- Holidays and Celebrations
Great Hiding Spots - Places to Hide Your Christmas Presents
We all like to plan early and be prepared so we can shop for sales and get our Christmas and other holiday gifts early. The trouble comes when we bring them home. We need to find places that we can hide the gifts where the children can't find them.
If they find them early, they will ruin the surprise, and you won't get to see the look of joy in their eyes as they first see what presents they received from Santa or from you.
There are some great hiding places that are available to you. The first thing you have to do is to look for them. Children can be quite clever when it comes to looking for their presents, so you need to be just as clever in finding the best places to hide their Christmas gifts.
For our stealth mission, the first thing you want to do is to survey your situation and your home. You want to go on this mission when the children are not around. You don't want them to know what you are up to, because the look on your face will be obvious when you find your hiding location, and will give them clues about where it is. Remember, you an choose more than one place, but if you have too many, you are going to have a hard time remembering where you stashed them, and it will take some time to find them all on Christmas Eve.
Look for places that fit the following conditions:
1. Cool and dry
2. Rarely used by the children
3. Easy to access
4. Big enough for storage of gifts
5. Hidden from view
6. Safe from burglars
This may seem like a tall order, but it can be done. A sample list of places to hide your holiday gifts are listed below, but I am sure you will be able to think of many more.
Possible Gift Hiding Locations: Outside the House
First, you can hide them at the store. Put them on layaway and the store will hold them for you until you are ready. Or you can wait until the last minute to order them from online, although you may be taking a chance that the gifts might not be available or may not on time.
How about homes of trusted friends or family members. This may be cumbersome if you make lots of little shopping trips, but if you make one or two big ones to get all your gifts, or if you shop online, you can easily ask Grandma to hold your gifts for you. It is preferable that these people do not have children, because their kids may think the gifts are for them.
If you have a separate garage or shed, you can hide the gifts in the garage before you even come into the house. You may be able to find a hidden nook or cranny that doesn't get much use and fits the criteria. If not, find a big old box that has always been there, and clean it out. Throw out the old junk, but leave the box there. If you don't trust its cleanliness, you can insert a slightly smaller box in it, or wrap the inside with plastic. You can even put a plastic trash tag in there to conveniently store your items, but be sure to tell your spouse or someone that the gifts are in there so they don't get tossed.
You can leave them in the trunk of your car, but this may be difficult if you go shopping with your children from time to time.
You can take them to work if they are small enough to hide somewhere in your office or cubby.
Garage / Basement / Attic
Are there scary areas of your house that children do not like to venture? A garage, basement or attic may be scary because they are dark creepy places, and children may not generally go to these places. These areas may be just the place to hide the gifts. You can hide them on a shelf or in a box in the corner of a garage.
You may be able to find a place to hide them where you store your summer clothes. Nobody would think of looking there in the middle of the winter.
You can hide the Christmas gifts inside old purses, suitcases, briefcases or bags, or in plastic storage boxes that are always stored in these areas.
There are places in the house where mostly adults work and stay. These places include the laundry room, the kitchen, and the parents bedroom. Hiding them in the back of a top shelf in these rooms may work. Since children are short, hiding them up high is a better option than someplace they can easily reach.
Good hiding places would be in something that looks like it is a normal part of the room. For example, a big empty bag of dog food or some other bulk food container could contain gifts without the children thinking to look there. You may be able to put the gifts behind the personal hygiene items in the bathroom.
An office is another out of the way locations to hide presents. You can put them in your (preferably locked) filing cabinet. Take out the paper files early and hide them someplace the children won't notice so they don't know your strategy.
A guest bedroom is a great place to hide children's gifts, especially if it becomes a junk room like mine does. There is lots of clutter in there to camouflage your gifts.
If your kids have found all of your stealth hiding places, you may consider finding open areas to put the gifts. Under the couch in the living room, between the mattress in the fold out bed, and similar places make great hiding spots.
You can wrap the gifts right away and leave them out in the open, if you trust your children not to open them. If they do, you may consider choosing one particular wrapping paper or color for each child, or some other system of identifying the gifts, instead of labeling them. Mix them in with gifts for other people, so they don't know which ones they are getting. You can threaten them that you will return any gifts that have wrapping paper that has been tampered with.
One way to trick them is to put the gifts in boxes that belong to other items. For several years, my sister and I exchanged gifts using the same old box.. When you unwrap the present, you think you are getting one thing, but there is something else in the box. You may even consider putting boxes in boxes to really make it difficult for them to know what the item is.
When you find your perfect hiding spot, be sure to watch your body language and eyes so you don't give away the location to your kids. They will be watching.
Besides hiding Christmas presents, be sure to hide the receipts and the bags they came in. Some children are very clever.
A Fun Poem about How NOT to Hide Christmas Presents
Once you have used up all of these areas, you may be willing to concede and give up on hiding your gifts. After my daughter found all my hiding places, I finally just took her to the store with me, and let her choose her own gifts. They weren't a surprise, but she got exactly what she wanted (within the budgeted amount of course). She preferred to get her choice of gifts instead of the surprise.
I didn't even have to wrap them. This took the focus away from the gifts, and we were able to spend Christmas Day together by going to a movie theater.
And since she wasn't expecting anything else, I was still able to get something else small for her to open so she still had a little surprise. I don't think she looked for those.