Keep Your Family Guessing Until Christmas Morning


I like to make sure Christmas morning is a surprise for all my kids.

Holiday gift-giving with five kids is one crazy challenge for this momma. Don’t get me wrong. I love celebrating Christmas. I love shopping and I love giving gifts to my family, so this season of surprises is super fun for me.

I have lists, links, and “hints” text messaged to me. I have one daughter that thinks making a list is tacky and refuses to tell me what she wants, so I get to get whatever I want–even if she exchanges it all on December 26. I love picking out pretty, color coordinating wrapping paper. I love boxing and wrapping and displaying it all under the tree.

But what drives me crazy is when my kids scrutinize their boxes before December 25, shaking them and trying to guess what is inside their box–or even worse, analyzing what I may have gotten their sibling!

So, one year I decided not to put names on the boxes anymore. I created a code that would ensure that Christmas morning would be a fun surprise. We’ve done it a few different ways, and they still delight–and stump–my teenage and young adult daughters. Here are a few ways you can disguise your gifts to make Christmas morning even more of a surprise:

  • Give each person in the family a different wrapping paper. Don’t tell until December 25!
  • Use code names on the boxes. One year I gave each girl a Christmas carol and tagged the boxes with clues that matched the carol.
  • Beanie Baby Reindeer. Yep. Remember Beanie Babies? I bought one for each daughter, marked the boxes with reindeer names and placed the coordinating named reindeer in their bedroom while they were sleeping on Christmas Eve.

I’m sure you’ll think of your own age-appropriate mystery game, scavenger hunt, or crazy code to make gift-giving (and receiving) even more creative and fun on Christmas morning.