Hiding gifts...I'm stuck

quiltgloNovember 21, 2005

In my pre-Flylady days, gift hiding was no problem. Just stuff them under the piles in the closets. I found them all year long since I forgot many, LOL.

When we remodeled this house I thought out every closet and storage area and they work great for their intended purpose. Now, I don't have any place to stash stuff.

We use to keep many at the DH's office, but now he works from home. Last year we tried the trunk of DH's car and he forgot and went shopping at Costco, opened the trunk with one of the kids standing there and we had to practically duct tape that kid's mouth until Christmas.

I can stash some things in the 21 yo DS's room. My main concern is trying to keep the 5 yo from picking at the wrapping paper and finding the main Santa gift.

Where in the heck does everyone with little ones around keep this stuff?


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The attic? I've also been known to wrap gifts with no tags (but the names secretly written on the bottom) and denied it was theirs. They usually won't "shake" something that isn't theirs.

My guys aren't little anymore. I'm pretty safe putting things in the cabinet with cleaning supplies, LOL.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 8:51PM
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I'm thinking about asking the neighbors. The kids are starting to figure out my spots.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:11PM
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When I was a kid, there was one closet which was declared "off-limits" for the weeks preceding Christmas. If we opened the closet, we spoiled our own surprise. We left it alone ....

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 10:52PM
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We store gifts in luggage (which is stored under our bed). The kids never look there.

Also been known to store them in the trunk of my car!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 11:22PM
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Thought of another one:

We have an artificial Christmas tree we store in a box. Once the tree is up, the box is empty... or is it? LOL

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 5:27AM
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I wrap gifts and put them in plain sight under the Christmas tree, complete with fake tags. (I do make a note of which tags go with which person.)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 8:39AM
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I must have been the weirdest kid--though maybe not, bcs it sounds like Steve & siblings had the same thought.

I didn't WANT to know! I wouldn't even move boxes around under the tree to make room, bcs I was afraid I'd accidentally shake the box. And when mom sent me up in the attic to get something in December, I argued with her--what if I accidentally, while searching for something, opened the box or whatever that had the gifts in it! To this day,I don't know where she stashed them.

When I was about 4, I told my big brother what his present was, and immediately burst into tears--ruined the entire holiday! I have an almost pathological fear of ruining the surprise, ever since.

I have an opaque plastic bin/box in the bottom of my closet, and I put them there, if they're small.

For the big stuff, we have a storage bin in the basement of our apartment bldg, which locks; we stick stuff in there, too. Though we have that "trunk of the car" problem--we have to be careful not to take the kids down on errands or whatever, so they can't actually see it.

It's also nice, bcs when I come home from shopping, I go into the bldg from the basement, and put the stuff straight into the bin--I don't have to worry about how to sneak a Toys 'R' Us bag into the house without curiousity.

Sometimes I've been known to get a big black plastic trash bag, and slip it over the gift, so that it can't be seen; that would work for the trunk-of-the-car slips--just find some way to completely camouflage or cover it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 9:27AM
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I put my tree up right after Thanksgiving, and place the gifts under as soon as they are wrapped. But no tags. I put post-it notes with secrect codes known only to me. My kids are older so they pretty much leave things alone.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 10:34AM
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Just a caution about the trunk of the car. While in theory it's the perfect place, there is the risk of items getting stolen. That happened to a cousin years back.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 11:53AM
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I must have been the weirdest kid--though maybe not, bcs it sounds like Steve & siblings had the same thought.

Talley Sue, I'm amazed at the number of posts in this and other fora in which we've expressed common thoughts and experiences. It's almost like we should be siblings. Wonder which one of us was adopted ... :-)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 11:58AM
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I was like Steve and Tally Sue - never, ever searched for gifts or wanted to know, as it would ruin the surprise.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 2:31PM
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No attic, no basement. Sigh. Neighbors seem to leave over the holidays and I don't think I'm ready to tramp through three feet of snow at midnight on Christmas eve to try and get the Santa gift.

I think I'm about to the point I'm going to have to take my antique quilts out of their storage containers. Bags with quilts in them isn't much of a cause for curiosity around here.

I don't put up the tree until at least the 15th. A month of hype is just more than my smaller ones can take and it drives me nuts. The "away" relatives are already mailing their boxes and my youngest already knows it's PJ's from his great-aunt.

Once the tree is up, they are fine with gifts they help wrap and label, but it doesn't appear that I have many of the "don't want to know" camp around here. I think it's more they don't their suprise ruined but may just be wicked enough to do in the sibling.

This was much easier when I only had one.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 3:19PM
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I was the oldest of 4 kids. My folks hid our gifts in the attic of the garage. Can't remember exactly when we figured this out. When they left the house we would position our youngest sibling at the end of the driveway as a lookout (in case mom and dad came home early) and one of us would climb into the attic and report down to the others what we found. I guess I've always been the curious type...

