The Santa Wrap Detective

Last Christmas I was trying to be very unlike myself and get all my presents wrapped before Christmas Eve. Usually, I am up until 3am wrapping the Santa presents while watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, fire crackling in the background. This all sounds very quaint and oh so Christmasy but I pay for it on Christmas Day.

The kids come bounding in around 6 am, barely able to contain their excitement and my husband and I drag ourselves downstairs. I try to exude the same excitement as the two wide eyed munchkins race down the stairs. I even feign surprise at the presents Santa has delivered in the quiet of the night.

However, by 8am, the adrenaline and excitement fades and I’m crashed out on the couch with pure exhaustion. The measly three hours of sleep catches up with me.

So you see, last year I was determined to be one step ahead. To have those Santa presents wrapped so I could fully enjoy Christmas day and be just as wide eyed and excited as my children. Not to mention have the stamina to cook a nice Christmas dinner.

I did it. A full day before Christmas Eve, I had all the presents wrapped in their proper Santa paper. I was so proud of myself. I felt on top of things, organized, and prepared. Again, I felt so unlike me. It felt pretty darn good.

We were all packing our bags for our overnight trip to celebrate Christmas with family. We would be back late on Christmas Eve and all we would have to do is place the presents under the tree, fill those stockings that have been hung with care, and munch on some cookies and milk left out by the fireplace.

I was just basking in the glow of what would be a wonderful Christmas Day when…it happened. Just as we were loading our bags into the car, Big Brother innocently asks “Mom, who are the presents for that have the Santa wrap?”

I froze. Tears welled up in my eyes as my dreams of a peaceful Christmas Eve and well rested Christmas Day were shattered. I mumbled something about those presents being for somebody else and that we were giving them away.

Just like that, all my preparation for naught. Now? An extra trip to the store to buy different Santa wrap and hours spent awake on Christmas Eve re-wrapping all those beautifully wrapped presents.

What we won’t do to keep the magic alive.

It wasn’t so bad after all and I learned a good lesson…hide the presents better.

This year? Yes, I will try again and have these presents wrapped before Christmas Eve.

They will be carefully hidden in black trash bags at the back of our closet, hopefully out of sniffing range from our little Santa Wrap detective.

Where do you hide the presents? Do you use different wrapping paper for the Santa gifts?

24 Responses to The Santa Wrap Detective
  1. Michele
    December 20, 2010 | 7:22 am

    aww… that is why I don't wrap santa presents. One big Santa present (and stockings) and no wrapping! I am happy to say, I finished all my other wrapping yesterday- I am DONE. I hope you finish before the big day!!! Get to wrapping!!!! and then enjoy a victory toast! Merry Christmas!

  2. Booyah's Momma
    December 20, 2010 | 10:25 am

    Gulp. I am the lazy mother who tells my daughter that Santa came early to drop off their presents… mom and dad are just keeping them safe under the tree so Santa doesn't have to carry so much.

    What a trooper you are for re-wrapping them all!

  3. Reyna
    December 20, 2010 | 12:11 pm

    Awwh, all that well planned out work.

    It does say something about how unselfish you are to willing go through all that trouble again!

    Someday your children will know of this story and the sacrifices you made and it will make perfect sense as they will have seen it in everyday occurrences over the years as well.

  4. Cheryl D.
    December 20, 2010 | 12:13 pm

    I don't celebrate Christmas, but we have all sorts of nooks and cranny's in my house to hide things. For right now, we use the secret room off our closet. We also have a whole secret third level to our house that our daughter is oblivious to. I know, it's strange! LOL

  5. BabyDealsDujour
    December 20, 2010 | 1:02 pm

    How tragic! Ours are hidden in the dark and scary basement. Some day we'll have to find a new spot though.

  6. Leanne
    December 20, 2010 | 1:13 pm

    Oh, dear friend, I've been this/close to similar experiences, but have some how managed to escape!! I do use "Santa" gift wrap (with classic santa images on it) for Santa presents. And I carefully throw all unused paper in the recycle bin (hidden in brown paper bags) to keep out of site. I actually am WAY AHEAD of schedule this year, and have everything from Santa wrapped and ready for Christmas, and I keep the smaller boxed gifts in solid colored plastic bins (with luggage on top) and odd shaped items in green garbage bags and blankets on top – all in our storage area in the basement. So far (knock on wood) we've been safe! (Our girls are into the nancy drew – so exploring the storage are of the basement isn't a fun place for them!) GREAT post, and wish you a WONDERFUL Christmas!!!

  7. Liz
    December 20, 2010 | 1:34 pm

    I echo what Michele said. One big present and stockings from santa, and no wrapping. No worries about handwriting, either.

    I would have froze big time if that were me! Did he seem to buy it?

  8. Yuliya
    December 20, 2010 | 5:19 pm

    I am so glad you brought this up. It is crucial, critical, super duper important that your presents and Santa's presents are wrapped in DIFFERENT kinds of wrapping paper…my lazy parents failed to do this and I the jig was up for me pretty quick. You keep doing the magic that you do!

