I love Christmas. I’m sure I iterated this in a post this time last year, but it’s still true. Sure, the sense of wonder has changed since childhood, but there’s still so much fun and magic this time of year. All of the traditions, makes it so much more of a season than just a day. I can’t wait until my Little Man gets older and we can add more traditions with him. I’m thinking Christmas crackers—gotta get some more British themes in my Christmas celebrations.
Now something I love about Christmas with my family is that it’s not what you give for Christmas but how you give it. So here are some examples of how we (and now you) make gift giving a bit more interesting.
Keep them unwrapping. An easy way to add some fun to your packages is to wrap multiple layers of wrapping paper. Depending on the number of layers you wrap, the recipient while find it funny or become exasperated. My first Christmas with Colton, I helped wrap presents for his family and chose to wrap my now-father-in-law’s gift with eight layers of presents—he retaliated by wrapping my present in packing tape.
Keep them guessing. Find two great gifts and can’t decide which one to use? Use both! Wrap up both gifts separately and present them to the recipient and inform them they must choose which gift they want WITHOUT unwrapping either one. The gift they don’t choose they never see and never know what it was.
Keeping them looking.Have a smallish gift? Take a big box, put a smaller box inside of it, put a smaller box inside of that one, etc. In the last teeny-tiny box put a “made ya look” note (or write a message of your own personal flair). This will cause the unwrapper to delve back through all of the other boxes only to discover that you installed a false bottom in the largest box which the gift is hidden under.
Or you could just have the gift in the smallest box—watching them go from a huge box to a tiny one after opening multiple boxes is still pretty fun.
Send them hunting. This one works when giving out gifts to multiple people. Make a treasure map of wherever you’ll be when the presents are opened (doesn’t have to be detailed), cut it up and put the pieces in different boxes either by themselves or with a small gift. When everyone unwraps they’re presents they must figure out how the pieces go together and then find their gift.
Make some noise. Throw people off their gift-guessing game by wrapping a box of Mac’n’cheese with the present, that extra noise will make them more intrigued about what’s inside.
Could also wrap a weight or another heavy object to throw them off the trail.
Add one extra. If you have more than one gift, add some challenge to the packages by wrapping one extra (don’t leave it empty-add some noise or weight), tell the recipient that they can keep unwrapping presents unless they open a gift that is fake (the noise maker)—then they have to stop (you can decide if they get all the gifts even if they open the fake one).
I know there are some even crazier more complicate methods that have been used, but these should get you started.
Some bonus tips:
Save money on boxes buy using empty cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc. And tissue paper!! Don’t throw it out! Does it have any tears? Nope? Then use it again (Same for gift bags if they don’t have any writing on them or excessive wrinkles.
Make your own name tags using matching wrapping paper–write the name/note on the white side and then fold it in half. (be sneaky and have the pattern match up so the tag’s not noticeable). Old book paper and a Sharpie also works wonders (and looks antique-ly beautiful in my opinion)