Santa's Sack, My Anal-Retentive Gift Wrapping, and a Guest Feature!

Okay, now I'll share with you my super anal-retentive method of wrapping gifts...but only if you promise not to mock me. Okay, you can mock me...and laugh...and point...Just do it quietly.

First, all (two) gifts from Santa arrive wrapped in red and white striped paper (ala Polar Express). They can be found in the fireplace in "Santa's Sack". This tradition began years ago because #1 son was super afraid each Christmas at the thought of a strange man tip toeing around our home in the dark of night. Really...it IS kind of creepy! He used to sit on Santa's lap and ask him to take the gifts to Daddy's work instead of coming to the house.

So, since that time, Santa has agreed to stay OUT, per our request, and simply drops the sack down the chimney and continues on his way to prowl through other unsuspecting children's homes. They still expect him to eat the cookies, though...go figure...

My kids sit down and write a thank you note before they leave for Mimi's house and Santa sends an elf to retrieve the sack left by the fireplace after we leave. This whole scenario has cut down on a lot of nightmares!

Sometimes this isn't possible, but I try to remember to release all items from their boxes before I wrap gifts from Mom and Dad. It saves lots of tears and bad words on Christmas morning if we aren't trying to unscrew a truck from a cardboard box. Either way, have wire cutters and a screwdriver handy just in case.

I try to give each child the same number of gifts. So, then I need to have that number of wrapping papers. Listen, you'll understand!

I arrange the piles into items that are similar and wrap them in the same paper. All DVD's get snowman paper, all cars get Christmas tree paper, all Legos get Santa paper, all books get gold paper, etc... So, then when it's time to open, I let each child choose a gift and the other two need to find the same paper in their pile and they unwrap all together. This way, no one's surprise is ruined when they watch their brother unwrapping and they know what that item is by it's shape in their own pile.

Make sense? It also slows down the process and turns it into a bit of a scavenger hunt. I sit and rub my eyes a lot during this whole process since it all goes down at around 6 a.m.

So, that's how we do it...what do YOU do Christmas morning?



  1. Beautiful postings.Thank you Jennifer Juniper for sharing besides Wish you a Happy Merry Xmas n New Year ahead.

    Keep Smiling!
    Anniversary Bonanza Christmas Gift Ideas Hyderabad|Send New Year gift India,Win Ipod

  2. I always wrapped Santa gifts in the same paper - usually something "Santa-ish". (I make up a lot of my own words!) Each of the boys got exactly the same number of gifts (which really is a must). For parental gifts, I chose one paper per boy to make it simple to figure out who got what and no name tags were necessary for Mom & Dad gifts. Again - exact same number of gifts per child. We always saved stockings for last. My boys are in their late 30s now and they STILL save stockings for last with their own families!

  3. Wow! Great ideas! LOve the Santa sack and how you wrap alike presents in link paper and your kids have to unwrap like paper at the same time! Anal and wonderful at the same time. I featured it at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  4. I'm not laughing, just relating! My daughter used to be the same way. Couldn't go to sleep on Christmas Eve, not because of excitement but fear! So funny. Santa still displays his treasures like a department store window scene. (or that's what he's going for) Things are a little different now that the kids are 14 and 10. Your santa bags are such a magical idea, what memories you all have made! (LONG comment...)
    Happy Happy Christmas!

  5. i laugh.....but only because i have my own little ways of doing things!!!! each child has his or her own wrapping paper, so that if i forget a name tag they know that paper belongs to them. we also have a santa sack...kind of....each child once again has a sack we set them out by the cookies and santa puts the gift in each sack.....and once again christmas morning(no later than 5am at our house) everybody knows what gift belongs to them.......and much easier on us!!!!! we still do this and our kids are 18, 15, and 13!!!!! great memeories for them to pass on to their children i hope!!!!!! either that they will pass on what CRAZY parents we are!!!!!! :0)
    have a great christmas!!!!

  6. I am not laughing! I think it is an awesome idea. What does that say about me? :)

  7. I let the kids pick ouyt their own "Santa" paper and then all of their Sant gifts are wrapped in tht paper. Most of our gifys come from Santa.

  8. I love the idea of Santa dropping off the gifts in the fireplace! Very clever! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

  9. I wrap our presents for our 3 kids the exact same way!!! Great minds think alike!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  10. I love you dearly, Jen...but I really do wonder sometimes! Ha-ha!!!

    I keep it simple here. It's easy to do... since I only have one who has never been frightened. We bake our birthday cake, hang the "santa key" on the door, because we don't have a fireplace, read our stories, and go to bed. We give him one gift from us, but the rest are always from Santa, and are always wrapped in the coolest Santa paper I can find. Not joking...I've gone so far as to have an artist MAKE my Santa paper, because I couldn't find what I wanted!