  9. angela
    December 20, 2010 | 5:26 pm

    How funny that you posted this. I am out of Santa paper, and I was just about to buy some today when my daughter breathlessly exclaimed, "ooooohhhhh that is so pretty with all the Santas!" I knew she wouldn't forget it, so I left it there and will have to sneak out for different Santa wrapping some other time. I am sorry you have to rewrap, though!

  10. Funky Mama Bird
    December 20, 2010 | 7:33 pm

    Well I just learned an important lesson; never allow the child to identify the Santa wrap ahead of time! Keep it fresh! Change it yearly! 😉

  11. TheBabyMammaChronicles
    December 20, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    Oh no! I hope this year goes better! I staid up late last year wrapping my stepson's presents and we rigged up a "trap" that would make noise if he tried coming out of his room. He was sneaky and always trying to wake up and come out at night. Definitely do the different paper too, though my Mom never did and I never caught on, ha, shows how bright I was!

  12. Mrs. K
    December 20, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    I just learned something new. I didn't even know Santa had a different wrapping paper from everyone else's present. I'm going to store up all this knowledge and hopefully remember to use them one day when I have kids :)

  13. Bug's Mom
    December 20, 2010 | 10:29 pm

    Oh dear. There is so much that I haven't even thought about yet. DH and I haven't even thought about Santa yet. My head is spinning!

  14. Rachael
    December 21, 2010 | 1:56 am

    I think the car trunk is a good place to hide presents. I don't open it that often, and my kid doesn't look in there. When I was a kid, the Santa presents were never wrapped.

  15. Annette
    December 21, 2010 | 5:08 am

    Wow, I can't believe you'll be rewrapping them all…Oh, but I would do the same thing…Your kids are still young, and you've got plenty of Santa years left (until some snot nosed brat tells your son that Santa isn't real…) Merry Christmas to you!

  16. alison
    December 21, 2010 | 7:08 am

    i only wrap a few santa presents and then their stocking are santa presents. other than that, everything else is from mommy and daddy….and usually i just have it sitting out and ready to be played with! that's what takes up most of my Christmas Eve….getting everything out of the packages and getting batteries installed.

  17. Gigi
    December 21, 2010 | 8:22 am

    The things we go through to keep the magic of Santa alive! I have stopped wrapping my Santa presents for this very reason. Too easy to be caught red-handed, especially as the kiddos get much smarter and older!

    merry christmas to you :)

  18. janetlansbury
    December 21, 2010 | 9:08 am

    Oh, this is such a sweet sad story. Such a loving mommy you are!

    I'm good at hiding, but I've never had to pack presents and travel around Christmas. I still fall prey to the stress, though…Chistmas wouldn't be Christmas for me if I wasn't up late wrapping on Christmas Eve. (I'll be thinking of you!) And I never underestimate the magic of a Christmas afternoon nap.

  19. Sherri
    December 21, 2010 | 10:28 am

    Oh, this is one of the hardest things! We have always wrapped our Santa gifts in different paper that we hide in the attic for the rest of the year…and it has to have Santa on it. But when I was growing up, Santa's gifts weren't wrapped at all, and I loved that! It was like they just came out of his sack straight from the workshop…bikes were assembled, batteries installed, etc…

    But hubs wasn't raised that way, and we had to compromise on the wrap. We stay up way too late as well, drinking champagne and watching "It's a Wonderful Life". And even though my kids are over Santa? We still do it.

  20. Ameena
    December 21, 2010 | 10:45 am

    Wow, you are an even more dedicated mother than I thought possible. To re-wrap all the gifts so your kids could believe in Santa Claus….just amazing. I wish I had half as much patience and dedication with my daughter as you have with your kids. You truly are an inspiration!!

  21. Nichole
    December 21, 2010 | 10:59 am

    This is the first year that I've had to worry about such things, as my daughter is 3 1/2 and can read the word Santa. Sigh. So, I have left some tags blank and hidden gifts.

    Like you, I will do absolutely anything I have to do to keep the wonder and magic of Santa alive. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  22. Theta Mom
    December 21, 2010 | 11:43 am

    You know this is the first year I am worried about the same wrapping paper thing since my son is now 5. Hoping he is so excited by ALL of the presents at once, he won't notice.

    I hide the presents in the garage, under the bed and high up in a closet where they won't see or find them…worked so far! :)

    Have a great holiday!!

  23. Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds
    December 21, 2010 | 1:23 pm

    This year I did use different wrapping paper. I think she's getting old enough to notice, but then again, it is an exciting morning. Does anyone really question the gifts in the heat of the moment?

  24. WicketsMom
    December 21, 2010 | 2:02 pm

    When I was growing up all the presents were just put under the tree in different piles, unwrapped. I hated that you saw what everything was the minute you walked into the room. A friend's family Santa did the Santa paper (a different wrap for each child) and I loved that. I wrap my 3 1/2 year-old's in a special paper, and the extra is hidden away. I bought a large amount of the same paper on clearance and have used it for four Christmases now. Everything is already wrapped, and I store the gifts in a couple of the big plastic storage bins in the top of a closet in a spare bedroom. We use these bins everywhere, so he wouldn't think to look there even if he could reach it! I have to be extra vigilent when his older cousin is over though, as he is much more of a snoop than my child is.