We've planned for and/or bought our gifts and have our cards ready for mailing. What's next?
Where do we put the gifts we've bought? It's no problem to hid Grandma's gift, but where do you put the gifts you got for your kids...ahem...or gift-loving husbands. (Not that I have one of those...)
To remember where you stashed the gifts while keeping prying eyes away, get a bin to keep high in the garage or attic with the gifts. WRAP the gifts NOW and write the recipients name and a number in pencil in the bottom corner of the gift. Keep a list of what you've purchased (listing the number, who the gift is for, and what is in the gift) on an e-mail that the kids don't have access to or with your bills or in another secure place where you know you'll find it. Include any hiding places on this list so there's not a last minute scramble to find gifts you KNOW you got at the last minute!
(I always have wrapping on hand because I buy it at 90% off after Christmas. If you don't, just wait a month or two. It will start popping up at the Dollar stores and Wal-Mart before you see it anywhere else.)
When I wrap the gift, I also go ahead and make the label....but don't attach it now. (I use wrapping paper scraps to do mine, but this works with regular labels as well.) The child will be able to easily see that they have a gift, but they won't know what that gift is...or which gift is for them!
The reason you write what the gift is on a separate sheet of paper is because labels CAN come off...then you don't know what's in a gift or who it's for without unwrapping it...which kind of defeats the purpose of having wrapped it in the first place. (Not that I speak from experience or anything. Ahem. Let's just say that *I* try things out so YOU don't have to! Yeah. THAT'S it.)
There are several bonuses to wrapping the gifts now. Should a child (or gift-loving husband) stumble upon the bin, they can't easily see which gifts are theirs or what the gift is. You also don't have to worry about that task later! It's already done. Imagine NOT staying up all night wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve. (Not that I've ever done THAT either...)
When it's time to put the gifts under the tree, pull out your list and the bin. Attach the labels that you made to the gift with a bow or ribbon if you so desire. And that's IT! MAYBE 10 minutes. If you have a LOT of gifts or REALLY like bows.