Do You Wrap?

By: Jessica DiRamio

It’s a debate that I’ve seen get pretty heated amongst the Mom crowd.  I’ve seen Moms reduced to tears over the idea of doing it or not doing it.  I myself don’t do it.

What is “IT,” you ask?  Wrapping Santa presents, of course!

There are two clearly defined camps on this topic:  those who do and those who don’t.  Amongst “those who do,” there is even a group of Moms who wrap every single, teeny-weeny present and stocking stuffer.  Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

I am in the “those who don’t” camp.  When this topic comes up, some of my friends look at me as if I don’t buy presents for my kids at all.  This, as we all know, is simply not the case; I just choose to not wrap their presents from Santa.  Here’s my stance on this:

Our kids believe that Santa and his elves make their presents.  It’s part of the magic. They also believe that Santa brings all of their toys in his bag from the North Pole to our house.  If the toys are made, why are they in the packaging our kids see these toys in at the store?  Better yet, why are these packaged toys wrapped up just like the other presents Mom and Dad give to other people?

Understand that I don’t profess for one second that this school of thought is easier than wrapping each present.  I believe both options are ridiculously time consuming.  I feel for those parents who are up to all hours of the night on Christmas Eve finishing the wrapping.  Just know, that I too, am up until the wee hours of the morning setting up my girl’s presents, too.

On Christmas Eve, once my kids go to bed, my husband and I spring into action.  I have various hiding spots throughout the house.  To prevent missing presents, I keep a list on the computer of the hiding spots and the presents in each.  Once each present it located (and checked off the list), I get to work by pulling each present out of the packaging (Thank you,, for creating “frustration-free packaging!”).  I set up each item, my husband puts batteries in the electronic toys, I put Barbie in her car/pool/kitchen.  If there is a scene to be set, I set it up.

This takes a lot of time and effort, but to me it’s so worth it. My girls come downstairs on Christmas morning and can immediately start playing with their toys; a scene that just warms my heart year after year.

My husband and I choose not to wrap.  My parents chose not to wrap.  My grandmother did not wrap her kids’ presents either.  It’s a family tradition that I hope my girls will continue.

9 thoughts on “Do You Wrap?

  1. We don’t wrap either. For me part of Christmas Eve (especially when the kids were younger) was doing all that assembly and setting up. When I was growing up it was the same way. I think my parents came to that place so that we could come downstairs and start playing with toys while they got some coffee first, but I could be wrong. I remember the joy of my brother and I huddled together at the top of the stairs, seeing the gifts piled in front of the fireplace by the Christmas tree lights and speculating about what was down there (it was around 4 am and we had to get parental permission to go downstairs). After the kids have gotten their first “look” and discovered some of the stuff there, we sit down together and they empty their stockings and we unwrap the wrapped gifts from each other and others. I admire those who wrap everything but this is what works for us.

  2. We wrap… just because that’s what was always done in my family. The more I hear about not wrapping the more it makes sense to me. My kids are asking a lot of questions about why the paper is the same, why the toys are at Target, etc. etc. P.S. I loveee the Barbie pool!

  3. I wrap. My parents wrapped for us when we were kids and one year they decided to skip it and I remember how disappointing it was. I’m pretty sure my sister cried about it. I mean, all the magic (at least for me) is the surprise of it all. Knowing there are presents and wondering what they could be. The year my parents didnt wrap and just left the stuff under the tree, and I know they were disappointed that they ruined christmas for us that year. I suppose if you start out not wrapping, that’s one thing, but to always wrap and then not do it one year, completely saddened the experience. I would never want to take away the surprise factor from my kids by not wrapping.

  4. I wrap it ALL even the little stocking stuffers. It is something that always took place at my house as far back as I can remember. I have 3 kids so I do make sure to wrap all the presents in a different wrapping paper so that way I know who is who………..I love watching them tear it open, as Robin said i would also hate to take that surprise away from them.

  5. I wrap every single thing! After spending hours wrapping stocking stuffers I was definitely cursing out my Dad for starting the tradition that I have now continued with my children. I think most people just do what was done for them, because that’s how they remember Christmas. I remember having everything wrapped, so when I think of Christmas morning I just think of piles and piles of wrapped presents.

  6. I don’t wrap SANTA gifts either. The Golden Book Santa’s Toy Shop is one my kid’s like and is a great one for those who want to transition to not wrapping.

  7. I grew up wrapping, so we continue to wrap gifts from Santa as well. I agree with what many wrote above, it really does depend on the traditions you had when you grew up and you transition those into your own families. My question to those who don’t wrap, if you have children who are both girls or both boys that are close in age, how do you differentiate between whose presents
    are whose?

  8. Hilary, we have two boys (and I had twin nieces who lived with me for several years who are now grown). The presents are grouped together by child, pretty much either under their respective stocking or nearby. Usually there is something that makes it clear whose stuff is whose, like one of the girls was into scrapbooking one year, so it was obvious that the pile with that stuff in it was hers, or one was into baseball, or sock monkeys etc. It was the same with us growing up, we never had a problem figuring out whose was whose but we definitely had presents grouped together by child.

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