Please Help Give Me an Idea on How to Keep Christmas Gifts Hidden but Separated.

Updated on December 01, 2017
❤.M. asks from Santa Monica, CA
20 answers

How do you all keep all of your pre-purchased gifts separated AND hidden? Where do you put them, how do you separate in-law gifts from immediate family (dad, sis) from your children)? How in the world do you keep them separated? Do you label them with a post it note? For the ones that go to non-hidden children presents, it's not as imperative as hiding but keeping them in a different place. I feel like I need a Santa's workshop. Help!!! TIA

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answers from Dallas on

The only gifts I ever hid were Santa gifts.

Everything else was wrapped and under the tree. Keep things simple..

Santa gifts were typically in a regular looking bag and in my closet where my daughter knew was private.

I've had neighbors hide large Santa gifts in my garage.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

My kids can see presents going to family. It's only the presents going to them (and my husband) that I hide. I just wrap them and put them under the tree. My kids know that their presents won't be there until Christmas morning.

Also, I use different wrapping paper. The ones going to my side of the family are all wrapped the same, and the ones going to my in-laws get different wrapping paper. Friends get a third type, and my kids and husband get yet another role. Well, actually, they get two rolls - one for the presents from us and one for the presents from Santa.

But I only "hide" the presents for the kids and my husband.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I buy year-round so I am not out in a rush like everyone else.

I have plastic storage tubs that are colored and non-see through. I keep them in my guest bedroom closet. No one goes in there but me! :) YAY!!

Since I work from home, I bring the boxes out and start wrapping while they are in school and keep a list of everything I've purchased.

ETA: when both of our parents were alive? I put whoever's parent it was - name first. For example if it was going to my mom? The gift tag would say:

TO: Mom
From: W., Jim, Joe, Andy

His mom:
From: Jim, W., Joe, Andy

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I just wrap everything as I buy it and put it under the tree. For big "Santa" gifts (like bikes, skateboards, etc.) I usually hid them behind a cabinet in the garage or in a never explored cabinet, like over the fridge or above the washer/dryer.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Myers on

I separate them by putting them in suit cases and duffle bags.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Gifts for everyone but my children, including my husband, are wrapped and put under the tree with tags. For each of my girls, I keep their gifts in those large black contractors bags. I wrap the gifts when I’m done shopping and put them back in their bag which is hidden in an attic storage area above my garage. (I access this area through a locked door from my daughter’s bedroom.) Santa then puts them out on Christmas Eve.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

unless your children are tiny, they should be able to respect 'do not go into mommy's closet.'
i keep them in big handled shopping bags with post-its.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Why do gifts that are not for children need to be "hidden"? Just store them in a bag in a closet or wrap them as soon as you get them. For children's gifts, unless the children are really making it their mission to find gifts, packing them into a box on a top shelf of a closet or in a basement/garage storage area should be fine! If the children are going through a phase of really spending time/energy trying to find gifts, you might want to store some gifts at a relative's house or elsewhere.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm not sure why you keep them separated. I keep all mine together, and put the gift tags on as I wrap them so I know who they are to. Santa has his own wrapping paper that is different from mine, so that is how I distinguish those.

I have a bin that I use to store the outside lights and wreaths. Now that the decorations are up, I put the presents straight into the bin as I buy them. It's right there in the spare bedroom closet, but the kids know (or think they know anyway) that it's the empty decoration storage bin, so they don't open it.

ETA: Oh, yes, and like Gidget, I only hide the presents for kids and DH. Presents for extended family are wrapped, tagged, and put right under the tree as I buy them. I think they look pretty and decorative under the tree, so I like having them there and adding to them as I shop during the season (actually, our cat may put a kibosh on that this year, but we'll see, it's what I did for all the pre-cat years).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Do you have a basement or attic? Why not use one of those places?

I have a sewing room that I use. Gifts are put in bags or boxes that look like my sewing stuff and viola! No one bothers them!

I also have storage boxes I use. We have a basement and Tyler has made a shelf for me so I put stuff there too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I usually wrap things as I buy them. After I wrap and tag something for my kids or husband, I put it in a large opaque bin in a creepy corner of the basement behind the furnace until Christmas eve.

Gifts for other family members not in the household are wrapped, tagged, then put in totes. I either put the totes near the tree until we go visiting, or keep them in my room and out of the way. (If you have little kids, it is better to keep them out of their reach.)

Sticky notes fall off. Use gift tags/labels that don't, or write names with a marker on the wrapping paper.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Though I never hid gifts because I'd just leave them at mom's (we'd always go to open gifts, eat dinner, and celebrate at her house), eons ago, when my sister and I were still youngish and thought there was a remote possibility of a Santa Claus and the Three Kings, like mamazita, my mother would wrap the gifts as she bought them, and she'd hide them in the closet behind luggage or behind the clothes racks on which the hangers with clothes would hang (probably the coat or dress area of the closet would be best, since these garments tend to hang pretty low and can serve as a curtain to cover the gifts).

There was an unwritten rule about not rummaging through mom's closet for clothes or anything without having her assist us, or she'd go off on us about making a mess of things. And honestly, what kid would think there's something for them in mom's closet? We assume it is full of shoes, clothes, luggage, and junk. Speaking of junk, you could pile some junk like shopping bags with random things, items from the garage, etc., to throw the kids off from thinking there's anything of value for them in the closet. Other gifts would stay in her car trunk or dad's (which I didn't have a key for, so there was that). Bigger gifts my dad would store in his office.