    Love ya!!! I'm sure I'll talk to you soon! Merry Christmas!!

  11. I never thought abt it before, but the notion of Santa creeping around is a tad creepy. What a smart kiddo!

    Each kid's presents are wrapped in a paper exclusive to them - then they know immediately the presents that are theirs. :)

  12. I wrap my daughter's gifts from Santa in a "Santa" paper...and they all appear on the fireplace hearth on Christmas morning. The presents from her Daddy & me gradually show up under the tree in the mornings leading up to Christmas...I wrap them a couple at a time at night after she goes to bed. Santa also fills her stocking, but with candy and little things that don't get wrapped. She is our only child, so she just takes her time opening her gifts, sometimes playing with something for a little while before moving onto the next item. It's very different from the way we did Christmas as kids...it's not the frenzy of ripping open packages I remember my sister and I doing... we all enjoy the morning and then the grandparents come over after noon for food & fun!
    Merry Christmas!

  13. Fun! I think we all have our own little strategies for wrapping! I always assign one kind of wrapping paper per person. Stopping over from SITS!

    Joanne @ Ready, Set, Craft!

  14. Love the Santa sack! We only do stockings from Santa...no wrapping involved! Genius idea on unscrewing the toys first!!!! I tend to wrap in groups...boys one color, In-laws in another and then my side in yet another. That way, as we are running out of the house because we are late as usualy, all we have to do is grab that set of paper...works for us!

  15. Santa always wrapped their gifts in the same paper, but different colored ribbon for each child.

    The gifts from mom & dad were always wrapped in a separate paper for each child. I love your idea for the same paper for similar gifts.

    This year, we're doing the "three gifts" thing (with new clothes on St. Nicks day, skis for winter Solstice, new pj's on Christmas eve). We'll see how it goes over.

    The three Christmas gifts are each wrapped with coordinating papers, and different colored ribbons for each kid. Shopping for three thoughtful, balanced, and perfect gifts was much harder than just grabbing a bonanza of goodies that mostly never got played with. I'm really excited to see how they like their gifts.

  16. we have 4 kids who inspect each present before christmas(i like to have presents under the tree early) to see which one is theirs. so i put 4 different pictures for each kid-a happy face, christmas tree, snowman, star.....that way they can guess and guess, but they won't know who's present is who's until christmas morning!

  17. Santa does not wrap gifts at our house. He takes them all out of the packages and boxes, puts batteries in what needs them, and they are all sitting out ready to play with when the kids get up.

    Gifts from family are wrapped so they have stuff to actually open.

  18. My husband and I were just wrapping things last night! We put little marks on every gift so we know what's in them! I like to give them in sequential order, building the anticipation for the biggest grand finale gift! Christmas Eve it's slippers and pjs and a new Christmas storybook. Then we put out the milk and cookies, the Santa magic key, and then it's off to bed! I didn't want to be up wrapping until all hours of the night like last year!

    Merry Christmas Jennifer!! I hope your boys and the Big Guy realize what an extraordinary, talented, amazing mom/wife you are to them! And I hope it's a fantastic Christmas for all of you!

  19. Great tips! I will have to remember the thank you notes written right away and the releasing all the toys before wrapping.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  20. Thanks for stopping by my home tour last week!

    I loved this post and it really is familiar to me. I too have some anal retentive wrapping methods. I like for ALL of my paper to match and/or coordinate. I also make up my mind early in the season what I want my presents to look like and then I will shop for days to find the right ribbon and paper. As you can imagine I have soo many half used rolls of paper. Maybe I will donate them.

  21. You are a funny, funny girl. I love the ala polar express wrapping idea. Such a smart idea. I'm also sort of laughing about the man tip-toeing around the house part. ;)

    Merry Christmas, Neill Family.


  22. That is a great idea. I tried the same number of gifts thing this year, but foolishly used paper from last year. Little suckers are getting smarter every year...

  23. Wow, You put a LOT of thought into your presents. My goal is to get some kind of wrapping on everything before midnight on Christmas Eve!

    Our tradition is a scavenger hunt for their main gift. I do a series of clues and there are boys running all upstairs and downstairs looking for their clues. My kids LOVE it, even my 21 year old son. Plus it's one more gift I don't have to wrap because I can hide it in the basement, closet, or wherever.

  24. santa's not allowed in our house either. also. we put thumb tacks in our fireplace to assure this.

    hope you had a great christmas!


Your Skin Fix, December Edition