In most homes, Little Ones gather around the tree to shake their Christmas presents in hopes of revealing the contents. In my home, however, the kids gather around the tree for a different Christmas tradition–a chance to uncover a mystery far more difficult…WHOSE PRESENTS ARE WHOSE? While my husband and I have purposed through our annual gift-giving tradition NOT to have a mound of packages exploding from under our tree, we do have a small pile of three gifts for each of our five children.
The big question is which pile belongs to which child? With the exception of gifts for extended family and friends, presents have no tags…no “TO: and FROM:” labels denoting their recipients. Instead, each group of presents is wrapped in anonymity and disclosed only on Christmas morning in a treasured family tradition.
One night in December finds me on the living room floor surrounded by gifts and six different kinds of wrapping paper. I mentally assign a wrapping paper pattern to each one of my five children and set the sixth “bonus” wrapping paper aside.
Keeping with my paper plan, I wrap all three of my oldest child’s gifts with the same paper. Then, I cut a small scrap of paper off of the wrapping paper roll and stick this snippet at the bottom of her Christmas stocking. I place all three gifts under the tree and repeat the entire process with the next child’s gifts, being sure to use a completely different paper.
Once all fifteen gifts have been wrapped and placed randomly under the tree, I begin wrapping stocking gifts. These small trinkets are all wrapped in the sixth “bonus” paper pattern, placed inside the stockings, and situated so that they completely cover the small scrap of wrapping paper that I had previously placed inside the stocking earlier.
All month long, my Littles take turns trying to “decode” the wrapped gifts under the tree. A few times, they have even come close to solving the annual mystery. But, despite their best efforts, the secret has always stayed safely tucked away in the stockings to be revealed on Christmas morning. I have never had to worry that my kids might guess what their GIFTS are. They have always been too busy guessing what their WRAPPING PAPER is.
When Christmas morning dawns, stocking gifts are eagerly unwrapped, scraps are dug out from the “toe” of each one, and the mystery of WHOSE PRESENTS ARE WHOSE is finally solved!
For more fun, family Christmas traditions, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Christmas Family Traditions.