of time they usually end up disappointed in the end. But there is something appealing about knowing a secret and sharing it with friends or your siblings. Try wrapping a decoy gift, something that you won’t be disappointed about the kids finding. The kids can feel as though they’ve pulled one over on you, sharing their secret among themselves but you’ll be the wiser.
6. Mislead with Boxes. My mom employs this trick even today and it still fools everyone. Visit your local department store and see if they have any boxes they’re putting in recycling. I’m not talking about the big brown shipping boxes but rather the boxes used for a set of pots on display or boots that were sold. Place your gift within these seemly obvious gift boxes. Next time your kids go snooping for the new game console they’ll be rewarded with gifts like glassware or rubber boots, according to the boxes anyway. It’s great to see their face when they unwrap them too, trying to look happy, and then discovering their true gift inside.
7. Store Gifts Off Site. Storing wrapped gifts away from the house is another way to avoid accidentally gift stumbling. Keep them at a neighbours or nana and gramp’s house. Another option is using a storage facility like SpaceWays in Toronto. Starting November 24 customers can select one large storage box free of charge to store those special gifts. SpaceWays will pick-up the box, store it within their secure facility just outside of Toronto and deliver based on a time that is convenient for you (before December 21). Did I happen to mention this was free? What a great idea.
Have your kids entered the gift snooping stage yet? How do you keep the gifts a surprise until they are given? So go ahead and get that gift shopping out of the way and keep these ideas in mind on maintaining your Christmas surprise.