DH would unwrap his gifts and re-wrap them when his mom was gone.

I guess this is why we are so sneaky with gifts - we know all the tricks!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 12:42AM
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I would just get a big box and keep it somewhere, wherever there was space, and put gifts in there. I would keep junk on it, and nobody ever knew what was in there!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 4:30PM
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We were 9 kids coming up in the 50's and 60's. Mom tried wrapping and marking gifts with a code number for each of us. But we'd decode by figuring the odd shaped thing had to be a fishing pole and that was Paul, etc. etc

So Mom one year put a different number on *every* gift to foil us breaking her code. But then lost the list. So Christmas morning we had to have random picks and unwrapping and passing off to each other. It was actually more fun and memorable than any other Christmas!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 12:03AM
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How about in the sleeves of your, or your DH's, blazers for the small stuff? I did that and it worked great. I just turned the parcel loaded jacket sleeve, with an elastic band at the sleeve end, to the back of the closet. Also malls have lockers, but I just don't know how safe they are. My kids aren't kids anymore, they're University age adults, so no more hiding for me. When they were little they found the gifts once, but never again. It was easy to hide anything in my cluttered home. I was never curious about my gifts as a kid, but my younger sisters were, and sometimes they found them.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 3:07AM
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My SIL and BIL used to have a corner of my basement stuffed with their stored stuff. I would just add boxes and garbage bags to the pile, kids didn't figure it out til one year I sent them down to carry it up to the tree. Boy, were they surprised! I have used the numbering system and that lasted one year. Finally, when all were teens I would take each one shopping for their own gifts. Then would wrap them. The idea was they couldn't tell anyone what they got, so they were surprised at each others gifts. They liked that system. Now, just $$$.
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 2:55PM
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We just use our bedroom closets, no kids allowed. So far none have even attempted. My girlfriend does the following, only works, if you have more than one bathroom, one just happens to always get broke around this time of the year. Out of use, just remember to not use it yourself, when the kids are around.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:05PM
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After having kids find and open every package prior to the holidays, we finally solved this problem once and for all.

We have a walk-in closet in our bedroom and my husband went to The Home Depot and bought a whole new lock WITH KEY (just like you'd have on an outside door). We lock the closet door when we are finished and it can only be opened with the key ..... problem solved!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:33AM
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we went to Thanksgiving at an aunt's house, and my kids went down in the basement to play w/ the dog and saw presents the aunt had bought for THEM! She hadn't bothered to hide them, bcs we don't live at their house.

DS asked who they were for, and one of the cousins said, "my big sister is taking them with her when she goes tomorrow to visit the family in Europe." He bought it. Whew!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:14AM
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I hide them in the off-season clothes, or my own dresser drawers, under my clothes. When I was a kid, mom always put stuff in the cedar closet. I needed to know where they were so that I would know where NOT to look! I was one of those, too, who wanted the surprise. I think my brother peeked, though, at least once. He may have learned his lesson after ruining the surprise.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 3:57PM
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I have an attic that is accessible only thru my bedroom closet. And my closet is such a mess no one would even dare attempt it. I have to spend about five minutes moving stuff just to get to the attic door.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:34AM
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when the kids were young, and snoopy, i would wrap the gifts when i got them home. i used a different paper for each kiddo, with no tags, and only i knew which wrapping paper belonged to who...
drove the kids nuts...


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 2:18PM
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    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 6:03AM
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I do something similar to Trinity. I wrap them and put a code word on them. One DH and I know the code word. It is great fun having them try to figure it out!

I became much like Talley and Steve only after ruining my own Christmas when I was 9. For some reason (can't remember the details) I knew my mom was away from their bedroom long enough for me to peek under their bed. So I rustled through the boxes and found a box with a pair of turquoise denim bell bottoms with a matching jean jacket (dating myself!! LOL!) While I loved the outfit, I felt terrible, had to fake surprise, and then dealt with guilt for years (especially when I wore the outfit). In fact, I don't think I ever did confess it to my parents!! I never peeked again after that though.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 12:01PM
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When my kids were little my DH would keep the gifts in his office at work. I also used different colored paper for each kid but that was more to keep them from opening one of their siblings gifts in the frenzy.
One year I kept things at a neighbors. She tried to help out and wrapped everything for me but nothing was marked so I had to carefully unwrap to see what each present was. I think I got to bed at around 3am. After that everything went to work.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 12:28PM
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Trinitytx, I do the same thing. One year, we ran out of paper for one of our daughter's gifts, so we had to wrap one gift with a totally different paper. Christmas morning, that daughter received the first gift, and thought she only had one gift under the tree. LOL!!

My good friend bought mugs from pottery barn. They are the ones with all of the reindeer's names on them. She will wrap gifts and tag them with the reindeer's name. Then, Christmas morning, everyone is given the mug with the reindeer's name that belongs to their gifts. She can wrap gifts as she gets them. She just changes the names every year. She says it's a blast.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:28PM
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