Keeping Christmas presents hidden from your children can be surprisingly tricky. Even if your kids aren't cheeky enough to actively hunt for their pressies, there's always a chance they'll stumble across them during explorative play. Here are ten sneaky solutions that will ensure their gift haul remains hidden until Christmas morning.
Discovered present picture from Shutterstock
#1 Layby Is Your Friend
The less time those toys are in the house, the less likely they are to be discovered. Laybying your kids' pressies now means you can pick them up a few days before Christmas without running the risk of missing out on the latest toy fad.
#2 Swap retail bags
Most kids will be sorely tempted to peek inside a 'Toys R Us' or 'EB Games' bag — but a groceries or hardware store bag is less likely to arouse their interest.
#3 Wrap them straight away
Many children will search for their presents when no-one is looking, especially if they have a co-conspiring sibling in tow. However, even the worst little terror will think twice before opening a present that's already gift-wrapped. If you want to maintain the surprise, simply wrap them immediately after purchase. (As an added bonus, this also means you don't have to stay up late on Christmas Eve.)
#4 Put them under the Christmas tree early
The main drawback to this method is that it shatters the illusion of Santa for younger kids — unless you can come up with a plausible explanation about an early delivery.
#5 Hide them in a suitcase
Suitcases make great secret storage spaces that most kids never think to look inside. They also tend to be tucked away at the top of cupboards which makes them difficult for reach.
#6 Leave them in your car boot
This is only really suitable to non-hatchback cars that have self-contained boots. If your vehicle falls into that category, your boot can act as a pressie safe that requires a key to access.
#7 Use a relative's house
If you're looking for a fool-proof solution, keep the presents at your mum and dad's house. This is especially handy for large gifts that are difficult to hide, such as bicycles. [Note: If your parents are getting a bit dotty in their old age, use this method with extreme caution: there's a chance they might misplace the presents or forget who bought what and insist some of the presents are from them.]
#8 Take them to work
As with tip #5, dropping the presents off at a separate location eliminates 100 per cent of the risk. If your workplace provides lockers or you have lots of space under your desk, simply drop the kids' loot off there. Naturally, it's probably a good idea to ask permission from your boss first although he'd have to be a real Scrooge to refuse.
#9 Keep Them Someplace Scary
The dark recesses of your house are pretty good kid-deterrents. It could be an attic, a ceiling manhole or a garden shed — anywhere that's secluded and kind of spooky. Just make sure the area is water-tight and wrap the presents in plastic to protect against dust and critters.
#10 Keep them in your undies' drawer
This is particularly effective for older kids. If this method fails, you'll be left with some disturbing questions though.
Where do you hide your kids' birthday and Christmas presents? Share your tips in the comments section below!