Great gifts always come with at least a tinge of surprise. So if your kid stumble upon their presents Dec. 20, you’ve done something wrong. This is doubly true when you tell your children the gifts are coming from a certain rotund resident of the far northern reaches of our hemisphere. In those cases, letting the kids stumble on gifts not only blows the Christmas morning surprise, it could chip away at some youthful innocence.
Here’s a list of places to hide your kids’ gifts, from worst to best.
Under the bed
Look, I suppose it’s better than just leaving the gifts out in the open. But if the best you can come up with is stashing them under the bed, you forgo the right to be mad at your kids when they snoop around and ruin the Christmas surprise. Anything below eye level is a lousy hiding spot. And you know the kids are going to look under the bed, because when you’re a kid, that’s pretty much the best hiding spot you can imagine. The closet is a pretty weak locale, too.
This is a bit better than shoving them under the bed, but not by much. The key to hiding a gift in the garage is that you shove the present high enough in a rafter that it would take too much effort for the kids to track it down. Garage shelves can work in a pinch, but it doesn’t take much for a kid to move around some yard-work supplies and find their presents hidden behind a bag of fertilizer.
If your kids are at the age where you need to hide the presents, there’s a pretty good chance they’re also terrified of the crawl space. It’s dark and hard to reach and the kids know full well that if there’s a monster in the house, that’s almost certainly where it lives. So, feel free to stash your present in the dark recesses of the crawl space. The kids aren’t likely to crawl into a monster’s lair just so they can get an early idea of what Christmas is going to be like.
Some kids are going to search far and wide for their presents, and they won’t be deterred by a spooky crawl space or a hard-to-reach rafter. If you have one of these kids, it might be time to stash the presents in the trunk of the car. This is a good hiding spot because you can make sure you have complete control over it. Hang on to your keys, and the chances of your little one ever popping the trunk and seeing the gifts is pretty much nil.
The neighbor’s house
Unless you have a child who is into committing the occasional breaking and entering misdemeanor, this is probably your best bet. Your youngster can search your home from wall to wall, and they won’t find anything. Plus, if it’s at your neighbor’s house, you don’t really have to worry about hiding it particularly well. Shove it in a closet, or even under the neighbor’s bed and rest assured your kids won’t know what hit them Christmas morning.