Mom would also use those "to and from" sticker tags (like these: Since you mentioned not being able to tell which gifts may belong to whom, I thought I would make mention of it. Have you never seen these stickers or used them? You can buy a whole pack, which includes two sheets or more, at the dollar store for just $1. I highly recommend them, you don't even need to write someone's full name. If you're worried your kids are nosey and will go through your closet and stumble upon the gifts, you could use their first name initial or use some sort of "code" symbol. A heart symbol could be the gifts for the kids, a star symbol could be the gifts for mom, a rhombus could be the gifts for hubby, etc., etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Ummm...I just wrap them and put the present tag on them.
Then I have a large bag that I put my family (mom, dad, nieces and nephews) in for when we go to their house. The rest of them just stay in the closet. Wrapped. With a present tag.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm like Fumbles. Suitcases in my closet.

We give gift cards to inlaws etc. to keep it simple.

I don't really separate them (everything goes under tree Christmas Eve).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I put them in a closet under our stairs, or in the big wicker chest at the end of my bed, or on my top closet shelf (hidden in a paper bag or something like that). The garage is also an option. I don't need to label them bc it's not that hard to remember. Some I try to wrap right away and they have a label. A few I put wrapped under the tree.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Presents to family NOT my kids, get wrapped and placed around one side of the tree. Kids presents from "santa" are hidden in my room.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i buy one kind of wrapping for each gathering. then as i buy gifts i wrap them in the appropriate paper and add a gift tag so i know who its for. then i just stack them in the attic, ( attic access is same level as my master closet, and kids are not allowed in the master suite, and don't even know the attic access exists since it blends into the wall)
i keep a square of each paper labeled with which party its for so i don't get confused. Santa has his own special wrapping paper too.



answers from Kansas City on

We don't put stuff under the tree before Christmas mostly out of habit. When my son was little (like 2-3) he would go and try to unwrap everything under there. Every darn day. So, I just stopped putting things there and it I never really started again. Frankly I think it's easier than seeing them snoop under there and shake stuff every day.

I agree that non-kid presents can be stored just about anywhere. If you have a guest room use the closet or the bed or the floor and spread stuff out.

For the stuff that does need to be hidden, I usually try to keep them in places where my kids don't naturally go anyway like the basement or closet. We don't have a basement anymore but that was the best place. I mostly just keep them grouped together by which kid they're for in boxes or bags and then wrap and label them all a few days before Christmas and put them all back in their respective bags and boxes. I don't label them because I only have two kids so I know what's for who. For stocking stuffers, I have a small handled bag for each stocking and just throw everything in there. If the bags are somewhere (like the basement) that attracts rodents and bugs, save the candy in another location until Christmas eve.

I usually group stuff in two boxes and they are separated by my family and in-laws so that when we're ready to go to a function I just grab the box with that family's stuff in it.

I also have been using pre-printed To/From labels from Vistaprint for easy tagging. I love their site and it's user friendly and great prices. I customize a Return Address Label and instead of an address I make a To:_______ line and then a From: line and I list all our names. This is easier than writing it out and less confusing when you are giving gifts to people who may have the same last name as you, plus it's fast, easy and festive!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I have a cousin who is also a foster parent. She buys gifts year round, any time she sees toys on clearance or clothing on the off season she buys them just in case she has foster kids that age come in near Christmas. She has a closet in a guest room, it got too small, then she used another closet that was double that size. The closet doors have locks on them. She and her husband have the only keys.

She found that this allowed her to have her own shopping area where she can go grab a gift for some kid that shows her a birthday party invitation for the next day and she doesn't have time to go shopping. She is always prepared with an extra gift selection. Year round.



answers from New York on

All gifts that I don't have to hide from the kids (like to grandparents, etc), go in laundry baskets labeled by family - otherwise I would have several gifts marked "to: gramma" and wonder which gramma it was supposed to go to! We have several holiday celebrations here, so I just haul the basket out the morning of the event and put the gifts under the tree at that time. I try to wrap as soon as I buy/it arrives, but it doesn't always happen. Each basket holds the wrapped and unwrapped gifts, and a list of who I need to buy for and what I have purchased or intend to purchase and how much I have spent. At the top of the sheet is the total budget I have allotted for that family grouping with a running total of what I have left I can spend. When I add something to the basket, I update the list and take a picture of the updated list with my phone (deleting the old list picture first) so if I am out and about, I can instantly see what I still need and how much I can spend. The baskets lined the wall of my bedroom in past years, but this year, will go in the guest room (first year I've ever had a guest room).

For gifts that are for the kids that are NOT Santa gifts, I wrap that same day I make the purchase or it is delivered after kids are in bed and put under the tree. I don't mind hiding them in the house for a few hours, but no longer than that. Usually it is my husband who blows it - running across a gift for a kid, then walking out in the living room holding it and announcing loudly "where did this come from? I found it in the closet!" (forehead slap).

For Santa gifts, I generally hide them at my mom's house. If it is really small, I might put it in a drawer in my office (I should hide them in the dirty laundry - neither kids nor hubby would EVER find it there), but generally I have a large black bag I keep at my mom's specifically for hiding gifts (hubby's gifts, anniversary gifts, etc) that is clearly labeled so my mom (who is getting a bit forgetful) doesn't run across it and think she hit the jackpot :)

Good luck!

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