Dear Aunt Alice,
I hate waiting until the last minute to wrap gifts and put them under the tree. The tree looks so bare without them! But if I do it early, my kids demolish their gifts trying to figure out what they are. Any suggestions?
Dear Smasher-shaker’s Mom,
Have you tried padding? The gifts, I mean, not your room. To protect them. If you use enough, you can also change the shape of the gift, making it harder to guess what’s inside.
Actually, I’ve found that while he won’t lose interest entirely, a child will poke, prod and shake a box much less if it doesn’t have his name on it. So go ahead and wrap the gifts ahead of time, but wait until Christmas Eve to label them. This may not work if you only have one child, as she will assume that all the gifts are hers (or at least the interesting looking ones), but if you have several children they may spend more time trying to figure out who the gift is for than what the gift is.
How do you remember which gift is which so you can label them later? Come up with a code!
Label each gift with a code that only means something to you. Not only will this (hopefully) cut down on the handling of gifts, you will have the bonus of driving your children crazy as they try to crack the code.
One year I labeled each present with a six-digit number. All except the last digit was random, and that last one stood for birth order. So, for my firstborn son, his gifts could be labeled 384991 or 273641 or 192281. As long as the last digit was a one, I knew that it was for him. Since no two gifts had the same number, the kids went nuts trying to decipher it.
Another year, I used a letter code. My 8-year-old cub scout was C, my third-grader was T, etc. The code was easy for me to remember, but random enough that they didn’t even come close to figuring it out. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember what I gave or got that year, but I do remember laughing a lot as my children tried desperately to figure out the code.
Ah, the simple pleasures in life.