Merry Merry, Mommas!
Have you started putting any presents under the tree yet? I haven’t added any, but I need to start moving before my hiding spot spills over! I use a tiny closet in our spare bedroom to store used clothing that I sell on Mercari and Poshmark, and during Christmas time it’s also my hiding spot for gifts. My girls see me in and out of there all the time with clothing, so they never consider that I have any other goodies hiding in there!
The Problem with Putting Gifts Under the Tree
Putting wrapped gifts under the tree adds that extra touch of beauty and whimsy to your Christmas set up, but it can also bring some negatives with it. Especially with younger children in the house. Kids love to stack, shake, count, compare, and generally make a mess of the gifts. These behaviors can be pretty ugly and spoil some of the magic of the season.
Are your kids at the age where they start taking inventory of their gifts? Pulling them all out from under the tree in search for their names, accidentally poking holes in them and losing bows? I spent a ton of time wrapping those babies and arranging them as beautifully under the tree as possible, I don’t want them jumbled all up and torn!
Maybe it’s time to shake things up.
If you are (crazy) like me, and just want things the way you want them, here are a few ideas to prevent these behaviors.
5 Simple Tricks to Keep Kids from Playing with Presents
Wrap everything in the same paper, do not put names on anything!
Take notes on what you bought, and where you placed it under the tree. You can even take a picture of the gifts arranged under your tree and use the markup feature (on iPhone) to label who each gift goes to. Let your kids know through the season that you have no idea what belongs to who, but that there are gifts for everyone in the family under the tree. No one will know who any of the gifts belong to until Christmas morning when you hand them out.
Wrap gifts in the same paper, do not put names on anything! Use bows or ribbons as identifiers
Following the same concept as above with a little less hassle on Christmas morning. Assign each child a color of bow or ribbon and place on gifts accordingly. If you mix the gifts well under the tree, it will not be obvious.
Choose a wrapping paper for each child, do not put names on anything!
Each child is assigned their own wrapping paper (color, type, pattern, whatever suits you) and all of their gifts are wrapped in that one paper. My only thought with this is to avoid kids character wrapping papers, those would be a huge giveaway to anyone. Maybe stick to more generic paper themes for the sake of keeping the presents a mystery. Hide a scrap of their assigned paper at the bottom of their stockings. Again, they will have no idea which gifts are theirs until Christmas morning.
Enlist the help of your Elf on the Shelf or Santa Cam
We all know that our magical little elf friends will lose their magic if they are touched! If you had problems with little ones playing with presents in the past, have your elf set up camp on top of the gifts. Dress them up, stick them in a Barbie camper van. It’ll be hilarious, and you won’t have to move that darn elf every night!
Alternatively, the Santa Cam has gained popularity over the last couple of years. If you haven’t seen one yet, there are two different styles. There is a stand-alone “camera” that you can put on a table top, or there is an ornament with a “camera lens” on it. You explain to your child that Santa can see them at all times through the camera and that they need to be on their best behavior and not touch the gifts.
Let Santa deliver all the presents on Christmas Eve
This option is the least amount of fun, but if you feel like your kids just can’t handle the temptation, it’s probably for the best. The magic experience will definitely still be there, maybe even more so when Christmas morning arrives.
My Plan for Presents this Year
This year, we have a lot of family presents. I plan to wrap all family gifts in one paper, and the presents that are specific in another paper. I won’t be putting names on any of them, but probably bows to identify which is which. Gifts from Santa always arrive on Christmas Eve (obviously) in his own special paper, those will be the only gifts to have name tags on them.
How do you handle presents under the tree? Do you have children who want to play, poke, and guess what’s in the gifts? Does it feel like this?
What do you do in that situation? I’d love to hear about it!
Until Next Time, Momma!