My family cannot, for the life of them, keep Secret Santa presents a secret. It’s like they immediately forget that the word ‘secret’ is integral to the game. I already know that my sister’s boyfriend has me for Kris Kringle this year and we pulled the names out of the misshapen Christmas stocking just last night.
How do I know that my sister’s boyfriend has me for KK? Because she told me, folks. To my face. And if that’s not Scroogey behaviour I don’t know what is. My family also enjoys snooping through the house trying to find hidden presents. They’re the kind of people you’ll catch underneath the tree on Christmas Eve, poking and prodding and having a good feel around.
And I’m darn sick of it. I’m a mad elf. I’m just about ready to lodge a complaint to Saint Nick and tell him that my entire extended family are naughty boys and girls. Why? Because people who snoop on their presents before the big day suck the joy out of Christmas. They are the literal Grinch.
But if my family are Grinches, that makes me the Mayor of Whoville. And here in Whoville, we have a very precise present system, designed to distract and deter possible snoopers.
Here’s what I do:
Use decoy gift boxes
If your family, like mine, is one of those ‘keep the presents under the tree in the lead up to Chrissy’ kind of families then you gotta invest in some decoy boxes. Whether you buy a stack or salvage your Amazon gift boxes from the depths of the recycling bin, it doesn’t matter. The point here is to wrap your gift INSIDE one of the boxes. So even if they shake it, they’ll never guess the contents.
Take advantage of parcel pickup
Amazon Hub Lockers and Counters are basically a new network of parcel pick-up points. The lockers are self-serve, so you can come and go as you damn well please, while the counters are manned by staff if you need a helping hand. Think of it as your very own Santa’s Workshop, except it’s not located in the North Pole – it’s conveniently close to your house.
Amazon Hub means you can get your presents delivered to a secure location without getting caught by your family’s prying eyes. Safe, convenient delivery that won’t spoil the surprise? I reckon that’s a Christmas miracle.
Send ’em to a mate’s house
Okay so this one should be a no-brainer but let me remind you anyway – if you’re buying gifts online for people who also live at your house, don’t get the goods shipped to your doorstep. What if they talk to the postie? What if they see the branding? Hell, what if they get seriously snoopy and just open the hot damn package? Don’t risk it. Get your gifts delivered to an objective mates house instead.
Reality TV star Laura Byrnes also backs this point. “If you have avid present peekers in your home it’s best to keep gifts elsewhere – at your work, or even at a friend or family member’s place,” she said.
Use empty suitcases
We’ve all got empty suitcases taking up space and gathering dust. Maybe you keep yours under the bed, in your cupboard or out in the garage. Mine are stacked not-so-neatly in the laundry, much to the dismay of my rather pedantic housemates. Anyway, take those empty suitcases and fill those suckers up with gifts. Unless your family decide to take an impromptu trip, bets are the gifts are going to be safe and sound until Christmas day.
As Laura puts it, the best hiding places are out of sight and out of mind. “Think of hard to reach places like above a cupboard; or rarely used locations like a suitcase. 32% of Aussies think the wardrobe is the best hiding spot but I bet that’s also the first place they look!”
It’s dusty. It’s dirty. There’s a dead vacuum in the corner and a fried toaster in the other. The average garage is basically a cemetery dedicated to broken homewares. It’s definitely not a place that oozes Christmas cheer. Therefore it is the perfect place to hide your festive goods. Just wrap ‘em in some newspaper and scatter them like easter eggs.
None will be the wiser.
Rent a storage unit
Go big or go home, I reckon. If you’re being a great human and buying another great human something great, like a bike, then perhaps it’s time to rent a great big storage unit. Apparently a lot of people do it around Christmas time. Imagine all the other things you could do with a storage unit – like throw a really, really small Christmas party.
Stuff them behind books on the bookshelf
Now this one is for those small gifts, those precious little presents. The ones that are small in stature but big on Christmas cheer. Because size doesn’t matter, guys. Repeat after me – size does not matter. Glad we got that sorted. Anywho, if you got small gifts then hide them behind the books on your bookshelf. No one is coming looking for the entire works of Tolstoy anytime soon.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to hiding Christmas presents from your own annoying family. Go forth and be merry, friends.